DENTON (11/21/06) A Calvin Watson three-pointer with 1:28 remaining sealed the deal as the North Texas basketball team knocked off Tulsa 65-63 at the Super Pit on Tuesday.
The Mean Green (4-1) downed its second straight Conference USA opponent by limiting the Golden Hurricane (2-1) on the boards. North Texas maintained a 36-27 rebounding edge that led to a 13-4 NT advantage in second-chance points.
North Texas has now beaten Tulsa in back-to-back seasons and, after pinning Rice on Saturday, has topped two consecutive Conference USA teams.
“I thought this was a good win against a very good team tonight, said head coach Johnny Jones. “We were not as sharp as we would have liked to have been, but we kept up our defensive intensity and were able to come away with a win.”
Michael Sturns paced the Mean Green with a game-high 21 points off the bench. The junior has now scored in double figures in four of the five games this season. He also put up a season-high three steals and career highs in free throws made (9) and attempted (11).
Not a victory that will win any beauty contests - the two teams combined for 52 turnovers and 50 fouls but, for the second straight game North Texas held its composure and nailed its free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
“This game was testament to our players. They were aggressive on both ends of the floor, and that aggression led to Tulsa committing several charging fouls. We were able to capitalize from that and get to the foul line,” Jones said. “We needed a win like this. It’s good for our players, it’s good for our conference and it’s good for our fans,”
Watson, who nailed a trio of shots from beyond the arc, has now hit a three-pointer in 14 straight games. The senior finished with 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
North Texas returns to action on Saturday against Texas State following the Mean Green women’s game versus Loyola-Chicago at 5 p.m. at The Super Pit.