Men’s Basketball Gets Second Chance At Southern Illinois

Dec. 10, 2015

Junior Deckie Johnson is third on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game (photo by Rick Yeatts)

North Texas men's basketball at Southern Illinois
Date | Time   Saturday, December 10 | 7:05 p.m. CT
Location   Carbondale, Ill. | SIU Arena (8,339)
Live Stats  SIU GameTracker
Radio  MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM -  Hank Dickenson (PxP), 
Twitter   @MeanGreenMBB
Game Notes   North Texas

DENTON -- The North Texas men’s basketball team will get a chance at redemption when they travel to Carbondale, Illinois to face Southern Illinois for the second time in two weeks on ESPN3 Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.

The Mean Green are coming off a tough outing against the Salukis at home falling 95-63 last weekend at the Super Pit. Not many times in college basketball do you get the chance to play the same opponent twice back-to-back but North Texas is hoping to snap a six-game losing streak Saturday night.

NT is 2-6 on the season and has had seven days to prepare for SIU who blistered the nets scoring 95 points and shot 67.9 percent (36-of-53) at the Super Pit Dec. 5. The Salukis are coming off a stunning lost against SIU Edwardsville, 76-74, at home Wednesday night. SIU committed 19 turnovers and missed 15 free throws in their first ever loss against SIUE.

North Texas continues to be one of the nation’s top shooting teams but needs to keep improving on the defensive end. The Mean Green is currently ranked No. 29 in the nation in field goal percentage at 48.9 percent

Sophomore Jeremy Combs has been a big part of the offense coming in 31st in the nation in field goal percentage at 61.5 percent. Combs is tied for the team lead in scoring at 13.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding at 8.3 boards per game. Junior J-Mychal Reese scored in double figures for the seventh time this season after scoring 10 points against SIU last weekend. Reese is tied for the team lead at 13.5 points per game and leads the team with 29 assists.

Junior Deckie Johnson is third on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game and has scored in double figures in six of the eight games this season. Classmate Carrington Ward scored eight points in his first start of the season against SIU and has scored 28 points in his last four games (7.0 points per game). Freshman Ja’Michael Brown had six points and four steals in the loss but has been creating havoc in the passing lanes with a team best 17 swipes this season.

The Mean Green will return home for two games next week against Nicholls State (Dec. 14) and Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 17) at the Super Pit.

About the Opponent: Southern Illinois
•This will be the third meeting all-time between North Texas and Southern Illinois.

• The teams will meet for the second time in as many weeks with the last meeting on Dec. 13, 1975 at the Creighton Classic where the Mean Green came away with a 86-80 overtime win. It was the first year of the Bill Blakeley Era who holds 134 career coaching victories in eight seasons.

• SIU enters with a 8-2 record having lost its last game at home against in-state rival SIU Edwardsville, 76-74. The only other loss for SIU came against C-USA member UTEP on Nov. 27, 71-66, at the Corpus Christi Coastal Challenge.

• SIU is led by Anthony Beane Jr. who is averaging 20.7 points per game (31st nationally) and has scored 1,507 career points placing him 11th all-time at Southern Illinois. Sean O’Brien is second on the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game. Junior college transfer Mike Rodriguez is leading the team with 40 assists and third in scoring at 10.9 points per game. Rodriguez has only committed 11 turnovers in 10 games.

• It is the first time since 2008 North Texas has played a non-conference opponent twice in the same season (Sam Houston State).



North Texas Mean Green