NEW ORLEANS (12/16/06) The battle at the Big Easy proved anything but that, as North Texas fell to New Orleans 97-93 in a double-overtime slugfest at the Human Performance Center.
Both teams traded baskets all night in a game that featured 11 lead changes and 12 ties.
Shawn Reynolds scored the final five Privateer (5-6, 2-0) points, including a dagger three-pointer with approximately 45 seconds remaining. Reynolds also knocked down a trio of free throws with seven second left to ice the game.
North Texas (7-3, 0-1) had five players in double figures for the third time this season, but it wasn’t enough as North Texas has now fallen in its last three overtime games to New Orleans two in double overtime.
“We’re growing by leaps and bounds as a basketball team, but this was a tough game,” said head coach Johnny Jones. “My hat is off to New Orleans, they did what they needed to down the stretch and made the plays.”
It didn’t long for one of the Sun Belt’s premier players to get going, as Bo McCalebb racked up double figures before 4:30 had ticked off the clock. The junior scored 10 of the Privateers first 13 points, and sparked a 16-2 run in the game’s opening minutes. McCalebb finished with a career-high 39 points, topping his previous high of 36 in his last game.
North Texas was able to respond on the back of Michael Sturns. The junior came off the bench and scored eight unanswered points during a 10-0 Mean Green run. Sturns kept the Mean Green in the game down the stretch with a handful of clutch shots. The Fort Worth native posted a career-high 28 points.
For only the second time this season the Mean Green had five players hit a 3-point shot. Ben Bell knocked down a pair from beyond the arc, as well as Calvin Watson and Sturns. Rich Young and Quincy Williams also hit a three pointer.
Williams had another solid outing for the Mean Green in just his third start. The junior was just one point from his third career double-double, racking up nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds.
North Texas wraps up its five-game road trip at Western Kentucky on Tuesday night. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.