Pioneers Drop North Texas Basketball In Sun Belt Opener

Box Score


DENVER (12/22/07) The Mean Green basketball team staged another second half comeback, but this time it fell short. North Texas dropped its Sun Belt opener to the Denver Pioneers 63-59 at Magness Arena on Saturday night.


Ben Bell and Collin Dennis combined for nine late Mean Green (8-3, 0-1 Sun Belt West) points, but Denver (4-6, 1-0 Sun Belt West) connected 10-of-12 free throws in the final two minutes to ice the game.


North Texas cut the Pioneer lead to four points on several occasions, but DU had an answer every time. The Denver offense lit up the boards with 60 percent shooting for the evening, while North Texas struggled with its worst outing of the season 36.5 percent.


Dennis led the NT effort with 14 points off the bench. Josh White made his return from a hamstring injury, and added 11 points. The duo combined to spark an 11-2 run in the middle of the second half to make it interesting for North Texas.


The Mean Green has been no stranger to large second half comebacks this year. North Texas came back from a school record 21-point deficit to knock off New Mexico State earlier this month.


The Mean Green needed another comeback after starting the game on a cold streak. NT missed six of its first eight shots but DU picked up the slack by opening up a 13-6 lead. Adam Tanner gave NT fits early with a 3-pointer and a quick layup.


David Kummer led five Denver players in double figures with 14 points.


White made his return to the court and energized an early Mean Green run. The freshman hit a runner half way through the first for his first points since Dec. 8 against Hartford, and pulled North Texas to within point at 16-15.


Despite shooting only 27.3 percent (6-of-22) in the first half the worst first half shooting performance since NT hit only 26.7 percent at a loss at Nebraska last year the Mean Green trailed only 27-20 at the break.


The Mean Green returns to action after the Christmas break against Texas A&M-International on Dec. 28 at the Super Pit.



North Texas Mean Green