North Texas Opens C-USA Play At UTEP Thursday
Five Of Seven Away From Home To Start C-USA Play
|North Texas men's basketball at UTEP|
|Date | Time||Thursday, Dec. 28 | 8 p.m. (CT)|
|Location||El Paso, TX | Don Haskins Center (12,000)|
|Radio||MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM - Dave Barnett (PxP), Hank Dickenson (Color)|
|Game Notes||North Texas | UTEP|
DENTON - The North Texas men's basketball team begins Conference USA play on the road at UTEP on Thursday, Dec. 28, at 8 p.m. (CT) at the Don Haskins Center.
The Mean Green finished their non-conference season with a 7-6 record after recently dropping a road game at Georgetown 75-63. North Texas has won three of its last four game heading into league play.
The emergence of sophomore point guard Ryan Woolridge has been the reason for the solid play. Woolridge scored a game-high 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds and tied his career-high with nine assists. Woolridge is averaging 15.8 points per game and dishing out 6.7 assists per game in his last four games.
Sophomore Roosevelt Smart will look to get back on track after a tough shooting performance against the Hoyas going 1-for-13 from the three-point line. Smart leads the team in scoring at 17.6 points per game and scored 229 points in the non-conference season, which is the second most by a Mean Green player in the last 10 years, only Tristan Thompson scored more at 231 in 2010-11.
Junior guard Jorden Duffy returned against Georgetown after missing three games due to an injury. Duffy played 14 minutes and scored five points against the Hoyas. Duffy is averaging 6.8 points per game.
Senior Shane Temara leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 boards per game and has three double-doubles this season. Temara is coming off his third double-double at Georgetown with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Mean Green will be tested early thanks to five of the first seven C-USA games being played on the road. North Texas will finish the two-game road swing at UTSA on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m.
About the Opponent: UTEP
• This will be the 12th meeting all-time between the two teams. UTEP has won seven games in a row in the series.
• In the previous meeting, UTEP won in overtime, 77-71, on Feb. 16, 2017. Dominic Artis finished with 19 points for the Miners. Ryan Woolridge finished one assist away from a triple double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
• In the last game at El Paso on Jan. 3, 2016, a second half rally by North Texas wasn't enough in a 84-75 defeat. Jeremy Combs had 20 points and 19 rebounds in the loss. The Miners had four players in double figures with Hooper Vint scoring 20 points.
• UTEP is 5-7 on the season but has won four of its last five games. The Miners are 4-2 under interim head coach Phil Johnson. UTEP had won four games in a row before a loss at home against North Dakota State, 63-51, on Dec. 22.
• The Miners are led by graduate student Keith Frazier, who graduated from North Texas last season, at 14.6 points per game. Frazier leads the team with 32 three-pointers and in rebounding at 6.5 boards per game. Center Matt Willms could return after being injury seven games ago. Willms is second on the team in scoring at 13.4 points per game.
• UTEP is 5-3 at the Don Haskins Center with wins against Louisiana College, New Mexico, Washington State, Incarnate Word and Howard.