Listen live to the WOMEN'S game!
Listen live to the MEN'S game!
MONROE, La. (2/10/07) The Mean Green basketball teams return to action today against Louisiana-Monroe. The women’s team tips off at noon, with the men beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The Mean Green women has lost four of its past five games and is looking to bounce back from a four-point loss to New Orleans. The Warhawks are also struggling having lost four straight games.
Sophomore Tricia Lee continues her defensive rampage over the past month of play. For the second time this year she had five steals in a game and in the last eight game Lee has 20 steals. Compare that to the first 16 games of the year when Lee had only 18 steals. She has also hit a 3-pointer in four straight games, a career-best for her. During that four-game stretch, Lee has hit nine 3-pointers and is shooting 60 percent from behind the arc.
In the last three games the North Texas bench has nearly equaled the output of the starters. The Mean Green bench is averaging 36 points a game in the last three and in two of those three the bench has outscored the starting lineup. One of the primary reasons has been the play of Erica Howard. She has scored in double figures in two straight games and her output off the bench has been quite good. In the last three games Howard has responsible for 34 percent of the points off the bench during that time and is averaging 12.3 points a game.
After falling in its first home game since Nov. 15, the North Texas men (16-8, 7-6) looks to close the gap on Louisiana-Monroe’s Sun Belt Western Division lead. Currently two games back, the Mean Green will face off against the league’s top home team in the Warhawks, who own an 11-0 record at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
The Mean Green is the nation’s 22nd ranked offensive club, averaging 78.8 ppg and a 47.0 shooting percentage. North Texas sits at 145 in the official RPI Ratings following the loss to New Orleans. NT, 2-1 against the RPI’s top 100 teams, earned a Sagarin rating of 155. Nobody in the Sun Belt defends the home court as well as Louisiana-Monroe.
The Warhawks are 11-0 at home in 2006-07, including a 7-0 clip in Sun Belt play. Led by Tony Hooper, Louisiana-Monroe features five players averaging double figures. Hooper accounts for 14.3 points per game.
North Texas and Louisiana-Monroe will meet for the first time as Sun Belt Conference foes on Saturday afternoon. The two schools both joined the Southland Conference in the 1982-83 season and remained rivals until the Mean Green moved to the Big West Conference in 1996-97. The Warhawks joined the Sun Belt in all sports this year, and own a 13-26 all-time mark over the Mean Green. NT fell in its first nine SLC games against UL-M, but won the 1988 conference tournament with an 87-70 win over the Warhawks.
Guard Calvin Watson is poised to take the program’s all-time 3-point lead with only five trey’s, but he has also quietly risen on the career points list. The senior moved into 13th with 1,099 points, only 20 short of NT Hall of Famer Jim Mudd. Watson could make the top-10 with only 108 more points over the last five games and the SBC Tournament.
The Mean Green recorded a season-high 11 blocks against New Orleans, tying the school record with two other Johnny Jones coached teams. The total is the most by a Sun Belt team this season, and equals the blocks by NT against Middle Tennessee on Feb. 9, 2006 and Nicholls State on Dec. 10, 2005. Jones’ teams account for 7 of the top 10 blocks games in school history.