Thoughts on UNT-MTSU

Middle Tennessee swept UNT at the Super Pit tonight, which wasn’t much of a surprise.

The MTSU men blew out UNT in Murfreesboro earlier this year and that was before UNT lost half its team. The MTSU women barely beat UNT in the teams’ first meeting this season, but this time around UNT was without backup point guard Hannah Christian against a team that presses all game long.

Both UNT teams put in a heck of an effort and lost.

The UNT women fell 60-47, while the men lost 72-64.

The men played five guys at least 31 minutes. Clarke Overlander came back after four games off due to a knee injury and played eight minutes, Justin Patton hobbled around for four minutes on a bad knee and Keith Coleman played six.

UNT’s starters played all but 18 of 200 minutes. The Mean Green’s bench was outscored 25-1 by a team that played nine guys at least 10 minutes. It’s hard to win that way, but UNT did come from 15 down to get to within six late.

It was a gutty performance. Jordan Williams had 20 points. Niko Stojiljkovic had 12 points and nine rebounds. Tony Mitchell had 10 points and six rebounds.

MTSU should win the Sun Belt men’s tournament this year.

The UNT women got off to a great start and led 15-2 before everything went downhill. UNT couldn’t miss early and couldn’t make anything late. The Mean Green shot 18.5 percent in the second half and finished with 17 points, its lowest total for a half this season.

Loryn Goodwin finished with 21. We can stop saying she is going to be really good. She already is.

Laura McCoy added 10 points.

MTSU shut everyone else down. Alexis Hyder, UNT’s leading scorer at 13.7 points a game, finished with two points on three shots in 34 minutes.

UNT packed it in with its zone and dared MTSU to jack it up from outside. Kortni Jones did to the tune of 28 shots. She hit just eight of them, but six were 3s. She finished with 23 and Ebony Rowe added 22. Those two and Icelyn Elie combined for 55 of MTSU’s 60 points. Laken Leonard had the other five.

MTSU has now beaten UNT 10 straight times in women’s basketball.

I’m sure UNT will get over the hump against MTSU at some point, but the Blue Raiders clearly have UNT’s number right now.