UNT rolled the ball out for the first time in a game against someone other than themselves tonight, taking on Oklahoma City (the NAIA school) at the newly super Super Pit — complete with a new floor.
It was tough sledding for much of the night for UNT, which was down one at halftime and only up two late before going on a 10-2 run and pulling away for a 78-70 win.
Chris Jones had 16, Jordan Williams 12, Keith Coleman 11 and T.J. Taylor 10. UNT shot 30.6 percent in the first half and went 3-for-17 from 3, but did shoot it better in the second half.
Tony Benford’s bigger concern was on the defensive end, where UNT committed 27 fouls. There is a bit of an adjustment process going on this year with officials being instructed to crack down on hand check fouls. Guys will adjust and so will officials, but those are fouls that will be called more often this year, even after the normal adjustment process steers things back toward a happy medium.
Here are a few other quick-hit observations:
– Keith Coleman looks quicker and better on his feet. He had 11 points and eight rebounds. The hope is that he can help this year, especially with Kelvin Gaines out for a few more weeks. Colin Voss also missed tonight’s game. He is still coming back from an injury.
– Armani Flannigan had 10 boards. He should help on the glass this year.
– UNT did push the ball more than it did last year. Benford and his players said they will try to play in the open floor more this year and moved toward that goal in the win. UNT started a four-guard lineup with Vertrail Vaughns, Jordan Williams, Alzee Williams and Chris Jones.