Final — UNT 78, OKC 70. I will be back later.
3:24 — UNT has seemingly put this one away. Brandan Walton just hit a 3 to put UNT up 68-58. Chris Jones has 14, Jordan Williams 12 and T.J. Taylor 10. This will look a whole lot better on paper if UNT can push it out a little more.
5:23 — OKC was within two at 58-56. UNT has scored five straight.
7:47 — Here come the Stars. OKC is on an 8-2 run and has pulled to within 54-51 midway through the second half. Chris Jones and Jordan Williams have 12 and 11 points, respectively, for UNT. UNT is shooting 33.9 percent from the floor for the game. UNT is headed to the line.
11:54 — UNT might have finally taken control of this one with a 7-1 run that has put the Mean Green up 51-43. T.J. Taylor hit a big 3 to spark the surge. Jordan Williams has 11 points and Chris Jones 10 for UNT.
14:11 — UNT has scored four quick points to push its lead to 48-42. OKC just took a timeout.
15:44 — UNT is up 44-41 in a tight game against OKC early in the second half. Armani Flannigan scored in the paint to put UNT back up three after OKC had pulled to within one. Chris Jones has 10 points for UNT, which is shooting a little better in the second half at 44.4 percent. UNT is shooting just 33.3 percent for the game.
17:17 — UNT has come back to take a 42-41 lead early in the second half of its game against OKC. UNT has just taken a timeout. Chris Jones converted a three-point play to put UNT up 42-39, but OKC came back and scored at the rim to pull back within one. Jones has 10 points so far.
Halftime — UNT is down 35-34 at halftime to OKC here at the Super Pit. That’s a pretty surprising score for an exhibition game. OKC is an NAIA team. UNT is supposed to be rolling these guys. UNT has a huge edge in size and athleticism. UNT is struggling to contain the Stars a bit defensively. Their guards keep getting to the rim or are drawing fouls. OKC is 21-of-28 from the line. There is a mandate for officials to call the hand check fouls and OKC is drawing a ton. UNT is just 11-for-36 from the floor and 1-for-9 from 3.
3:59 — We have hit the final media timeout of the first half with UNT trailing 28-27 to OKC. UNT is 1-for-30 from the floor. Kind of surprising. UNT has a huge edge in terms of size and athletic ability. Here’s another weird one. Keith Coleman leads UNT with six points.
5:06 — OKC has scored the last four points to tie it up at 27-27 and has called a timeout. Keith Coleman made a good move to score on the baseline, but also threw up an airball here in the last few minutes. He is moving a whole lot better.
7:15 — UNT has pulled ahead 22-19 at the second media timeout of the first half. OKC is headed to the line out of this timeout. UNT is 8-for-25 from the floor. Maurice Aniefiok has five points for UNT.
10:43 — We have reached the second media timeout. Believe it or not, UNT is down 15-13 to NAIA OKC. To be fair it’s early, UNT is missing guys and has a whole lot of new pieces. UNT just caught a break when OKC had a ball roll halfway down and pop back out. Jordan Williams just rammed a dunk attempt into the rim and took a spill. Not going well early for UNT, which is 5-for-20 from the floor.
15:37 — UNT has come back from an early 6-2 deficit to tie things up at 8-8 at the first media timeout. Keith Coleman looked a little more agile while grabbing a rebound and scoring under the basket.
19:09 — UNT’s first two field goal attempts come from 3.
Tipoff — And your starters are Chris Jones, Jordan Williams, Alzee Williams, Armani Flanigan and Vertrail Vaughns.
The UNT men’s basketball team will open its exhibition season tonight against Oklahoma City. I am parked the media section for tonight’s proceedings.
This is the debut for UNT’s new court, which looks pretty slick with the big eagle logo (and I do mean big) in the middle. There are not a lot of people here, which is to be expected.
What can we expect from the largely revamped Mean Green?
We could know a little more than we did after the tip-off event a few days ago, but not a whole lot more. Oklahoma City is an NAIA school. This is not the Oklahoma City Thunder we are talking about here.
The interesting dynamic about this year is that UNT’s players coaches and people close to the program are convinced that this team is dramatically better than last year’s edition — one that included Tony Mitchell and Roger Franklin. Mitchell is playing in the NBA, Franklin overseas. Having Chris Jones back will help a lot. Jordan Williams is good — we know that. The question is what guys like T.J. Taylor, Vertrail Vaughns and especially a few frontcourt newcomers will provide.
We won’t see Colin Voss or Kelvin Gaines tonight. They are both out with injuries. Armani Flannigan was a huge hit at the tip-off event. We will get another chance to see what he and other guys like Greg Wesley will provide. Check back, I will update the blog as we go along.