Final — MTSU 70-63. I will be back.
21.6 — UNT fouled MTSU. Kerry Hammonds made the first free throw. It’s 68-63.
:23.0 — MTSU has a 67-63 lead. Chris Jones just hit a runner, but time is quickly running out on the Mean Green. UNT needs a steal and a quick basket right here. Jordan Williams has 16 for UNT.
2:00 — MTSU worked the ball into the front court and took a timeout.
2:07 — UNT isn’t quite toast yet. It almost was on its last possession, but Vertrail Vaughns hit a huge 3 to pull UNT within 63-57.
3:24 — UNT isn’t going quietly here at the Super Pit. Chris Jones hit a jumper and Colin Voss just scored in the paint and drew a foul. He is headed to the line with UNT down 61-52. UNT is going to need some stops late to pull this out.
5:53 — UNT is down 59-48 and has just taken a timeout. UNT has flat stopped scoring. Jordan Williams has 16.
7:52 — I lost a bit of the blog there. UNT is down 55-48 wtih MTSU headed to the line.
15:14 — UNT is still down 42-35 after the quick turnaround from the UNT timeout to the media timeout. Jordan Williams is headed to the line for a couple of free throws. UNT is being out-rebounded 22-17. No one has more than six points for UNT other than Jordan Williams, who has 12.
15:26 — MTSU has opened the second half on a 14-3 run and is now up 42-35. MTSU has gotten out in transition and is converting. UNT has turned it over 12 times now, including twice in the second half. Jordan Williams has 12 points for UNT and is having a nice game. MTSU has three guys in double figures.
Halftime — UNT is up 32-28 at halftime, but has coughed up most of a 13-point lead. MTSU closed the half on a 7-0 run and hit a big shot at the buzzer. UNT had it on an in-bounds play with 3.5 seconds left and got it to Kerry Hammonds, who drilled a 3. Jordan Williams has nine points for UNT, which shot 52 percent from the floor in the first half.
3:51 — UNT is up 26-16 late in the first half. UNT introduced some of the key members of its Heart of Dallas Bowl championship team not too long ago. Maurice Aniefiok and Jordan Williams both have six points for UNT. UNT is shooting 55 percent from the field. MTSU is 1-for-5 from the free-throw line.
7:42 — UNT is up 21-9 with Armani Flannigan headed to the line to try to complete a three-point play. Maurice Aniefiok has six points for UNT. MTSU is just 4-for-15 from the floor.
8:14 — UNT is on a 10-0 run and has taken a 19-7 lead past the midway point of the first half. Maurice Aniefiok has six points for UNT, which is playing really well to start.
11:50 — Maurice Aniefiok just hit a 3 to break MTSU’s run and put UNT up 12-7. TJ Taylor just picked up a foul on a charge. UNT is still hot offensively and is shooting 50 percent from the floor. MTSU is just 3-for-10 so far. UNT is 2-for-3 from 3.
12:45 — MTSU is on a 5-0 run and has pulled to within 9-7. MTSU is pressuring UNT and forcing turnovers.
15:24 — TJ Taylor just scored on a layup to put UNT up 9-2 in the early going. UNT is shooting 50 percent from the field. MTSU is just 1-for-6. MTSU is getting some decent looks against UNT’s zone, but isn’t hitting anything.
16:22 — UNT is on a 7-0 run and has an early 7-2 lead. MTSU is 1-for-5 from the field so far. Jordan Williams hit a 3 for UNT.
Tipoff — UNT’s starters are Voss, Jordan Williams, Taylor, Jones and Flannigan. Surprised by that last one.
6:46 — I asked around in the last few minutes. There is a chance that former UNT standout Tony Mitchell will show up at tonight’s game. The Pistons are in town. It looks like there will be a pretty decent turnout for tonight’s game.
UNT is about to tip off its game against Middle Tennessee at the Super Pit and we are once again along for the ride.
UNT is coming off a win over UAB and is trying to reach that magical .500 mark in Conference USA play.
We will get to that, but first a big of breaking news — Kelvin Gaines is out tonight with a concussion. Gaines was whacked in the head during the Mean Green’s win over UAB and is not dressed out. I just saw him in the hall and inquired about his status.
That could make things a little more difficult against MTSU and Shawn Jones. The big 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. He is a quick guy. Colin Voss has been playing well of late and will be a big key tonight for UNT. I just don’t see any way, Keith Coleman can stay with Jones.
The good news is that UNT (11-8, 2-3) will have Brandan Walton back. He is one of UNT’s better 3-point shooters and gives the Mean Green another weapon off the bench.
MTSU was really good last year and made the NCAA tournament, but has taken a step back this year. The Blue Raiders are 12-7 overall and 2-2 in league play.
What will be interesting to see is how MTSU handles the zone that has become a weapon for UNT. Jones seems like the perfect guy to flash into the high post, which is where the ball has to go to beat a good 2-3 zone.
One factor that could help UNT is that MTSU is not shooting the ball well from 3 at 29.5 percent. UNT will likely pack it in and try to make MTSU win by hitting from beyond the arc.
Check back. I will update the blog all night.