Late-night hoops thoughts

North Texas junior guard Chris Jones hits a jumper from deep against East Carolina on Saturday at the Super Pit. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

It was a split decision for the UNT hoops teams tonight. To review:

– The UNT men hung on by the skin of their teeth in their Conference USA basement battle with East Carolina for a 53-51 win at the Super Pit. ECU had not one, but two looks at a potential game-winning shot and missed them both.

– The UNT women played well early, but eventually dropped a 56-49 decision to East Carolina on the road.

As far as the UNT men go, we are well beyond style-pointing wins, but the Mean Green did make it awfully interesting down the stretch. UNT was up 12 at 50-38 9:21 mark and proceeded to cough up most of that advantage.

ECU pulled to within one at 52-51 with 49 seconds left on an Akeem Richmond 3. Prince Williams drove and had a shot swatted away by Jordan Williams. Richmond grabbed the ball and got it back to Prince Williams, who missed a 3 from the corner. Chris Jones hit a free throw and UNT hung on.

Here’s what was easy to overlook. UNT didn’t hit a field goal after Alzee Williams dunked off a feed from Chris Jones at the 4:36 mark.

UNT’s defense saved the day.

Pirates came into the night ranked second in C-USA with an average of 75.8 points a game and managed just 51 against UNT.

The Mean Green didn’t exactly light it up on its way to 53 points on 39.6 percent shooting, but scored just enough. Vertrail Vaughns was the only UNT player who scored in double figures with 13.

As far as the UNT women go, Alexis Hyder scored 18 points, but was the only UNT player who scored in double figures. None of the rest of UNT’s key offensive players shot the ball well. Briesha Wynn and Janis Peterson combined to go 5-for-23. Laura McCoy went 1-for-6 from 3.

The UNT women came in having won two of three and knew it was in for a tough challenge against ECU, one of the top teams in C-USA.

UNT couldn’t quite get it done, but is playing pretty well of late and will have a chance to rebound quickly.

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