Late-night hoops thoughts from home

After three failed attempts at jumping a plane to Houston, I ended up missing tonight’s UNT-Rice men’s basketball game.

But here are a few thoughts from back home in Denton after the Mean Green fell 75-70.

UNT was hanging its hopes on the fact that it wasn’t all that far out of position to earn a bye in the Conference USA tournament and the fact the schedule was coming back around. In other words, UNT had some winnable games coming up.

Well, the schedule came around and slapped UNT across the face.

Rice was 1-7 in league play coming into tonight’s game and was one of just two teams in the league without multiple league wins. The other was East Carolina, which will likely be the only team left with just one league win after UTEP gets done with it tonight.

UNT is now 11-11 (which is really deceptive considering the schedule) and 2-6 in league play.

The road isn’t going to get any easier with the Mean Green headed to Louisiana Tech to play an 18-win team in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

UNT will head into the game off a disappointing outing in which it fell behind 19-3 before rallying. The Mean Green got close late, but never got over the hump.

Head coach Tony Benford put Alzee Williams back in the starting lineup and saw him respond with 18 points, Chris Jones added 12 and Colin Voss had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Heading into the game, Benford said he wanted to get more out of his post players other than Voss. He didn’t get much against Rice. Kelvin Gaines, Keith Coleman and Armani Flannigan combined for two points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.

UNT was eaten alive inside by Rice freshman Sean Obi, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

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