Chalk talk: UTEP at UNT

North Texas guard Ryan Woolridge (0) drives to the basket as Rice forward Marquez Letcher-Ellis defends in a game this season at the Super Pit. UNT will host UTEP tonight. (Denton Record-Chronicle/Jeff Woo)

North Texas guard Ryan Woolridge (0) drives to the basket as Rice forward Marquez Letcher-Ellis defends in a game this season at the Super Pit. UNT will host UTEP tonight. (Denton Record-Chronicle/Jeff Woo)

UTEP at North Texas

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Super Pit

TV: beIn sports

Radio: KHYI-FM 95.3, KNTU-FM 88.1

Records: UNT 7-17, 1-11 Conference USA; UTEP 9-15, 7-5 Conference USA

Last game: Florida International 90, UNT 71; UTEP 80, Southern Miss 50

Projected UNT starting lineup:

PG: J-Mychal Reese, 6-2, Sr. — Reese scored 12 points in UNT’s loss to FIU. He  missed all four of his 3-point attempts and turned the ball over a season-high seven times. Reese has been hot overall, scoring in double figures in four of UNT’s last five games and is averaging 10.3 points per game. He has 77 assists on the season.

G: Ryan Woolridge, 6-3, Fr. — Woolridge tied his career high with 21 points in UNT’s loss to FIU. He his all but one of his nine shots from the field and grabbed six rebounds. He is averaging 9..5 points per game and has 34 assists in 15 games.

G: A.J. Lawson, 6-5, Fr. — Lawson has scored in double figures in each of UNT’s last three games. He scored 13 points in UNT’s loss to FIU. Lawson scored 31 points earlier this month in a loss to Rice. He is averaging 11.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

F: Shane Temara, 6-9, Jr. — Temara has started UNT’s last seven games, but struggled in the Mean Green’s loss to FIU. He missed all four of his shots and did not score. That down game snapped a hot streak in which Temara had scored in double figures in two of his last three games. That run included tallying a career-high 18 points in a win at Florida Atlantic. He is averaging 6.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

F: Derail Green, 6-7, Sr. — Green finished with eight points and five rebounds in UNT’s loss to FIU. He has started UNT’s last six games, but has not scored in double figures in the Mean Green’s last four outings. He is averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Scouting UTEP: The Miners have been on a roll, winning four of their last five games. The Miners upset Middle Tennessee during their recent run and are coming off an 80-50 win over Southern Miss. UTEP is led by its backcourt of Omega Harris and Dominic Artis, who are averaging 16.9 points and 15.0 points per game, respectively.

What you need to know: UNT snapped an 11-game losing streak last week when it upset Florida Atlantic on the road, but then immediately turned around and lost to Florida International in a showdown between teams tied for last place in the Conference USA standings.

Getting back on track could be tough to do tonight in a game against UTEP. The Miners are one of the hottest teams in C-USA and are coming off a blowout win over Southern Miss.

UTEP is in three-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings with Rice and Marshall and has a lot to play for.

UNT is on the ropes and trails Florida Atlantic (4-8) and Southern Miss (4-9) by three in win column for the last spot in the conference tournament.

UNT has given up at least 90 points in its last two losses and will look to get something going late in the season in a rare televised game.

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