Final: UTEP 77, North Texas 71 (OT)
Where UNT stands: UNT fell to 7-18 overall and remained in last place in Conference USA. The Mean Green are 1-12 in conference play after losing for the 13th time in their last 14 games.
Now what?: The Mean Green will host rival Texas-San Antonio on Saturday in the second game of a three-game homestand.
Star of the day: Derail Green posted one of his best games of his lone season with the Mean Green in their loss to UTEP. The graduate student scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds on a night he was in a groove from 3-point range. Green hit seven of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc and scored all of his points from 3-point range. Shane Temara and Ryan Woolridge both added 15 points, while A.J. Lawson added 12. Woolridge had a tremendous all-around night while adding 11 rebounds and nine assists. The freshman was one assist shy of a triple-double.
“It’s tough. We have to win games to get to the tournament. This was one I thought we could get if we executed and gave ourselves a chance. We played 40 minutes plus and gave it everything we had. It’s difficult to lose like we lost tonight.”
– Tony Benford, UNT coach
Our take: UNT gave one of the hottest teams in C-USA a run for its money, but ultimately fell to UTEP to slide a little closer to being eliminated from contention for a spot in the conference tournament.
UNT is in last place in the league standings and needs to jump two teams. The Mean Green need to catch Florida Atlantic and are three games back with five to play.
UNT had two looks at a go-head shot in the closing seconds of regulation. J-Mychal Reese missed a runner and Lawson missed a jumper.
UTEP capitalized with a 5-0 run to start the overtime period. Dominic Artis capped that run with a huge 3. UNT got back within two, but Lawson missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 16 seconds left and Artis iced the game at the free-throw line.
UNT had been a lot better of late at the line, but went just 6-for-14 against the Miners.
The Mean Green keep fighting, but are quickly running out of chances to make a run at a spot in the conference tournament.