UNT will take on Southern Miss at the Super Pit tonight, when the Mean Green will look to build on a huge win over Louisiana Tech on Thursday.
Louisiana Tech was a perfect 5-0 in Conference USA before UNT exploded to hit 15 of its first 17 shots to take a 21-point lead it just barely managed to hang on to late to close out the win.
UNT essentially has a chance to dig itself out of the hole it created earlier in the season over the next couple of weeks.
Southern Miss lost everybody from its NIT team last season, including its coach Donnie Tyndall.
To make matters worse, Southern Miss announced earlier it the week that it will not play in the postseason this year, a self-imposed penalty stemming from an investigation into rules violations in the program.
The good news for UNT goes beyond the fact the Mean Green come in off a big win, it also looks like DeAndre Harris will be back tonight. He was suspended indefinitely for being tossed twice in the span of four games. He has missed UNT’s last two games, but was dressed out when UNT came out a couple of minutes ago.
Harris gives UNT another option offensively.
Southern Miss is led by guards Matt Bingaya and Chip Armelin, who are averaging 14.2 and 13.1 points a game, respectively.
We went over the matchup in detail in Chalk Talk last night.
Stay tuned. I will update the blog all night.
Tipoff — UNT starters: Combs, Voss, Williams, Taylor, Aniefiok.
15:18 — UNT is off to a good start and is up 11-8 at the first media timeout. Jordan Williams has five points.
12:07 — DeAndre Harris is in. That answers our question as to if he will play today.
11:58 — UNT is up 17-10 as we approach the midway point of the first half. T.J. Taylor just hit a 3 after driving right to the arc and pulling up. Southern Miss is as bad as advertised. Jordan Williams is off to a good start and has six points already.
7:46 — Jeremy Combs just made a terrific play to pick up a charge. UNT is up 22-16 late in the first half. Jordan Williams has six points and Maurice Aniefiok five. UNT is shooting it well early for the second straight. The Mean Green have hit 56 percent of their shots from the floor.
3:16 — UNT is up 29-24 at the final media timeout of the first half. Southern Miss pulled to within 26-24 before Maurice Aniefiok hit a corner 3 to push the Mean Green’s lead back out to 29-24. Chip Armelin has 12 points already for Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles have hit four of their first six 3-point attempts.
49.8 — UNT has called its use-it, or lose-it 30-second timeout in the closing seconds of the first half to set something up on its final possession. UNT is up 32-27.
35.4 — UNT just scored on a well-executed screen that freed Colin Voss for a free-throw line jumper. UNT is up 34-27. TO Southern Miss.
Halftime — UNT is up 37-29 at halftime after Maurice Aniefiok hit a 3 from the wing at the buzzer. Jordan Williams has nine points for UNT. Maurice Aniefiok and Jeremy Combs both have eight points. UNT got off to a good start and had a nine-point lead. Southern Miss closed to within two before Aniefiok hit a couple of late 3s. UNT has been good in the first half and bad in the second this year. We will have to see if that trend continues today.
14:29 — UNT went on a 9-1 run early in the second half and had a 14-point lead. Southern Miss has come back with five straight and has cut the Mean Green’s edge to 46-37. Jordan Williams has 15 points for UNT. Maurice Aniefiok and Jeremy Combs both have 11. UNT is still shooting 56 percent from the field.
11:20 — UNT is still up 50-43 as we near the midway point of the second half. Southern Miss closed to within five at 48-43 behind an 11-2 run. Todd Eaglin answered with a running bank shot to stretch the lead back to seven. Jordan Williams has 15 points for UNT. The Mean Green have three players in double figures. Jeremy Combs (13) and Maurice Aniefiok (11) also have scored in double figures.
7:53 — Southern Miss has pulled to within 52-48 as we head down the stretch in the second half. The Golden Eagles will have the ball coming out of this timeout. UNT has three turnovers in the last 2:37.
6:00 — UNT is up 53-48 late in the second half and just took a timeout. UNT will have the ball coming out of this timeout and could use a couple of buckets to create some separation. Jordan Williams has 15 points, while Jeremy Combs has 14.
4:15 — UNT is hanging on 55-52. Southern Miss was within one, but T.J. Taylor hit a baseline pull-up to push the led back to 3. TO USM
3:43 — We are all tied up at 55 late in the second half. Jeremy Combs is headed to the line for UNT. Matt Bingaya converted a three-point play to tie things up for Southern Miss. Armani Flannigan and Colin Voss both have four fouls for UNT. Jordan Williams has 15 points for the Mean Green.
2:27 — This game was all tied up at 60-57 after Jordan Williams hit a deep 3 that put him in the top 10 in UNT history in scoring. Southern Miss got off a shot on its last possession and missed. The ball went out off UNT.
1:19 — UNT is up 60-59 and just took a timeout. Michael O’Donnell just scored off an offensive rebound for Southern Miss.
46.0 — UNT ended up with a deep 3 from Jordan Williams on its last possession. The shot came up short. Southern Miss called a timeout and will have the ball with a chance to go up. UNT leads 60-59. Chip Armelin has been the Golden Eagles’ best option tonight.
23.0 — Southern Miss had a shot in the lane and missed it. Colin Voss grabbed the board and hit two free throws. UNT 62-59. TO UNT.
Overtime — Jeremy Combs missed the front end of a one-and-one and Southern Miss tied it up Norville Carey 3 with about three seconds left. T.J. Taylor got a heave off just before the buzzer, but missed it. We are headed to overtime.
2:44 — Southern Miss scored the first points of overtime, but UNT has answered with a Maurice Aniefiok jumper and a TJ Taylor floater. UNT leads 66-64. TO Southern Miss. UNT has played well defensively in overtime so far.
1:49 — Chip Armelin just hit an NBA 3 to put Southern Miss up 67-66. Jordan Williams missed a corner 3, but UNT grabbed the rebound. Jeremy Combs is headed to the line.
1:48 — We are all tied up at 67. Jordan Williams is headed to the line.
57.0 — Southern Miss has scored the last five points to go up 72-68. Chip Armelin just hit a huge 3 for Southern Miss. TO UNT.
34.5 — Chip Armelin hit a free throw. Jordan Williams missed at the rim, but the ball went out to UNT. 73-68 USM. TO UNT. The Mean Green don’t have to have a 3 right here, just a quick bucket.
Final — Southern Miss 75, UNT 71. Killer loss for UNT. I will be back.