UNT at Charlotte
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Halton Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Radio: KHYI-FM 95.3, KNTU-FM 88.1
TV: American Sports Network
Records: North Texas 9-15, 4-7 C-USA; Charlotte 9-15, 5-6 C-USA
Last game: Old Dominion 67, North Texas 47; Charlotte 102, Rice 72
Projected UNT starting lineup:
PG: J-Mychal Reese, 6-2, Jr. — Reese endured a tough shooting night in UNT’s loss to ODU, hitting just four of his 15 shots from the field, including one of his six 3-point attempts on his way to finishing with 11 points. He is averaging 14.7 points a game.
SG: Ja’Michael Brown, 6-1, Fr. — Brown scored just two points in 24 minutes against ODU. He hit just one of his seven shots from the field and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. He is averaging 8.1 points a game.
SF: Deckie Johnson, 6-4 Jr. — Johnson hit two 3s and scored 11 points in UNTs loss to ODU, but hit just three of his 10 shots from the field. He is averaging 13.8 points a game and has hit a team-high 51 shots from 3-point range on the season.
F: Jeremy Combs, 6-7, So. — Combs posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds against ODU. He also finished with four steals. He is averaging a team-high 15.3 points a game and is also grabbing 10.6 rebounds a game.
F: Eric Katenda, 6-9 Sr. — Katenda hit all three of his shots from the field and finished with six points before fouling out against ODU. He is averaging 6.6 points and 3.3 rebounds a game.
Charlotte has won five of its last seven games and is one of the better offensive teams in C-USA. The 49ers rank fourth in the league with an average of 77.0 points a game and are shooting a league-best 38.3 percent from 3-point range. Charlotte has six players who are averaging double figures, including the inside-out duo of guard Braxton Ogbueze and center Joseph Uchebo, who are averaging 13.0 and 12.8 points a game, respectively.
Jeremy Combs has been remarkably consistent for UNT and posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the Mean Green’s loss to ODU. The sophomore had a string of seven straight double-doubles snapped when he finished with nine rebounds in back-to-back games against Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech, but came back to post his 11th double-double of the season against ODU.
What you need to know:
UNT won two straight last week and was hoping to put together a winning streak to match its five-game run of a year ago heading into its game against ODU on Thursday. Those hopes ended with a flurry of missed shots against the Monarchs.
UNT managed only a season-low 47 points against ODU and shot 26.9 percent (7 of 26) in the second half. The Mean Green led 24-21 at the break before being outscored by ODU 46-23 in the second half.
The question now is if UNT will respond. The Mean Green have seven games left in the regular season and need to win out to eke over the .500 mark at 16-15.
UNT is 9-15 now and has still only won one game away from home. The Mean Green 1-9 away from the Super Pit this year.
Picking up another win on the road against a Charlotte team that has won five of its last seven could be tough. The 49ers are playing some of their best basketball late in the season.