North Texas and Hartford will face off in the Mean Green’s final game in the Scarlet Knight Showcase here at the Super Pit this afternoon.
UNT is 2-3 after breaking through for its second win over a Division I opponent this season. The Mean Green knocked off Niagara earlier this week and can finish 2-2 in the tournament with a win today.
UNT is still trying to find its footing without Jeremy Combs, who is resting a sore ankle that has been bothering him for months. He is sitting on the baseline watching the rest of UNT’s players warm up.
Deckie Johnson is averaging 14.0 points per game to lead UNT. J-Mychal Reese has also been playing well of late and is averaging 9.8 points per game.
Jalen Ross is averaging 22.5 points per game for Hartford and is shooting 44.7 percent from 3-point range.
Hartford has some size with two players checking in at 6-10. Rickey Brice, UNT’s 7-1 center, could play a key role today. Forwards Derail Green and Shane Temara are coming off solid games. UNT needs both to continue to come on.
Stay tuned. I will update the blog all day.
Update 12:56 — Freshman guard A.J. Lawson is going to start today.
Starters for UNT — Rickey Brice Jr., Deckie Johnson, J-Mychal Reese, Derail Green and A.J. Lawson.
15:46 — UNT is up 10-6 at the first media timeout. A.J. Lawson and J-Mychal Reese each have 3-pointers for the Mean Green. All six of Hartford’s points have come on two 3s. UNT has hit four of its five shots from the field.
11:55 — UNT is down 16-15 at the second media timeout of the first half. Hartford is on a 5-0 run. The Hawks are 4-for-6 from 3-point range. J-Mychal Reese has six points for UNT.
7:23 — UNT is up 24-20 at the third media timeout of the first half. The Mean Green are on a 6-2 run. A.J. Lawson has four points during the burst. Lawson has nine points to lead UNT.
3:10 — UNT was up seven, but Hartford has scored five straight to pull within 32-30. A.J. Lawson has nine points to lead the Mean Green. Derail Green has seven. UNT has 10 turnovers.
11.6 — Hartford has pulled ahead 38-36 and just took a timeout to set up a final play.
Halftime — Hartford didn’t convert on its final possession of the half, but is taking a 38-36 lead into halftime. Derail Green and A. J. Lawson both have nine points for UNT. The Mean Green had a seven-point lead before Hartford got hot late in the first half. The Hawks hit eight 3s in the first half, while UNT connected on six. There were only two free throws taken the entire half. A.J. Lawson took them and hit both. Jalen Ross has 13 points for Hartford. Green’s nine points are a season-high.
15:27 — UNT is back up 45-43 at the first media timeout of the second half. Deckie Johnson hit back-to-back 3s to put the Mean Green back in front. A.J. Lawson has 10 points for UNT.
11:58 — UNT is back up 52-50 in a back-and-forth game here at the Super Pit. UNT has just gotten back-to-back dunks from A.J. Lawson and Allante Hoston. Lawson has 12 points for UNT.
8:01 — UNT is up 61-59 a little past the midway point of the second half. Hartford just scored and took a timeout. A.J. Lawson has 15 points for the Mean Green. Ja’Michael Brown hit a bit 3 for UNT’s last points.
7:45 — We had a quick turnaround from a Hartford timeout to the media timeout. Hartford forced a jumpball and will have possession coming out of this timeout. Jalen Ross has 24 points for Hartford.
3:37 — We are all tied up at 69-69 — or at least it looks like that is going to be the case. Jalen Ross hit a shot from straight on. Officials counted it as a 3 and are taking a look at the monitor. The call stands.
1:48 — Hartford is up 75-74 after scoring on a perfect slip to the basket by John Carroll. UNT just took a timeout
29.2 — UNT is up 77-76 and has 14 left on the shot clock. The Mean Green just took a timeout.
17.0 — Derail Green just hit a 3 to put UNT up 80-76. TO Hartford.
7.5 — UNT is up 81-78 after J-Mychal Reese hit one of two from the free throw line. Hartford will have a chance to work for a game-tying 3 here.
Final — Jason Dunne had his game-tying 3-point attempt go halfway down before popping out. UNT survives 81-78.