North Texas guard J-Mychal Reese will lead the Mean Green when they look to win their second straight game today when they travel to Florida International. (Denton Record-Chronicle/Jeff Woo)
North Texas at Florida International
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: FIU Arena
Radio: KHYI-FM 95.3, KNTU-FM 88.1
Records: UNT 7-16, 1-10 Conference USA; FIU 5-19, 1-10 Conference USA
Last game: UNT 70, Florida Atlantic 64; Rice 89, FIU 78
Projected UNT starting lineup:
PG: J-Mychal Reese, 6-2, Sr. — Reese came up with one of the best games of his career at UNT in the Mean Green’s win over FAU. He scored 21 points and made a series of key plays down the stretch that helped UNT pull away. Reese is averaging a season-high 10.3 points per game and had 75 assists on the season.
G: Ryan Woolridge, 6-3, Fr. — Woolridge has started UNT’s last three games. He scored six points and handed out four assists in the Mean Green’s win over FAU. Woolridge is averaging 8.7 points per game and has 30 assists in 14 games.
G: A.J. Lawson, 6-5, Fr. — Lawson exploded for 31 points in a loss to Rice on Feb. 4 and has scored in double figures in three of UNT’s last four games. He scored 10 points in UNT’s win over FAU. Lawson has hit 14 of his last 16 free throws and is averaging 11.0 points per game
F: Shane Temara, 6-9, Jr. — Temara scored a career-high 18 points in UNT’s win over FAU and has scored in double figures in two of the Mean Green’s last three games. He is averaging 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
F: Derail Green, 6-7, Sr. — Green scored six points and his all four of his free throws in UNT’s win over FAU. He has scored just 14 points in the Mean Green’s last three games combined. Green is averaging 6.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Scouting FIU: The Panthers have lost four straight heading into their showdown with UNT. FIU is led by a trio of players who are averaging double figures in scoring. Senior guard Donte McGill is averaging 19.2 points per game. Senior forward Michael Kessens is adding 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, while senior guard Eric Nottage is adding 11.6 points per game.
What you need to know: UNT came out of nowhere to snap an 11-game losing streak and win just its second road game since the beginning of last season on Thursday when the Mean Green knocked off FAU.
The win lifted UNT out of sole possession of last place in the C-USA standings and into a tie for last with FIU.
UNT’s chances of making the C-USA tournament are slim. The Mean Green need wins in a hurry and will have one of their best chances to win another game before the end of the season when the take on the Panthers.
Reese was terrific for UNT down the stretch in its win over FAU, hitting a series of big shots.
What was largely overlooked was the play of Temara, who continues to come on. The senior scored 18 points in UNT’s win over the Owls.
If UNT can knock off FIU, the door would be open for a late run. The Mean Green will play four straight at home after taking on the Panthers.