Final: UNT 62, Delaware State 55
Where UNT stands: The Mean Green improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season with a win over Delaware State, arguably their best opponent of the season
Now what?: The Mean Green will face Iona on Sunday at the Super Pit. The Gaels won 22 games and played in the NIT last season. They are off to a 1-1 start this year heading into a game at Wake Forest on Friday. UNT will catch Iona on the back end of a tough road trip.
Star of the night:Senior forward Amani Flannigan scored 10 points, including six of UNT’s last seven to hold off the Hornets. What was even more significant was the way Flannigan scored those points, hitting four straight free throws down the stretch. Flannigan was absolutely horrible at the line last season, when he shot 28.6 percent and wasn’t a whole lot better in UNT’s first two games, going 3-for-8. The 10 points Flannigan scored are his career high, one point higher than his previous best of nine set earlier in the week in a win over Nicholls State.
“I’m really proud of Armani. He showed a lot of toughness as a senior. Everyone questioned if he could make free throws. He has been working on them. You can judge a person’s character by what they do when they face a little adversity in life. He stepped up there and made them.”
– UNT coach Tony Benford on Flannigan’s performance against Delaware State
Our take: UNT did exactly what it needed to during a favorable early slate of games at home, beating Arkansas-Monticello, Nicholls State and now Delaware State. The Hornets were the best team UNT has seen thus far.
More and more, it looks like UNT is going to lean on Jordan Williams and a player or players to be named later on a nightly basis. Williams finished with 17 tonight after scoring 21 against Nicholls State and 12 against Arkansas-Monticello.
Jeremy Combs had a big night against Arkansas-Monticello, scoring 17. T.J. Taylor finished with 14 against Nicholls State. Maurice Aniefiok had 11 against Arkansas-Monticello.
UNT has enough options that if one of its key guys is having an off night, someone else can help fill the void. In a side note, Aniefiok is back in everyone’s good graces after being suspended for UNT’s last game for a violation of team rules.
It’s also worth noting that UNT looks far more competent in the paint than it did a year ago. UNT finished with a 36-32 rebounding edge tonight.
Sunday’s game against Iona will be tough, but if UNT can somehow get a win, there is a good possibility the Mean Green could get by Mississippi Valley State and head to Arkansas on Nov. 28 at 5-0.