UNT-Charlotte preview/running blog

UNT will take on Charlotte here tonight at the Super Pit. We went over the matchup yesterday in our regularly scheduled Chalk Talk post.

The big story of the day is that this is George Dunham’s last call on the Mean Green Radio Network.

Dunham has called games at UNT for 25 years. There are a bunch of local DFW TV and radio people on hand tonight. The Hardline did its show from the Super Pit this afternoon.

What has kind of been lost along the way is that this is a pretty big games for UNT late in the season. The Mean Green have won four straight to get to 13-13 overall and 7-7 in Conference USA play.

UNT would really like to continue climbing the conference standings before the C-USA tournament next month. Tonight’s game against Charlotte is arguably the easiest of the Mean Green’s remaining contests.

It seems a little odd to say that. Charlotte took UNT to the woodshed earlier this season and has one of the best point guards in the league in Pierria Henry, not to mention one of the best freshmen in shooting guard Torin Dorn. The loss of coach Alan Major to a medical leave of absence certainly didn’t help and was likely a factor in Charlotte just not putting it together this year.

The key tonight for UNT will be containing Henry, who torched the Mean Green for 21 points in the first meeting.

UNT forward Colin Voss has been on fire of late, scoring a career-high 22 points in a win over Florida Atlantic, handing out six assists and grabbing 13 rebounds in a win over Florida International.

Jordan Williams has also been playing well of late and leads UNT with an average of 15.6 points a game.

Stay tuned. I will update the blog all night.

Tipoff — UNT’s starters are Jordan Williams, Colin Voss, T.J. Taylor, Maurice Aniefiok and Jeremy Combs.

Tipoff II — Regular attendance is pretty light tonight, but the students have turned out. This could be the biggest student section of the year. There are at least two sororities with a couple dozen members here each.

16:41 — UNT is off to a great start and leads 12-2. The really odd part is that Pierria Henry, Charlotte’s best player, is on the bench. Maurice Aniefiok has eight points for UNT.

14:56 — UNT is up 14-7 at the first media timeout of the first half. Maurice Aniefiok has eight points for the Mean Green, who have hit six of their first seven shots of the night.

10:47 — UNT went on a 9-0 run after Charlotte pulled to within five and is now up 25-11. Maurice Aniefiok still has eight points to lead UNT, which has four other players who have scored at least four points each.

7:55 — UNT is up 30-14 past the midway point of the first half. The Mean Green are shooting a remarkable 81 percent from the field in one of their better halves of the season. Maurice Aniefiok has hit all four shots he has taken and has 11 points.

6:03 — UNT is up 30-18 and just took a quick timeout after Charlotte scored five straight points.

3:54 — Charlotte has pulled to within 30-21 and has been on a bit of a run since Pierria Henry came into the game. The 49ers are on an 8-0 run. UNT has cooled off since a shot start. Maurice Aniefiok has 11 points to pace UNT.

1:06 — Charlotte pulled to within seven at 31-24, but UNT is on a 10-2 run and is back up 41-26.

Halftime — UNT is up 41-28 after one of its best halves of the season offensively. Charlotte went on a run and got back within seven at 31-24, but UNT wetn on a 10-2 run. Jordan Williams has 12 points and Maurice Aniefiok 11 for UNT. The Mean Green shot 63 percent in the first half.

Halftime II — In a side note, Colin Voss has four assists and no turnovers after the first half.

14:24 — UNT is back up 49-34 early in the second half. Charlotte might have punted the game by sitting Pierria Henry for the first five minutes of the second half. Jordan Williams has 14 points for UNT, while Maurice Aniefiok has 11. UNT scored the last four points before the first timeout of the second half.

13:39 — UNT is on a 7-0 run and appears to have put this one away. The Mean Green are up 52-34. DeAndre Harris just hit an NBA 3 and has 10 points now to give UNT three players in double figures. Jordan Williams has 14 points to lead the Mean Green.

11:07 — UNT is cruising now and has a 56-38 lead as we close in on the halfway point of the second half. Jordan Williams has 14 points and Maurice Aniefiok 13 for UNT. Armani Flannigan is headed to the line.

7:54 — UNT is up 62-46 at the third media timeout of the second half. Jordan Williams has 14 points to lead three Mean Green players in double figures. Charlotte hasn’t been able to string together enough buckets to get back into the game.

4:19 — UNT is up 68-51 late in the second half. UNT took a quick timeout after Charlotte jumped into a press.

3:55 — UNT has a 68-51 lead at the final media timeout. Jordan Williams has 14 points and Maurice Aniefiok 13 for the Mean Green.

2:20 — UNT is up 75-55 and just took a timeout after Jordan Williams ended up on the floor in the backcourt with nowhere to go with the ball. Jordan Williams has 17 points for UNT.

Final — UNT wins 81-65 in George Dunham’s final game on the Mean Green Radio Network. I will be back later with tonight’s rewind.

Will UNT have an All-C-USA pick in hoops this year?

UNT guard Jordan Williams, right, and Colin Voss are two players who could have a chance to make the All-Conference USA team this season. UNT freshman forward Jeremy Combs could also have a chance and is a leading contender for Freshman of the Year honors in the league. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

It’s getting to be that time of the year when coaches and media types start to consider the end of the season, and with it all-conference teams.

Conference USA names a team like every league does. C-USA writers — the regulars who write for newspapers that cover the league on a regular basis — name a team as well.

Which brings us to the question: Does UNT land a player on the team this season?

UNT didn’t have a player on the first, second or third teams last season on the men’s team named by C-USA and didn’t have a player selected among the 16 named to the women’s team, either.

Needless to say, it was a tough year for the Mean Green.

UNT also didn’t have a player named to the league’s preseason all-conference men’s or women’s team.

Long story short — it’s been a long time since a UNT player was considered among the league’s elite players.

The question now is if Jordan Williams or Colin Voss will end that drought and if Jeremy Combs can claim Freshman of the Year honors in the league. Heading into tonight’s game against Charlotte at the Super Pit, Williams ranks seventh in league with an average of 15.6 points a game.

Benford said Williams should be a lock for first-team honors, which might be a bit of a stretch.

Voss is averaging 9.0 points and 6.2 rebounds a game while Combs is averaging 9.9 points a game and ranks 10th in the league at 6.7 rebounds a game.

Williams will be an all-conference pick this year and break UNT’s drought. The question is where he will land.

The problem is that there are a host of good guards in the league that are all but sure to knock Williams off the first team. Western Kentucky’s T.J. Price leads the league at 17.7 points a game, while Old Dominion’s Trey Freeman is putting up 16.5 points a game.

Kenneth “Speedy” Smith is pretty close to a lock as the C-USA leader in assists (7.6) in addition to ranking third in steals (1.8) to go along with scoring 5.3 points a game for Louisiana Tech, one of C-USA’s best teams. Smith’s teammate Alex Hamilton is also a good bet for all-conference honors due to the fact he averages 15.9 points a game.

Playing for a team at the top of the league standings is a factor. UNT is in the middle of the league at 7-7 entering tonight’s game.

Voss has a shot, but he’s pretty far down the list of frontcourt players behind Vince Hunter (UTEP), Seth Gearhart (Rice), George Fant (WKU) and a host of others. An average of 9.0 points a game might not be enough.

Combs has a really good case for being Freshman of the Year while averaging 9.9 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. He’s in a tight race with Charlotte’s Torin Dorn, the leading scorer among freshmen in C-USA at 11.8 points a game.

Tonight’s game could help Combs’ cause in a head-to-head matchup with Dorn.

The UNT women have struggled all year and are in danger of being shut out. Briesha Wynn is averaging 11.0 points a game to rank 23rd in the league, while BreAnna Dawkins is tied for 29th at 10.5 points a game.

UNT has struggled all year and might have a hard time landing a player on the team as it struggles to finish in the top 12 to earn a spot in the conference tournament.

Basketball notes (Dunham’s last game, big game for UNT women)

Dunham

Both the UNT men’s and women’s basketball teams will be in action tomorrow. We went over the matchup for the UNT men in their game against Charlotte tomorrow in our regularly scheduled Chalk Talk post.

The UNT women will also face Charlotte tomorrow in another big game on the road. We’ll get to that, but first, the big story tomorrow is George Dunham’s final game as the voice of the Mean Green.

I wrote a pretty extensive story for tomorrow’s paper on Dunham’s departure, but I wanted to get to a couple of thoughts as well.

UNT deputy athletic director Hank Dickenson, who has been Dunham’s radio partner forever, told me something that stuck with me. Dickenson said that Dunham and his family fully endorsed and supported whatever UNT has done through the years.

Is there be anything better that can be said of a booster/school official?

Dunham has been a spokesman for UNT through the good and the bad and taken plenty of grief during the later. There would have been plenty of times when it would have been easy to bail over the years. He never did.

And he never will.

Dunham will continue bleed green until the day he dies. And he’ll be involved with the program right up until that point.

UNT has been lucky to have him. One just hopes his big day when he makes his curtain call goes well.

And don’t look now, but the UNT women have won two straight and are in position to make the Conference USA tournament heading into their game at Charlotte tonight. UNT is 4-10 in conference play and has a one-game lead on Rice for the final C-USA tournament berth.

BreAnna Dawkins averaged 22.5 points in two wins last week and will look to keep her run and her team’s surge going against the 49ers, who are 7-7 in league play.

Chalk talk — Charlotte at UNT

Charlotte at UNT

When: 7 pm. Thursday

Where: The Super Pit

Radio:  KTCK-AM 1310, KHYI-FM 95.3

Records: UNT 13-13, 7-7 C-USA; Charlotte 12-15, 5-9 C-USA

Last game: UNT 70, Florida International 56

Projected UNT starting lineup:

PG: T.J. Taylor, 6-3, Sr. — 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds a game, 47 assists, 19 steals on the season. Taylor scored a season-high 18 points in one of his best all-around performances of the season in UNT’s win over FIU. Taylor didn’t turn the ball over in 32 minutes against the Golden Panthers.

SG: Maurice Aniefiok, 6-5 Jr. — 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds a game, 33 assists, 24 steals on the season. Aniefiok scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds and picked up two steals in UNT’s win over FIU.

SF: Jordan Williams, 6-6 Sr. — 15.6 points, 5.2 rebounds a game, 56 assists, 42 steals on the season. Williams bounced back from an off night in a win over Florida Atlantic when he scored nine points and failed to reach double figures for just the second time all season by scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds in a win over FIU.

F: Jeremy Combs, 6-7, Fr. — 9.9 points, 6.7 rebounds a game, shooting 55.6 percent from the field, but just 47.1 percent from the free-throw line. Combs scored 10 points in UNT’s win over FIU and finished in double figures for the second straight game. He has hit 11 of his 19 field goal attempts in UNT’s last two games.

F: Colin Voss, 6-7, Sr. — 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds a game, shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 79.7 percent from the line, 46 assists on the season. Voss had a great all-around game in UNT’s win over FIU, scoring eight points to go along with 13 rebounds and six assists. He has hit all 16 of his free throw attempts in UNT’s last three games.

Scouting Charlotte:

Charlotte has been playing well of late and has won two of its last three games with its one loss in that span coming by one point in overtime to C-USA power Louisiana Tech. The 49ers lead the league in scoring with an average of 73.7 points a game behind a balanced attack that features seven players who average at least 8.2 points a game. Guard Torin Dorn is averaging 11.8 points a game and might be the top competition for UNT forward Jeremy Combs for Freshman of the Year honors in C-USA. Pierria Henry is among the top point guards in C-USA and is averaging 9.9 points, 5.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds a game.

Who’s hot:

Colin Voss is playing as well as any forward in C-USA in the final stretch of the season. He scored a career-high 22 points last week in a win over Florida Atlantic and came back to post career-highs in both rebounds (13) and assist (six) in a win over Florida International.

What you need to know:

UNT felt like it gave away its last game against Charlotte and is out for revenge today. The Mean Green led by four at halftime before combustible guard DeAndre Harris picked up two second half technical fouls and was tossed for the second time this season. Colin Voss was also called for a technical during UNT’s second half meltdown in a 73-57 loss.

The Mean Green are hoping to win today to split its season series with the 49ers and continue to move up in what is a tight race at the middle of the C-USA pack. UNT is currently in a three-way tie for seventh in the standings with Rice and UTSA at 7-7, a half game back of Middle Tennessee (8-7) and a game ahead of FIU (6-8).

Today’s game looks like the most winnable game left on the schedule for UNT, which will host Old Dominion, a team that has won 20 games and beat the Mean Green handily earlier this season. UNT will then face league power UTEP on the road before finishing up the regular season at UTSA. Both the Miners and Roadrunners beat the Mean Green by double figures at the Super Pit earlier this year. Even after winning two straight on the road, the Mean Green are still a mediocre 3-8 on the road.

The main story line for today’s game might not even be the game itself. Longtime UNT radio play-by-play man George Dunham is retiring after 25 years and will call his final game when the Mean Green take on the 49ers.

UNT coach Tony Benford said the Mean Green will be looking to send Dunham out on a high note.

Pre-spring questions — No. 2: Can UNT survive a brutal schedule?

North Texas coach Dan McCarney, center, returns to the field with his team during the second half of a loss to Texas last season in Austin. (Associated Press/Eric Gay)

A couple of weeks ago now, we kicked off our annual pre-spring questions series to look at some of the issues UNT faces heading into spring practice.

It’s been a while and since not a lot else is going after a typically frantic Tuesday, it’s time to circle back.

The No. 1 question was pretty obvious — How does UNT’s quarterback situation play out?

It’s a good question, and by far the most important one. It is, however, not the only question.

And that brings us to No. 2 on our list: Can UNT survive a brutal schedule?

One of the big questions when one looks at any season for a mid-major program in terms of evaluating how things might go is: Who’s on the other sideline?

Well, UNT isn’t getting any breaks in that regard this year.

UNT will travel to Iowa and Tennessee of a pair of body bag, opportunity or opportunity to get in the body bag (depending on your point of view) games.

And that is just the start of what makes UNT’s schedule tough. The Mean Green also have five home games and its bye comes in Week One, leaving the Mean Green with 12 straight games in 12 weeks.

That is going to be brutal.

Throw in the fact that UNT drew Marshall, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky (with quarterback Brandon Doughty back for a sixth year, by the way) and it becomes harder to see where the Mean Green are going to come up with six wins to become bowl-eligible.

“It’s an extremely challenging schedule,” UNT coach Dan McCarney said after the schedule came out. “We have a tough nonconference schedule and play some good teams in the league as well.

“We have a lot of work to do with some new coaches while we learn from last season. We can’t waste a minute, an hour or a day.”

UNT lost a host of key players and plugged a several with some highly regarded JUCO recruits, along with a new defensive coordinator in Chris Cosh.

Here’s the problem: UNT could be better than last season when the Mean Green finished 4-8 — significantly better — and still not win six games.

Iowa and Tennessee were bowl teams last year and are from Power 5 conferences. UNT is 3-34 all-time against SEC teams and was pounded 49-24 last season by Indiana, which went 4-8 and won just one Big Ten game. Iowa went 7-6 in the same league.

And that doesn’t even take into account tough games at Marshall and Louisiana Tech, which should be loaded again next year.

SMU will get a game to warm up before facing UNT and will get the Mean Green in Dallas. That game is going to be tougher than it might appear.

McCarney is right. UNT can’t waste a day.

That will certainly be true this spring, when the Mean Green will have a host of issues to work through to prepare for a schedule that looms as a reason 2015 won’t be easy for the Mean Green.

Monday night notes (Choate to Navy, et cetera)

There were a couple of items of interest to come up today on the UNT front. To review …

BrAnna Dawkins was named the Conference USA player of week in women’s basketball. The senior guard averaged 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while leading UNT to wins over Florida Atlantic and Florida International at a vital point in the season. UNT is trying to sneak into the C-USA tournament and moved into position to get there by improving to 4-10 in league play.

UNT moved past rival Rice and into 12th place in the league standings. The top 12 teams make the league tournament.

UNT also picked up a player of the week honor in softball. Pitcher Madison Thompson was honored after throwing out a complete game-shutout in a 1-0 win over Baylor. The Lady Bears were ranked No. 7 when they fell to UNT and were the highest ranked team UNT has ever beaten.

And in other news, Guyer guard Sean Choate, a player UNT had taken a gander at over the last few weeks, committed to Navy.

We wrote about Choate a few weeks ago on the blog.

Getting a chance to play at Navy is a great deal for Choate, who will be set for life if he completes his education at the academy.

Three new quarterbacks in C-USA West could tell the tale

One of the interesting stories to watch in Conference USA next season continued to take shape this week when former Michigan quarterback Russell Bellomy transferred to UTSA.

Bellomy was a pretty highly regarded quarterback out of Arlington Martin who 247 Sports rated No. 29 among pro style quarterbacks nationally his senior year.

Bellomy will be eligible this year, when the C-USA West Division race could well come down to who comes out ahead when it comes to hitting on their transfer quarterback.

Granted, Rice will likely be among the favorites in the race for the division title after returning quarterback Driphus Jackson and running backs Jowan Davis and Darik Dillard.

When one looks at the conference race at this point, Louisiana Tech has arguably the top team coming back, while UNT and UTSA are looking to jump into the ranks of contenders.

All three teams hopes could come down to their quarterback transfers.  To review …

North Texas: Newcomer — DaMarcus Smith 

UNT coach Dan McCarney said the Mean Green really need to upgrade their quarterback play after starting three different guys last season. Josh Greer, Dajon Williams and Andrew McNulty combined to complete 54.7 percent of their passes and compile a 112.4 efficiency ranking. Both totals ranked 12th in the league.

Granted, UNT could hope that one of those players — particularly McNulty — takes a big step forward. UNT’s best hope for a dramatic upgrade, though, is Smith. The former Butler County (Kansas) College standout threw for 2,746 yards and 31 touchdowns with just eight interceptions last season. The problem is that he won’t be able to participate in spring practice. 

Louisiana Tech: Newcomer – Jeff Driskel

Louisiana Tech hit the jackpot last season with Cody Sokol, a fifth-year senior transfer from Iowa who came in and threw for 3,436 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the Bulldogs to a 9-5 finish, an appearance in the C-USA championship game and a win over Illinois in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Sokol torched UNT for five touchdown passes in a 42-21 win in a game that wasn’t that close. The Bulldogs led 42-7 in the fourth quarter.

Sokol left a huge void, one Louisiana Tech appears like will fill with Driskel, a former five-star prospect, who played quite a bit at Florida before transferring. 

There is a feeling out there among UNT fans that if Driskel didn’t succeed at Florida that he might not be an impact player at Louisiana Tech. I don’t buy that for a minute. Driskel has the kind of talent that should make him a top-end player at the C-USA level.

UTSA: Newcomer – Russell Bellomy

Bellomy didn’t enjoy nearly the same level of success at Michigan that Driskel did at Florida, but he does give UTSA another option at a position it struggled at last season. UTSA ranked dead last in C-USA in passing efficiency at 106.4 and really missed Eric Soza, who threw for 2,719 while leading the Roadrunners to a 7-5 finish in 2013.

UTSA could have really used Bellomy last season and could look to him to help guide a huge rebuilding process in a season the Roadrunners return just five starters.

 

Sunday leftovers

It’s Sunday night and time for the leftovers, where we pick through the events of the weekend and hopefully put it all in perspective.

The big news is that UNT went unbeaten in basketball, rolling up back-to-back wins in both men’s hoops and women’s hoops.

I will now wait for that to sink in …

Ok.

The UNT men evened their record at 13-13 and also hit the .500 mark in Conference USA play by beating Florida Atlantic and Florida International. The Florida schools are not among the elite in C-USA in hoops, but sweeping that trip was impressive and critical to the Mean Green’s season. UNT is now in a tie for seventh place in the league with UTSA and Rice after extending its winning streak to four games.

The UNT men have a tough closing stretch with a home game against Old Dominion as well as a tough trip to UTSA and UTEP. UNT does have a game it should win coming up on Thursday against Charlotte.

What made the weekend even more remarkable for UNT on the hoops front was that the UNT women swept FIU and FAU at home to move to 5-20 and, more importantly, 4-10 in C-USA play. UNT jumped Rice in the league standings and is now in position to grab the last spot in the C-USA tournament.

BreAnna Dawkins finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Acheil Tac added 11 points and 14 rebounds in UNT’s win over FAU. Dawkins came back to score 21 points in UNT’s win over FIU, while Tac went for 15 points and 19 rebounds.

Those two may have saved UNT’s season.

The UNT swimming and diving team finished fifth in the C-USA meet.

And finally, the UNT softball team went 2-2 at the Baylor Invitational and pulled off a big upset, edging No. 7 Baylor 1-0. The win was one of the bigger nonconference victories in recent seasons for the Mean Green, who are now 5-9 on the season.

Late night hoops rewind: UNT 70, Florida International 56

Final: UNT 70, Florida International 56

Where UNT stands: UNT hit the .500 mark at 13-13 and also improved to 7-7 in Conference USA play after winning its fourth straight conference game.

Now what?: UNT host Charlotte on Thursday in the opener of a two-game homestand that will conclude with the Mean Green’s home finale against Old Dominion.

Taylor

Star of the day:T.J. Taylor scored a season-high 18 points and hit three 3s in one of his better all-around performances in his time at UNT. The senior hit seven of his 12 shots from the field and posted two steals and an assist while playing 32 minutes without turning the ball over. While Taylor was UNT’s top performer, several others had great games, including Jordan Williams and Colin Voss. Williams came back from an off night against Florida Atlantic in which he scored nine points to tally 16 against FIU. Voss also did a little of everything while scoring eight points, grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out six assists.

Say what?

“It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. I like the way we are playing. There is a lot more buy-in with this team. We have a lot of guys who can score. We can go to whoever has the hot hand.”

– T.J. Taylor, UNT guard on the Mean Green’s performance late in the year.

Our take: UNT continued its late-season run with an impressive win over Florida International and has now won a season-high four straight. The Mean Green have had a different senior step forward every night during its winning streak and got a big performance from T.J. Taylor, who finished with 18 points against FIU.

Taylor’s performance helped UNT jump FIU in the Conference USA standings and move into a four-way tie for sixth place with UTSA, Middle Tennessee and Rice.

The key at this point in the season for UNT is to continue to play well and improve its position in the league standings for the conference tournament. UNT has a tough closing schedule with games against Old Dominion at home and at UTEP and UTSA in addition to what looks like a highly winnable game at home on Thursday against Charlotte.

UNT will head into that game on a roll, thanks to a 15-3 second-half run that allowed it to pull away from FIU.Taylor hit a 3 and converted a three-point play during the surge.

What was somewhat lost in the wake of Taylor’s performance was a pretty remarkable all-around game from Colin Voss, who posted career highs with 13 rebounds and six assists against FIU. Voss didn’t turn the ball over in 36 minutes against the Golden Panthers and continued to strengthen his claim to being the best ball-handling post player UNT has featured in recent memory.

UNT-Florida International preview/running blog

UNT will complete its Florida road trip tonight with a game against Florida International in Miami. The Mean Green enter this one on a huge roll.

UNT has won three straight, matching its best winning streak of the season, which came in the first three games of the season. We went over tonight’s matchup in our regularly scheduled Chalk Talk post last night.

Colin Voss has been the big star for UNT during its run. He scored a career-high 22 points in UNT’s win over Florida Atlantic on Thursday and has averaged 15.3 points a game during the Mean Green’s streak.

This sets up as a huge game for UNT for Conference USA tournament purposes. The Mean Green and Panthers are both 6-7 in league play and are in a three-way tie for eighth place that also includes Rice in the league standings.

UNT’s games against FIU traditionally go down to the wire. Chris Jones hit a runner in the lane in its last trip here to give UNT a win. UNT’s last eight games at FIU were decided by an average of 4.2 points a game.

FIU could present a challenge again. Panthers guard Dennis Mavin is averaging 17.4 points a game to rank second in Conference USA.

UNT is led by senior guard Jordan Williams, who is averaging 15.6 points a game. Williams scored just nine points at FAU and will look to get back on track tonight.

Stay tuned. I will update the blog all night.

Tip — UNT is going with its familiar five of T.J. Taylor, Maurice Aniefiok, Jordan Williams, Jeremy Combs and Colin Voss.

Tip II — Big time UNT booster Ernie Kuehne is here again tonight. FIU traditionally struggles to draw. Tonight’s game is another example. There are only a couple hundred people here.

14:40 — UNT is up 8-6 at the first media timeout. FIU is headed to the line with a chance to tie this game back up. Jordan Williams has four point early for UNT, which is looking to get its lead dog involved early. FIU’s size is giving the Mean Green some problems. UNT is shooting just 33 percent from the field.

11:23 — This game is all tied up at 10-10 at the second media timeout. Neither team is shooting the ball well. UNT is shooting 27.8 percent, while FIU is shooting 30.0. Jordan Williams has six points for UNT in the early going. FIU has a 4-0 edge in points at the line.

7:39 — UNT is up 14-13 at the third media timeout of the first half. Jordan Williams has six points to lead UNT in an offensively-challenged game. UNT is shooting 29.2 percent from the field. FIU is only shooting 30.8 percent. UNT has a 17-10 edge in rebounds.

5:37 — T.J. Taylor just hit a 3 to put UNT up 22-19. Taylor has UNT’s last five points. FAU took a 30-second timeout.

1:53 — UNT has a 27-25 lead at the final media timeout of the first half. Jordan Williams has nine points to lead UNT. The Mean Green led 25-21 before FIU scored four straight. Colin Voss hit a baseline jumper to put UNT back in front.

Halftime — UNT is up 29-25 at the end of the first half. UNT scored the final four points of the first half on a Colin Voss jumper and a DeAndre Harris runner in the lane. Jordan Williams has nine points at halftime to lead the Mean Green. UNT picked it up offensively late in the first half after struggling early. UNT has a 21-16 edge on the glass. UNT has hit the only free throw it has taken all night. UNT limited FIU guard Dennis Mavin to six points in the first half. He averages 17.4 points a game.

15:29 — UNT is on a 7-0 run and is up 38-32 at the first timeout of the second half. Maurice Aniefiok hit a 3 after FIU had taken a 32-31 lead and Jeremy Combs scored his first four points of the game at the rim. FIU has just taken a timeout.

14:57 — FIU snapped UNT’s run with a Daviyon Draper layup. UNT drew a foul and will have the ball coming out of this timeout. Jordan Williams still has nine points for UNT. Maurice Aniefiok has seven.

13:07 — T.J. Taylor converted a three-point play and hit a 3. FIU has taken a timeout. UNT leads 44-35.

11:29 — UNT is up 46-37 about midway though the second half. UNT was up 11 and just picked up a big call on a block-charge that went its way. FIU would have been headed to the line to complete a three-point play otherwise. T.J. Taylor has 11 points for UNT.

7:41 — UNT has pulled away and is up 53-40 late in the second half. T.J. Taylor has 11 points for UNT. Jordan Williams and Jeremy Combs both have 10. UNT went on a 15-3 run to open things up in the second half.

6:52 — FIU has hit three straight free throws to cut UNT’s lead to 53-43. UNT took a 30-second timeout.

4:45 — FIU is on an 8-2 run and has pulled to within 55-48. UNT has the ball coming out of a timeout.

3:30 — UNT may have weathered the storm here. T.J. Taylor hit a baseline jumper and FIU has gone cold here offensively in the last minute. UNT has a 57-48 lead. Taylor has 15 points.

Final — UNT 70, FIU 56. I will be back later with tonight’s rewind.