FACTS & STATS: Site: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) -- Manhattan, Kansas. Television: None. Home Record: UAH 1-0, UNT 0-0. Away Record: UAH 0-0, UNT 0-1. Neutral Record: UAH 0-0, UNT 0-0. Conference Record: UAH 0-0, UNT 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: A first-ever meeting between the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville and the Mean Green of North Texas takes place on Monday night in Manhattan, Kansas, as the two squads take part in regional action of the NIT Season Tip- Off.
The Chargers might not be a household name for most college basketball fans, but in the Gulf South Conference at the Division II level, there's no better program than UAH. The team is seeking a third straight conference title and entered 2012-13 as the third-ranked team in the nation after reaching the Elite Eight in the NCAA D-II Tournament each of the last two seasons.
On Friday, the Chargers kicked off the new campaign in a positive manner as they topped visiting Point Loma Nazarene, 58-44.
Meanwhile, the North Texas Mean Green might be a bit more familiar since they are members of the Sun Belt Conference at the Division I level. Unfortunately for UNT, the team began its schedule three nights ago on a down note as it bowed to 16th-ranked Creighton, 71-51, on the road.
The winner of this meeting will go up against the survivor of the Lamar/Kansas State battle in the next round of the tourney on Tuesday.
Against the Sea Lions at Spragins Hall on Friday evening, the defense came up huge for the Chargers as they limited the visitors to a mere 27.8 percent success from the floor and 3-of-13 shooting behind the three-point line. However, the offense for UAH was a bit slow coming out of the gate in the first game of the season as the hosts shot only 41.9 percent from the floor and 6-of-20 out on the perimeter. Wayne Dedrick came off the bench to tally a game-high 11 points, followed by Zane Campbell who came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he dropped in 10 points. The Chargers certainly spread the wealth as nine different players were in action for at least 13 minutes. Jaime Smith, who tallied seven points, made only one of his four three-point tries which is somewhat disappointing since last season he led all of D-II in three- point shooting at 48.6 percent.
Creighton took 12 fewer shot attempts from the field in the first half versus UNT and shot only 1-of-8 behind the three-point line in the frame, and yet the Bluejays still led by 14 points at the break en route to a comfortable 20- point victory. For North Texas, only Tony Mitchell was able to reach double figures as he dropped in 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Mitchell added seven rebounds, two blocked shots and a pair of steals,. but was given little support by the rest of the Mean Green. Alzee Williams and Jordan Williams were especially disappointing as they knocked down a combined 7-of-28 shots, although they both did finish with nine points. As a group, UNT made good on just 2-of-16 on three-point tries and just half of its 10 free- throw chances as well.
The Chargers might be out of their league, both literally and figuratively, but it certainly would make for a good story if UAH found a way to take the victory tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Texas 67, Alabama-Huntsville 62
11/12 10:35:55 ET
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