Middle Tennessee (12-7) at North Texas (11-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UNT Coliseum (10,040) -- Denton, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Middle Tennessee 9-2, North Texas 8-3. Away Record: Middle Tennessee 2-4, North Texas 3-3. Neutral Record: Middle Tennessee 1-1, North Texas 0-2. Conference Record: Middle Tennessee 2-2, North Texas 2-3. Series Record: Middle Tennessee leads, 11-6.
GAME NOTES: The North Texas Mean Green are coming off a win over UAB, and look to string a pair of wins together as the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders come to town for a Conference USA clash at UNT Coliseum.
Middle Tennessee is trying to get back in the win column after suffering a 58-53 loss to Tulsa Thursday night. The loss dropped the Blue Raiders back to 2-2 in C-USA standings - one and a half games back of the three-way tie for the league lead.
North Texas has now won two of its last three games after beating UAB, 76-65, in Conference USA play Thursday night. Since conference action began, the Mean Green have gone just 2-3 record-wise, and are two games behind the league leaders.
Middle Tennessee holds the all-time series lead between the two programs, 11-6. This meeting will be the only one this regular season between Middle Tennessee and North Texas.
Middle Tennessee quickly lost the lead to Tulsa Thursday, and fell behind, 34-26, at the half. The Blue Raiders could not complete the comeback, although they did outscore Tulsa 27-24 in the second period. Shawn Jones paced Middle Tennessee with 22 points, nearly gaining a double-double with nine rebounds in the contest. Tweety Knight added 11 points for the Blue Raiders, who shot just 39.2 percent from the floor in the game.
Jones tops the Blue Raiders this season in scoring with 14.2 ppg on 59.1 percent shooting from the field. His 8.4 rpg is also a team high, along with his 28 blocked shots. Neiko Hunter nets 12.8 ppg, and Kerry Hammonds adds 11.9 ppg. Knight bests the squad in assists with 88 on the season, along with 42 steals. The Blue Raiders score an average of 74.5 ppg.
UAB is the number two rebounding team in the nation, and in its game with the Blazers Thursday, North Texas allowed 27 offensive boards to UAB. But the Mean Green overcame the rebounding onslaught for a big win in conference play. Alzee Williams scored 18 points to pace the Mean Green, complemented by Jordan Williams' 16 points and 13 from T.J. Taylor. Colin Voss added 10 points to the scoring mix. North Texas shot 49.2 percent from the floor.
Alzee Williams leads the team in scoring this season at 12.6 ppg on 47 percent shooting from the floor. Jordan Williams is a close second at 12.1 ppg, with a team-best 6.2 rpg. Chris Jones sets the pace in assists for North Texas with 72 and a team-high 26 steals. The Mean Green are shooting 43.2 percent this season and scoring 72.7 ppg.
A solid home advantage helps the Mean Green out in this contest, as both teams are fairly even in the scoring department. If North Texas can play as well defensively as it did against UAB, this game will belong to the Mean Green.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Texas 69, Middle Tennessee 66
01/25 10:30:06 ET