North Texas (15-8) at New Orleans (7-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 11th, 8:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lakefront Arena (8,933) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: UNT 9-2, UNO 6-5. Away Record: UNT 6-6, UNO 1-9. Neutral Record: UNT 0-0, UNO 0-3. Conference Record: UNT 8-5, UNO 2-11. Series Record: New Orleans leads, 14-8.
GAME NOTES: Desperate to snap a six-game slide, the New Orleans Privateers try their luck against the North Texas Mean Green in a Sun Belt Conference showdown tonight at Lakefront Arena.
UNO, which will be leaving the Division I ranks after this season, has won just twice since the first week of December. Last Saturday night, the team took a 66-52 tumble versus Arkansas State, which means the Privateers are now just 2-11 versus SBC programs and are all alone in last place in the West Division.
Meanwhile, the Mean Green have won two straight and four of their last five outings, thanks to a 68-66 victory at Florida International over the weekend. The win evened the team's road record at 6-6 and pushed it to 8-5 in conference.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, UNO leads by a count of 14-8, although it was the Mean Green who posted a 71-57 victory at home last month.
Shooting just 15-of-27 at the free-throw line in Miami, the Mean Green nearly let one get away over the weekend, but thanks to George Odufwa and his double- double of 11 points and 11 rebounds the squad was able to survive. Tristan Thompson tossed in 19 points to lead the group, followed by Eric Tramiel and Josh White with 17 and 11 points, respectively, the latter handing out seven assists as well. Of the four players scoring in double figures at the moment for the Mean Green, Thompson heads the list with his 14.3 ppg, thanks in large part to his 42.9 percent shooting out on the perimeter. Not to be overlooked is White (14.2 ppg) who is close behind in the scoring department because he too has shot well beyond the arc (.402) this season. However, the team as a whole has somehow dropped down to only 32.6 percent behind the three-point line.
New Orleans led by three points early in its meeting with Arkansas State last weekend, but the team's mere 6-of-27 showing from the floor after the break wasn't going to keep them competitive by any stretch of the imagination. Carl Blair posted a team-best 23 points for the Privateers, but he was the lone bright spot for the squad for the most part as it suffered 15 turnovers and shot just 4-of-17 behind the three-point line and 12-of-21 at the charity stripe. As if the news about the basketball team dropping out of Division I were not bad enough, UNO has had to deal with having leading scorer Billy Humphrey (17.2 ppg) on the sidelines because of a knee injury. With that loss, the Privateers have only one active double-digit scorer in Charles Carmouche who is putting up 12.6 ppg. Unfortunately, that's little comfort for a program that is posting a minuscule 59.2 ppg so far this season.
Playing at home this year has the Privateers a game over .500, but at this stage of the game little matters for a team that is crumbling in every aspect.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Texas 73, New Orleans 61
02/11 10:31:17 ET