Bouncing back from a 10-point loss to the San Francisco Dons in the opening game of the best-of-three CBI Finals, the North Texas Mean Green conquered their WCC challengers on Wednesday night, 69-55.
Only two days removed from falling to the hot-shooting Dons, who hit a whopping 14 three-pointers in the first game of the series, the Mean Green again allowed San Francisco to stay in this game by hitting from the perimeter.
However, it was North Texas’s inside play which made all the difference in Wednesday’s battle in Denton, as the Mean Green managed to put up scores of points in the paint. Most of this can be chalked up to their stellar performance on the glass, with 16 of their 43 rebounds coming on offense. It was more than enough to offset their beyond lackluster 2-18 shooting mark from long range.
In addition to the win, some history was made for North Texas, a team which has recovered quite well since their five-game losing streak in February.
2️⃣0️⃣9️⃣ @_CallMeSmoove sets the single-season school record for most assists. #GMG pic.twitter.com/MYAfTh1ldt— #BelieveServeCompete (@MeanGreenMBB) March 29, 2018
Ultimately, it was that poor showing on the glass, coupled with an unenviable turnover disparity and nagging foul trouble that forced the Dons to take a loss. San Francisco is also one of the better three-point shooting teams in country, so when they have a night in which they’re shooting uncharacteristically worse than normal, they’re bound to suffer (as they did on Wednesday).
With Wednesday’s win, North Texas has forced a decisive third game in this series, with both teams remaining in Denton for one final postseason clash.
We’re now one season into Grant McCasland’s tenure as head coach of North Texas, and the Mean Green are a win away from a postseason title—a piece of hardware that this program has never before held. It certainly would be something special to see them deliver such an outcome on their home court.