Senior guard Brian Warren’s 18-point outing wasn't enough for the men’s basketball team (4-5) as it fell to the University of North Texas 77-66 Monday at College Park Center.
UTA picked up its first and only lead when it went ahead 4-0 in the game’s opening minutes. The Mean Green responded with an 8-0 scoring run to gain a lead, and they never looked back.
The Mavericks went down by double digits in the first half as North Texas defended UTA’s interior offense well. UTA scored six points in the paint and shot 31% from the field before going into the halftime break with a 35-23 deficit.
Head coach Chris Ogden said North Texas was simply the tougher team from the start.
“We got whipped from the opening tip,” Ogden said. “They whipped us, they out-toughed us.”
UTA was more productive offensively in the second half as the team shot over 50% from the field. The team managed to close the gap to eight points with three minutes left in the game after senior forward TiAndre Jackson-Young hit a 3-pointer off a North Texas turnover.
The Mean Green outscored UTA 11-8 in the game’s final minutes to seal the 77-66 victory.
Sophomore guard David Azore, who finished the night with a career-high 17 points, said UTA’s offensive outburst came too late in the game.
“They jumped on top of us, we didn't respond the way we should have, and it was too late when we tried to make a run,” Azore said.
Ogden said the Mavericks couldn’t take advantage of opportunities when they became available in the game’s most crucial minutes.
“We got it within six, we got it to a two-possession game, and we couldn't get a rebound. We couldn't get a stop when we needed it the most,” Ogden said.
The men’s basketball team will try and rebound from Monday’s loss as they play the University of California, Santa Barbara on Saturday at 2 p.m. at College Park Center.