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2021 CUSA Tournament: North Texas Beats Middle In First Round, Plays ODU Next

I had no doubts that North Texas would beat Middle given the caliber of both squads. If you are just scoping out the final score you are probably unaware that the Mean Green were tied for a bit and over on twitter there was more grumbling about the closeness.

At times, it looked like the Mean Green could go on a 10-0 run whenever they wanted. The problem is that they would let that go and Middle would hang around and those ugly feelings we had when NT was not able to get a win in the final three regular season games came back.

Javion Hamlet and Thomas Bell saved the day.

JH put up a ridiculous 21 and 11 on 9 of 16 shooting that included some of those lefty one-handed put shots from fifteen feet out. The best news was that Bell was letting it fly with no hesitation. I put his 4 of 4 shooting down to that fact. James Reese added 15, in his usual mix of sneaking in for lobs and shooting from three.

Win or lose in the ODU game, this Middle game will be soon forgotten, but we can enjoy the good feelings for a night. It was good to see the team in green win again 1.

I don’t want to spend too much time on this game because Middle is a bad team. Beating them is not a resume point, but the fact that NT needed a little confidence booster was important. I would have liked to see more rest for these guys late, but tonight we also saw Rice beat Marshall on day two.

Everyone in this pandemic season has played multiple back-to-backs so getting through tomorrow’s game shouldn’t be too tough. The question is always about day three and four.

ODU is not as forgiving as Middle was, and the shots will not be as open, the mistakes will be capitalized upon, and the win will not be in blowout fashion 2.

Random Notes

  • NT shot 54% including 62.5% from three (10 of 16)
  • Hamlet and Bell both had 14 in the first half.
  • Middle shot just 34% from the field.
  • NT’s bench finished with 10 but it was just 2 for a long portion of the game (Ousmane)
  • NT led for 37 minutes

  1. I had already been feeling a little down because the WBB squad blew a game to ODU earlier

  2. I hope I am wrong here