A week after feeling good about two straight road wins North Texas finds itself having just lost two straight home games.
Tonight’s matchup with Old Dominion was always going to be tough considering the quality of the opponent. The effort was there. Both teams missed shots and it went mostly according to expectation.
The Monarchs are a good defensive team and made NT struggle for points for long stretches. Ryan Woolridge did his part to make things happen — and he did so spectacularly at times — but in the end the height and length was too much to overcome.
ODU’s Trey Porter dominated inside with 23 and 11, feasting on lobs into the paint and quality post moves. B.J Stith struggled from the field but managed 12 points on 10/10 from the line.
Roosevelt Smart struggled to get his shot off but managed 14 on 3/12 shooting of which 10 attempts came from beyond the arc (3 made). In the end it was Ryan Woolridge and Jorden Duffy who sparked the comeback with huge buckets. Ryan Woolridge even joined in from deep, but his two highlight plays were a steal and a tomahawk and a falling-away shot in the lane.
Down 59-55 with just over a minute left. NT forced a miss and then got into their offense. Woolridge ran a two-man game with Zach Simmons and attacked the lane while Simmons rolled. This was an action designed to spring Duffy in the corner who flashed to the free throw line extended and drained the catch-and-shoot three.
Up just one, ODU went to Porter for a post score that put them up three. NT then got a foul called that sent Woolridge to the line. Looking for a three point attempt, the Mean Green were stifled by the tough Monarch defense. The length made it difficult across the board.
Ryan made both but NT was down 1 with 14 seconds left.
ODU inbounded to Porter down the floor but while attempting to avoid being fouled he travelled with a little bunny hop. NT had the ball down just one.
Then Ryan Woolridge tried too much. He shuffled his feet ever so slightly and was called for traveling. BJ Stith made two free throws and then Woolridge missed a heave from half-court.
That was all she wrote.
What It Means
North Texas has played four games that were incredibly close and could have gone either way. They are not indicative of anything more than a team that battles hard and makes mistakes. There are mistakes to clean up and that will come in time, but right now everyone can be proud of the effort they are putting in.
Visiting Rice on the 13th and the at La Tech on the 18th.