FRISCO, TX — “We feel we have a lot of depth and talent” said Coach McCasland in the post game press conference. That was useful against a team without a lot of its opening night roster, and that had played a lot of minutes in their overtime win over FIU in the first round.
In last year’s semifinal matchup with Tech, North Texas held them to 42 points but fell because the Mean Green managed only 36. This season they doubled their total plus two, and only allowed 46 points. The nation’s best scoring defense was tough again. This was the third-straight blowout with the margins coming in at 14, 34, and 28. That is dominant stuff.
Tonight we saw the same balanced attack. Whereas North Texas usually grinds out the game and then lets Tylor Perry close things out, in this one they attacked off rebounds and ran for open buckets. Asked about the strategy, Mac joked, “I think everyone wants to run except TP. No, I think the team is seeing that we can turn defense into offense and I think we had three dunks we missed, also.”
NT shot 51% and held La Tech to 30% shooting. NT had a 16 point lead at the half and won the second half by 12. Aaron Scott led the way with 19 points on 6 of 6 shooting, including two threes. NT held Tech to sub 34% shooting in both halves.
Incredibly, North Texas was not great. They turned the ball over 19 times and missed more than a few opportunities to score easy buckets. Tech was tired, and the depth was not there no matter how talented Keaston Willis and Isaiah Crawford are.
The Mean Green swept Louisiana Tech, and avenged last season’s loss in the semifinal game. This is yet another semifinal appearance for North Texas having made the last three.This was the largest margin of victory in a league tournament game (CUSA) and the third straight opponent to a season low in scoring.
North Texas will play UAB tomorrow at 2pm on CBS Sports Network. If you watched on ESPN+ and were concerned about the camera angle, I talked to the CBS director and he said he is working on getting the platform built that will stabilize the lifts so they can be raised higher. For those of you watching in town, none of that matters.
North Texas took care of business in dominating fashion. UAB is hungry, and was the preseason favorite. NT has taken two of two, and an conference player of the year award from the Blazers and they are hungry for revenge. They also won in blowout fashion setting up an epic matchup two years in the making.