|Shawn Jones: Slump Buster|
So I might have jixed us.
Though, can it really be a jinx if I asked “Dare I say we should beat them?”?
North Texas decided to not play very well in the first half. We shot 28%, were out rebounded 25-9 and Josh and Tristan, the motors of this squad, couldn’t score worth a damn. We relied on Kedrick Hogans’ nine points in the first to keep us alive, and then George Odufuwa to maintain us while Josh and Tristan rustled back to life in the second.
Yet second half was really no better. We came no closer than 53-54 with ten minutes or so left in the period.
Later, when we were within striking distance there was just no magic to save us. With a smidge over five minutes to go in the game, down four, we traded baskets, free throws, and horrible possessions the rest of the way.
Let’s go back to Big George for a second. He made a surprise appearance and looked good. He kept us in the game in that stretch, grabbed something like three rebounds inside of thirty-seconds including some would-be important offensive rebounds.
The For-All-Intents-and-Purposes end came with 2:18 to go, down four, when we couldn’t control a defensive rebound then allowed a score. On the other end, Tristan missed a jumper, Odufuwa grabbed the rebound and missed the put-back, rebound MTSU.
Middle goes down and scores.
We tried put the press on after a free throw, get a charge call but turn it over, and Middle Tennessee punches it — and one with a minute on the clock. Ugh.
In the preview I said you only had to worry about whether or not UNT wins.
How do you rationalize this loss?
Well, MTSU was the team to end the little streak we had last season. They were at home coming off a loss and play us tough, usually.
I can buy that.
If you like to freak out you start saying that this loss shows that maybe we were getting ahead of ourselves declaring this team the most awesome thing ever.
If Josh and Tristan aren’t scoring 15-20 points a night each, then we have no chance. (No shit)
But really, we got out-rebounded 35-23 and that is with GO having 10 himself.
It wasn’t even that they just out big-ged us. Nah, Jimmy Oden, all 6’3″ 188lbs of him, had seven boards.
Basketball can be funny like that. Without having been there, it is hard do more than just comment on the box score and radio call — but really? Shawn Jones and his 4.4 ppg 2.9 rpg stat-line put up 15 and 5?
Whatever. Let’s just move on to FIU.
We lost the 13-game streak against the Sunbelt, but we still have our winning streak at home. Right now, that is all that mattters.