North Texas won their conference opener over a very bad UTSA team.
Abou Ousmane was every bit of the big man we expected him to be coming into the season. He was dominant, he was smooth, he made free throws. He nailed 15 of his 19 FG attempts. That kind of efficiency makes North Texas an extremely tough team to guard and beat. It is one of the pieces that has been lacking for the North Texas offense. In the past years they’ve relied heavily on their bigs to score efficiently at the rim. So far this season Ousmane has had trouble converting easy looks into points. That wasn’t an issue tonight.
The North Texas guards had a very quiet night. Some of that was due to Ousmane having a big night. Some of that was also on them. Kai Huntsberry, Tyree Eady, and Rubin Jones went 0-8 from 3 and the majority of those were good looks. North Texas hasn’t had problems getting open looks for their shooters this year, they’ve simply had trouble converting. We’ve been waiting all year for those shots to go in. They’re not bad shooters! Still, as we get into tougher conference games the guard play has to be much better.
Never take road conference wins for granted. Sometimes, bad teams lull you into their bad habits. At times it looked like North Texas was going to let UTSA hang around. Give credit to North Texas for putting these guys away in the final 10 minutes of the game. They never let UTSA get too comfortable in their belief that this was actually going to be a game. Perhaps it’s a trend developing for the Mean Green. We saw it last time out against UMASS. North Texas turned a close physical game into a blow out without it feeling like that’s what was happening. A silent killshot. Let’s hope we see more of that down the road.
Ousmane had 37 and 11, the highest point total since Roosevelt Smart had 42 vs Rice. NT led 97.5% of the game or 38:59 minutes. UTSA never led. NT shot 50% from the field, while UTSA shot 32.7%. NT had 40-20 advantage on points in the paint. Rubin Jones had six assists. Ousmane had three steals.