First of all, let us apologize for the paucity of updates on this here site. There has been much in the way of life stuff and so MGN has suffered.
Count me among those that though the break since the last game was good. NT was and is banged up and any days to recover mentally and physically from these last couple of weeks is good. Ryan Woolridge was not on the court tonight, but Duffy and Jamie Simmons were.
NT jumped out to a nice lead in front of the quiet crowd (quarter break for the Louisiana Tech folks) until midway through the second half. The Bulldogs have been really good at home, but terrible on the road. They were always likely to jump back into the game and they did that and more.
The offense had a glaring Woolridge-sized hole in it when it came to handling the ball late, and calming the offense some. Even if it was simply generating offense by itself. This blog often commends the guy for his ability to get to the rim at will — seemingly — and that trait is not shared by many on the current roster.
In sum, Tech got back in this game by being aggressive on defense and that leading to relatively easy buckets on the other end. Often, they would get a steal, or a rebound and push the ball. Even in half- court sets they would attack the rim with abandon. The refs were a little Louisiana-kind but that kind of thing is what makes road games difficult.
NT was always slower attacking the rim but got a couple of iffy calls themselves — that Duruji foul on Simmons’ three point shot? That was a bailout call. The call was right, but NT was taking a poor shot.
Simply put, NT could not find offense from its main guys while Tech could. Smart, Draper, Duffy, Gibson, Zach Simmons all looked like they could use a guy to set them up for some easier looks down the stretch.
Defensively, it looked like NT was beat to the rim and to rebounds. It is really easy to call those effort mistakes — mental or physical — but without having been in the game planning sessions all week we cannot call anything out in particular.
We can try to interpret what we saw, and that was that Tech was making NT think on offense and then taking off to the races when they got it. Basketball is a lot of rhythm and over-thinking is one way to lose quickly.
Stats-wise, NT and Tech flipped — NT shot 50/29 percentage in the respective halves. Tech shot 29/51 in theirs. NT had 12 second-half turnovers to Tech’s 1. Again, sprinting at the rim and getting layups is one way to not turn the ball over.
North Texas hosts FAU this Thursday on CUSATV. The Owls lost to FIU at home in a close game 79-76.
NT is now 20-8 and 8-7 in league play.