Rice sat back in a matchup zone, daring North Texas to shoot over it. Roosevelt Smart and DJ Draper did just that. The duo combined for 16/29 from three and 65-points on Saturday.
G Roosevelt Smart hit 10 of those which set a school record. Oh, and he also had 42 points.
From the official school recap:
Smart’s 42 points is the fifth highest scoring output in North Texas history and becomes the 14th player in school history to score 40-plus points. His 10 three-pointers set a new school record with the previous mark being eight by multiple players. Smart also went 10-for-12 from the free throw line and finished 50 percent from the three-point line on 10-of-20.
DJ Draper’s 23 was also a career-high. Smart struggled with ODU’s length a week ago but Rice is not nearly the defensive team that the Monarchs are. NT is now 3-2 and undefeated in three road contents — all in Texas — in conference play.
Next up is the struggling Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in Ruston before heading to Hattiesburg to take on Southern Miss.
The league is settling into a nice hierarchy of which NT is somewhere in the middle tier. MTSU and WKU have established themselves as the clear best as they are now undefeated. WKU won an impressive matchup in Norfolk over ODU this Thursday before handling Charlotte on the road.
NT is much improved over last year but still not anywhere near the top of the league. That is to be expected. The victories are over teams that are all sub-.500 at this early stage — UTSA, UTEP, Rice.
Tech was expected to be a better squad but they’ve had some roster issues and also have played a touch conference schedule to start this league season.
If Smart and Draper can continue raining fire from deep then NT should be fine.
Speaking of Smart, here are his rankings in the CUSA categories of interest.