U-L-M (2-23) at North Texas (14-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 16th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UNT Coliseum (10,032) -- Denton, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 0-12, UNT 9-3. Away Record: ULM 2-11, UNT 4-7. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, UNT 1-1. Conference Record: ULM 1-11, UNT 7-5. Series Record: ULM leads, 28-22.
GAME NOTES: The ULM Warhawks will try to avoid matching their season-high losing streak of nine game tonight, as they do battle with the North Texas Mean Green in Sun Belt Conference action tonight in Denton.
ULM is having one of the worst seasons of any team in the country, winning just two of its 25 games thus far, and the squad sits alone in last place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division with a dismal 1-11 league ledger. Though the Warhawks led by eight points at halftime in last Saturday's game against South Alabama, they squandered the lead late and fell to the Jaguars in an 88-86 final to suffer their eighth straight setback.
North Texas is 14-11 overall and it sits in fourth place in the log-jam that is the Sun Belt West. The Mean Green are 7-5 in conference and though they sit behind three teams in the standings, they are just two games back of Arkansas- Little Rock for first place. UNT is coming off an 86-81 double-overtime loss at Florida Atlantic last Saturday.
ULM holds a 28-22 advantage in the all-time series with North Texas, although the Mean Green won handily in Monroe on January 14, 68-55, in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
ULM has struggled at both ends of the floor this season, giving up 70.5 ppg while scoring just 60.1 ppg, resulting in a scoring margin more than twice as bad as any other team in the Sun Belt (-10.4). The Warhawks experienced a scoring surge last Saturday however, tying a season-high with 86 points by connecting on 47.6 percent of their field goal attempts, and an outstanding 14-of-28 of their three-point tries. Unfortunately, too many defensive lapses cost the team as it let South Alabama shoot 53.1 percent from the floor and match the Warhawks in three-pointers with 14. Fred Brown set a career-high in scoring in the defeat with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 from three-point range. Brown continues to pace the Warhawks in scoring with 12.3 ppg, and Charles Winborne is the only other player to average double digits with his 10.9 ppg. ULM has negative margins in both (-3.6) and in turnovers (-1.92).
UNT's Tony Mitchell has been the Sun Belt's most dominant player in his 16 games played, as the freshman averages 16.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 2.9 bpg with a field goal percentage of .614 -- all of which would be tops in the conference had he played enough games to be eligible. Mitchell was his usual dominant self in last Saturday's loss, tallying 22 points and 20 rebounds. He is just the seventh player nationally to register 20 points and 20 rebounds in one game this season, and it marks the fourth time he's gone for at least 20 points and 15 boards. Mitchell is the main reason the Mean Green rank third in the conference in scoring (70.9 ppg). Fellow freshmen Chris Jones (14.1 ppg) and Jordan Williams (10.9 ppg) were ruled academically ineligible in mid- January and will miss the rest of the season. Alzee Williams (9.4 ppg) has picked up his play in their absence, averaging 15.2 ppg in the last five games.
While North Texas hasn't lived up to the hype of its highly-rated recruiting class, it certainly looks forward to getting back on the right track against the lowly Warhawks. Expect another monster performance from Mitchell as this one could get out of hand pretty early.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Texas 83, ULM 60
02/16 10:35:49 ET