UNT-WKU postponed

North Texas two-game series against Western Kentucky in both men's and women's basketball that was set to be played on Saturday and Sunday has been postponed due to weather and power concerns.

North Texas series against Western Kentucky in men’s and women’s basketball were postponed on Thursday due to a host of concerns related to weather conditions.

The UNT men were set to host to the Hilltoppers on Saturday and Sunday, when the schools’ women’s teams were set to meet in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The series were originally set to be played on Friday and Saturday before being pushed back by a day.

Denton is among a host of cities across the state that have been impacted by power outages. The city issued a boil-water notice on Wednesday night due to low pressure in the water supply.

Low pressure can cause harmful bacteria to see into a city’s water system.

The concerns surrounding UNT’s ability to host the series in the midst of power and water problems led to it being postponed. The UNT men’s team was planning to honor its seniors during the series, including Zachary Simmons, Javion Hamlet, James Reese and Thomas Bell.

All four were key parts of UNT’s team that won the Conference USA regular season title last year.

“I feel terrible for our guys, specifically our seniors,” UNT coach Grant McCasland said. “They want to play.

“We had guys’ families fly in for the series. We have such a pivotal senior class with Zach, Javion, Reese and Thomas. We wanted to honor them. We’re going to postpone it.”

UNT and WKU will look to reschedule the series but will likely have little opportunity to get the games in.

C-USA left a week between the end of the regular season and the conference tournament when it released its schedule last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The hope was that teams would be able to reschedule series that were postponed due to coronavirus concerns for the open week.

The UNT men’s team has already rescheduled its series against UAB for March 5-6 during the open week and will now hold its senior festivities during on those dates. The UNT women’s team pushed its series against Rice back to the open week with a March 4 game in Denton and Marsh 6 game at Rice.

UNT and WKU could look to reschedule their series if other schools are forced to cancel and they have corresponding open dates. The chances of that happening appear slim with just two weeks left in the regular season.

The UNT-WKU men’s series was one of the more highly anticipated of the C-USA season. The Mean Green (12-6) are atop the league’s West Division, while the Hilltoppers (15-4) lead the East. Both teams are 8-2 in league play.

UNT beat WKU 78-72 in overtime at the Super Pit last season to clinch the C-USA regular season title.

“We were looking forward to playing these games considering the game we played last year determined the conference championship,” McCasland said. “We had such a good game.”

Seeing their series against WKU postponed will delay the UNT women (11-4) in their efforts to build on their best start ever in C-USA play. The Mean Green are 8-2 in conference after sweeping Southern Miss last week.

UNT’s eight wins matches their highest total ever as a member of C-USA, a league it joined ahead of the 2013-14 season. The Mean Green finished 8-10 in 2016-17.

Both the UNT men’s and women’s teams have dealt with a series of cancelations and postponements throughout the season.

The UNT men have had eight games either canceled or postponed, including C-USA series against UAB and Old Dominion as well as WKU. The UNT women have had seven games either canceled or postponed, including conference series against Old Dominion, Rice and now WKU.

The UNT men are next slated to travel to Marshall for a two-game series on Feb. 26-27. The UNT women are scheduled to host Marshall on those same dates.

“We are going to remain hopeful and thankful that we still have these two series left,” McCasland said. “We will do everything we can to be prepared for Marshall. We practiced today. The guys were positive and have been excited about practice. They have been resilient all year. I don’t see that changing.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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