Final: North Texas 81, Charlotte 72
Where UNT stands: The Mean Green moved to 17-9 on the season and 11-2 in Conference USA play with their win over Charlotte. UNT maintained its one-game lead over Western Kentucky, which is 10-3 after beating UTEP on Thursday.
Now what?: UNT will play its final game before the beginning of C-USA bonus play when it hosts Old Dominion on Saturday. The Monarchs are 7-6 in conference play
Star of the day: Umoja Gibson scored 20 points and hit four shots from 3-point range in UNT's win over Charlotte. Gibson went 7-of-12 from the field and handed out three assists.
“We showed some poise in the second half. It looks like our guys trust each other.”
-- Grant McCasland, UNT coach after the Mean Green withstood a second-half rally by Charlotte. The 49ers took a three-point lead before UNT responded.
Our take: UNT inched closer to clinching the C-USA regular season title with an impressive win over Charlotte on Thursday at the Super Pit.
UNT led most of the way before the 49ers used a barrage of 3s to pull ahead. The Mean Green didn't appear flustered and responded by quickly regaining the lead before pulling away.
UNT was particularly impressive offensively while shooting 59.3% (32 of 54) from the field. All five of the Mean Green's starters finished in double figures.
UNT's performance was a perfect way to open a key stretch of games to close the regular season. UNT has five games remaining, including four in bonus play.
All of those bonus play games will be against teams that finish among the top five in the conference standings. UNT is locked into five more games against teams that are above .500 in league play.
The manner in which the Mean Green handled the opening game of that key series is the subject of the game story that will appear in tomorrow's paper.