North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech
Conference USA tournament quarterfinals
When: 8 p.m. tonight
Where: The Ford Center, Frisco
Records: UNT 25-6, Louisiana Tech 15-17
Last game: UNT 67, Western Kentucky 33; Louisiana Tech 81, Florida International 76 (OT)
Radio: Mean Green Learfield IMG College
Projected UNT starting lineup
PG: Kai Huntsberry, 6-3, Sr. — Huntsberry is expected to return to UNT’s lineup tonight after missing the Mean Green’s win over Western Kentucky to cap the regular season with a sprained ankle. The senior has been one of UNT’s most consistent players throughout the year and is averaging 12.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He was named C-USA’s Newcomer of the Year this week.
G: Tylor Perry, 5-11, Sr. — Perry hit four 3s in UNT’s win over Westen Kentucky on his way to scoring 19 points. The senior guard is among the leading scorers in C-USA and has failed to score in double figures in just three games this season. He is averaging 17.0 points per game and was named C-USA’s Player of the Year this week.
G: Tyree Eady, 6-5, Sr. — Eady enjoyed one of his better offensive games of the season in UNT’s win over Western Kentucky. The senior scored eight points and hit a pair of 3s. He also finished with a season-high five assists. He is averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
F: Aaron Scott, 6-7, So. — Scott contributed in a variety of ways in UNT’s win over Western Kentucky. The sophomore scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and added a career-high three steals. He is averaging 6.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
F: Abou Ousmane, 6-10, Jr. — Ousmane played just over 13 minutes in UNT’s win over Western Kentucky and finished with six points and four rebounds. The junior had scored at least 12 points in six of his last seven games. He is averaging 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Scouting Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech has endured a tough season under first year head coach Talvin Hester. The Bulldogs dismissed Cobe Williams, one of the best players in C-USA, 23 games into the year.
The Bulldogs have struggled at times without Williams and are under .500 heading into tonight’s game.
Louisiana Tech edged FIU in a thriller on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs blew a 20-point second-half lead before regaining control in overtime. Quandre Bullocck scored five straight points in overtime and hit a key 3 to help Louisiana Tech pull away.
Keaston Willis and Isaiah Crawford scored 23 and 22 points, respectively, to pace Louisiana Tech in its win of FIU. Crawford is averaging 13.9 points per game to lead Louisiana Tech, while Willis is adding 12.6.
What you need to know
UNT will open play in the C-USA tournament tonight against a Louisiana Tech team it beat twice in the regular season.
Huntsberry hit a baseline jumper in the closing seconds to give UNT a 67-65 win in the first of those games. UNT won 72-62 in the teams’ second meeting after Louisiana Tech dismissed Williams.
Tonight’s game is a rematch of last season’s C-USA tournament semifinal that Louisiana Tech won 42-36.
Both teams have changed dramatically since then.
What hasn’t changed is UNT’s approach. The Mean Green remain one of the top defensive teams in college basketball and lead the country in scoring defense with an average of 55.4 points allowed per game.
Louisiana Tech averages 73.0 points per game and will look to push the tempo against the Mean Green.
Perry has hit a host of big shots against Louisiana Tech in his career. UNT will look to its top player to once again lead the way tonight as it looks to make a run at another C-USA title.
UNT has won a regular season title or the conference tournament in each of the last three years. The Mean Green need to win the tournament this week to extend that streak after Florida Atlantic won the regular season championship.
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