Hoops rewind art

North Texas forward Deng Geu (23) shoots over Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle during the Sooners' win over the Mean Green on Thursday at the Super Pit.

Final: Oklahoma 82, North Texas 80

Where UNT stands: The Mean Green fell to 3-6 on the season after failing to build on a big win over rival UT-Arlington earlier in the week.

Now what?: UNT has a quick turnaround and will face its old Sun Belt Conference rival Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday in back half of a two-game homestand.

Star of the day: Sophomore guard Umoja Gibson scored 21 points and hit three 3s in UNT's loss to Oklahoma. Gibson was terrific in the first half, scoring 16 points.

Say what?:

"It’s disappointing because the guys have practiced hard. You want there to be a reward for them, but there is no reward in coming close. It’s not OK. There has to be such a disdain for this result."

-- Grant McCasland, UNT coach on the Mean Green

Our take: UNT just can't seem to get over the hump when it has the chance to post a milestone win.

The Mean Green let opportunities get away in losses to VCU an Utah State. UNT was in position to break through again against Oklahoma and came up short. 

UNT had a 10-point lead in the second half before Oklahoma rallied. Kristian Doolittle took over down the stretch and hit two huge shots, including a 3 that broke an 78-78 tie and put the Sooners up for good.

The Mean Green had a shot to win the game late, but Thomas Bell's 3 was off the mark.

We go over it all in the game story that will appear in tomorrow's paper.

The good news is UNT keeps improving. Shooting guard James Reese had really struggled before finding his touch tonight on his way to scoring 13 points.

Gibson continues to play well.

The bad news is the Mean Green may have over shot the mark when it comes to its schedule.

UNT is 3-6 and still has a game at No. 19 Dayton before Conference USA play begins. It won't help matters any that UNT travels to Western Kentucky and Marshall, one of the brutal road trips in the league, right off the bat.

McCasland continued to express confidence in his team, despite seeing another opportunity for a big win slip away.

UNT will need that confidence moving forward.

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

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