HONOLULU, Hawaii — A 20-to-2 first-half run for the Mean Green basketball team separated them from Humboldt State on Friday and their guard play carried them the rest of the way as they beat the Lumberjacks 93-48 in the first game of the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
As it was in their season-opener last week, redshirt freshman Umoja Gibson
led the way once again for the Mean Green (2-0), scoring 27 points on Friday on 10-of-13 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 from deep.
In UNT's first two games this season, Gibson is averaging 29.5 points per game on 74 percent shooting (20-of-27). He has made 11 of his 17 attempts from deep so far this season.
"We can put a lot of pressure on other team's with the way we attack in transition," said head coach Grant McCasland
. "You have to be happy for (Gibson.) He works incredibly hard and spends so much time in the gym."
But it wasn't just Gibson hitting open shots that got the Mean Green way out in front.
North Texas got out in transition, made 15 3-pointers, and assisted on 19 of their 34 field goals.
UNT actually trailed by three points midway through the first-half but in two minutes turned that deficit into a 15-point lead. During that stretch, Gibson scored eight points and senior Michael Miller
"Once we got out in transition and hit some 3-pointers the lead really grew," McCasland said.
The second half was more of the same as UNT forced nine second-half turnovers, prevented a good three-point shooting team from making a single three-pointer (0-of-18) and continued to attack the basket with its guards.
Junior Ryan Woolridge
finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and six assists to stuff the stat sheet for the Mean Green as their engine on both ends.
North Texas will be right back at it on Saturday when they take on Portland in the Stan Sheriff Center at 8:30 p.m. CT. The Pilots are coached by two-time NBA all-star (1991, 1993) Terry Porter.