TERRE HAUTE, IN — Ryan Woolridge
earned the nickname last year "Mr. 40 Minutes" for never coming out of games. But on Wednesday he was "Mr. Triple Double" as he recorded North Texas men's basketball's first triple double since 1993 to lead UNT to the 80-69 win at Indiana State.
And he only played 38 minutes.
Finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, North Texas improved to 9-1 on the year with the victory over the Sycamores (5-2).
"The way Ryan orchestrated the game and only had two turnovers, it was a special effort," said head coach Grant McCasland
. "Our coaches did a tremendous job at preparing our team and I'm proud of our guys for doing an excellent job at executing."
Woolridge though wasn't the only one chipping in to the victory on Wednesday.
Senior Jorden Duffy
led the Mean Green in scoring with a season high 23 points and Roosevelt Smart
scored a season-high 16 points.
"We have a lot of weapons who work hard," McCasland said. "This is a fun group to coach."
UNT popped Indiana State to start the game with an 8-0 run.
Smart, who set the school-record for three-pointers last year with 133, made two in the first few minutes and led the Mean Green to a 20-10 lead. He had 11 points midway through the first half for his 12th straight game played scoring in double figures.
In the second-half, it was Duffy who extended the Mean Green's lead to a game-high 21 points with six minutes left in the game as he sank back-to-back-to-back three-pointers in a matter of minutes.
Defensively, North Texas gave up a combined 47 points to Indiana State's Jordan Barnes and Tyreke Key who were both averaging around 20 points per game before Wednesday, 12 of that 47 came at the free throw line and Barnes, who actually made more regular season three-pointers than Smart last year, was held to no three 3-pointers until two minutes left in the game.
Barnes' three-pointer was big though.
It cut UNT's once 21-point lead to just five and came after Zachary Simmons
was sent to the showers for throwing an accidental high elbow with five minutes left and began a 11-2 run for Indiana State.
Coming in transition, poor communication on the Mean Green's part left Barnes open and forced McCasland to call a timeout.
"I thought our team responded really well at that point," McCasland said. "Mike (Miller), Jahmiah Simmons
on the baords and Roosevelt (Smart) made some huge shots late."
Following a timeout, Michael Miller
, who earned his first start of the season on Wednesday finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, hit a clutch layup in traffic and made a key stop on the following Indiana State possession. Then Smart iced the win with one minute left on a floater as the shot clock neared zero.