Feb. 22, 2018
Conference USA stats
MIAMI - Florida International hit one of two free throws with four seconds left and Ryan Woolridge had his jumper at the buzzer rim out in a one-point loss 69-68 Thursday night at Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
The Mean Green have lost four games in a row and are 14-14 overall with a 7-8 Conference record. North Texas was held without a field goal for the last 3:45 of the game and shot 6-for-11 from the free throw line.
Woolridge finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and a career-high four blocks in 40 minutes. Junior Tope Arikawe scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his second career start.
The bench was led by junior Jorden Duffy who scored eight points and DJ Draper also had eight points. Senior Shane Temara finished with seven points off two three-pointers.
North Texas had trouble defending to start the second half as FIU built a nine point lead off a 10-2 run capped by a layup from Brian Beard, Jr. The Panthers pulled ahead 62-51 with 9:39 remaining off a jumper by Cordell Veira.
The Mean Green quickly made their comeback with an 11-4 run over the next four minutes to get within four points at 66-62. North Texas made two defensive stops and regained the lead at 67-66 off a three-pointer by Roosevelt Smart with 3:48 remaining.
FIU's Eric Lockett made a jumper to go ahead 68-67 but Duffy hit one of two free throws to tie the score at 68-68 with 1:51 left. North Texas had a couple of close attempts at the rim but couldn't convert.
Lockett was fouled with four seconds left and hit one of two free throws. Woolridge last second attempt just missed.
In a wild first half, North Texas took a 36-35 lead on a three-pointer by senior Shane Temara beat the buzzer. Sophomore Ryan Woolridge finished with 11 points off 5-for-7 shooting and Temara added six points off the bench.
The Panthers came out firing hitting back-to-back three-pointers to take a 6-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game. North Texas answered with layups from Allante Holston and Woolridge to cut the lead to 6-4.
FIU went on a 14-5 run to build a 20-9 advantage off a dunk by Osasumwen Osaghae with 11:11 remaining in the half.
The Mean Green kept fighting but FIU continued to lead by seven at 33-26 off a layup by Eric Lockett with 2:22 on the clock.
North Texas ended the half on a 10-2 burst thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Temara and timely defense. The Mean Green led for exactly one second in the entire first half.
North Texas completes its Florida road swing on Saturday, Feb. 24, against Florida Atlantic at 6 p.m. (CT).
Mean Green Quick Hitters
Junior Tope Arikawe scored in double-figures for the third time this season with 12 points
North Texas hit 10 three-pointers to pull within 24 of the school record 250 set by the 1997-98 team
Woolridge scored in double-figures for the fifth-straight game and 18th time this season
Mean Green outscored FIU, 23-to-15 in bench points
North Texas had a season-low six turnovers
Woolridge set a career-high with four blocks