March 7, 2018
FRISCO - Despite 20-point games for Ryan Woolridge and Roosevelt Smart, the North Texas basketball team fell to Louisiana Tech, 68-62, in the first round of the Conference USA tournament.
"The first half we got started great offensively and had a good rhythm, and then stalled out," head coach Grant McCasland said. "They did a fantastic job of being physical around the paint, and we had some decent looks and missed them. When we did finally get to the free throw line we didn't take advantage of it.
Woolridge led the team with six assists and added five rebounds in 40 minutes. Zachary Simmons led the team with eight rebounds. A.J. Lawson joined Woolridge and Smart in double-digits with 11 of his own.
North Texas started 6-of-10 from the field, including a trio of three-pointers, to jump out to a 15 lead. The Mean Green made just one of their next 10 attempts and went nearly seven minutes without a field goal until Smart converted a pair of layups to take a 22-18 lead. The Bulldogs closed the half on a 13-5 run and made five straight from the field to take a 31-27 advantage into the break.
After falling behind seven to start the second half, North Texas responded with five quick points on a Woolridge layup and a second-chance three-pointer by D.J. Draper. The Mean Green suffered a similar cold stretch to the first half, shooting 1-of-8 without a field goal for five and a half minutes, and Draper went to the bench in foul trouble with nearly 10 minutes to play
Leading 55-50, LA Tech's Amorie Archibald hit a dagger three-pointer to put his team ahead by eight. North Texas made all five of their final attempts from the field, but the Bulldogs went 10-fo-12 from the charity stripe to keep the Mean Green at bay.
"In the second half, every time we looked to make a run they would make a three," McCasland said. "I thought that we had a few layups at the basket that if we could have made them it could have changed the game, but unfortunately, we came up short"
• With six assists, Woolridge moved to second in program history in single-season assists (176).
• North Texas tied the single-season school record with 250 made three-pointers, last achieved in 1997-98.
• Lawson extended his double-digit scoring streak to four games and averaged 12.75 in that span.