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UNT looks to carry momentum against MTSU
Brett Medeiros / Staff Writer
With the first half of the season firmly in the Mean Green’s rearview mirror, the team welcomes Middle Tennessee State University to Denton tonight for their second matchup of the season.
In the previous meeting, the Blue Raiders (16-4, 8-1) dominated the Mean Green (8-12, 3-6) from tip-off to the end of the game, ultimately handing UNT an 18-point loss.
“They [MTSU] are a team in every sense,” head coach Tony Bedford said. “They only have one guy in double figures scoring and they just keep finding ways to win. We are looking forward to this matchup.”
The team is still suffering from a short-handed roster because of injuries. At one point this season, UNT had an 11-man rotation that has now turned into an eight-man healthy roster.
“You know what, it’s all about heart,” freshman guard P.J. Hardwick said. “Seven or eight guys are really all that you need. If we just go out there and give it our all, anything is possible.”
Sophomore forward Tony Mitchell is coming off one of the best performances of his career and the big win over Florida Atlantic University on Saturday could shift the momentum in favor of the Mean Green.
The next two games could change the feel of the season for the team, as it will play two home games in a three-day span. If UNT wins both games, it will give the team its first three-game win streak since mid-November.
In doing so, UNT could assume control of second place in the Sun Belt Conference West Division with nine conference games ahead.
Senior guard Roger Franklin said there could not be a better opportunity to turn this season around.
“We will have to execute our scouting report perfectly and turn their own game plan back onto them,” Franklin said. “Coming off a big victory in FAU was huge and a win against Middle Tennessee could become a statement game for us.”
Although the Mean Green understands the importance of the next two games, the nation’s No. 25 best-scoring defense and the owner of the best record in the SBC stands in its way.
On average, MTSU gives up 58.4 points per game and outscores its opponents by an average of 11.2 points per game this season.
Tip-off will take place at 7 p.m. in the Super Pit.