One of the first items on Mike Petersen’s agenda after he took over as North Texas head coach prior to last season was to organize a home tournament.
That goal will become a reality this weekend when the Mean Green plays host to the Hospitality Hill Challenge, a four-team event at the Super Pit.
UNT (1-2) will play Abilene Christian (4-0) at 7:30 tonight in its first game in the two-day, four game event. Bethune-Cookman and Grand Canyon round out the field.
The Mean Green will face Bethune-Cookman in its second game of the event at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The first game will pit Bethune-Cookman and Grand Canyon at 11 a.m. today, while the Sunday slate will begin at 3 p.m. with a game between Abilene Christian and Grand Canyon.
“One of the things we wanted to do with our schedule is play more home games and one of the ways to do that is to play a home tournament,” Petersen said. “Those are games you don’t have to return.”
The event will give UNT a chance to get back on track after losing a pair of games on the road. UNT opened its season with a win over Missouri-Kansas City, but has since dropped games to national power Texas A&M and Houston.
UNT trailed 32-20 at halftime of its game against Houston before charging back to get within one, but could not complete the comeback in a 66-61 loss.
Junior forward Briesha Wynn enters the tournament leading UNT with an average of 11.7 points a game, while sophomore forward Acheil Tac is adding 10.0 points a game.
ACU moved up to the NCAA Division I Southland Conference this season from the Lone Star Conference, a Division II league.
The Wildcats’ game against UNT will be its first on the Division I level in 20 years.
ACU has five players averaging double figures, led by sophomore guard Whitney West, who is averaging 17.0 points a game.