Men's basketball: Walton leading UNT drive to shoot better

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North Texas came up with one of its better nights shooting the ball from deep when that scenario seemed unlikely Tuesday in a win over Incarnate Word.

Senior guard Brandan Walton hit nearly every shot he took from 3-point range, sinking four of his five attempts to lead UNT on a night when the Mean Green went 7-for-15 from behind the arc in an 84-67 win. That victory followed a long trip back from Portland and its final three games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

UNT spent nearly a whole day on the road, flew to Houston and drove back to Denton following a double-overtime win over Portland. That didn’t seem to bother UNT in its last game.

The Mean Green will look to build on that solid shooting performance today when it takes on Southeastern Louisiana in a 7 p.m. game at the Super Pit.

UNT (4-3) enters the night having won two straight.

“You want to be confident in your shot and take good shots,” Walton said immediately following UNT’s win over Incarnate Word. “You want to let it come to you. You don’t want to force it. I got some good shots tonight. My teammates were able to find me.”

That’s a good sign for UNT, which has gone 15-for-31 from behind the arc in its last two games combined.

The Mean Green will look to keep that hot shooting streak going today in a rematch of one of UNT’s more interesting games of last season. UNT snuck out a 45-40 win over the Lions last season.

The game marked the first time since 1963 that UNT had won a game while scoring fewer than 50 points.

UNT hopes to have an easier time in the rematch behind a trio of guards who are averaging in double figures. Alzee Williams leads UNT with an average of 16.0 points per game, while Jordan Williams (11.9) and Vertrail Vaughns (10.0) also are scoring in double figures.

Junior guard JaMichael Hawkins is averaging 14.4 points per game to lead Southeastern Louisiana.

“We have to keep them out of transition and contain the basketball,” UNT coach Tony Benford said. “They are well-coached and execute well offensively. We have to execute offensively, get stops and take care of the basketball. They are a good team.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.


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