Umoja Gibson scored 27 points to lead five players in double figures, and the North Texas Mean Green withstood a 37-point effort from guard Jhivvan Jackson Thursday night, beating the UTSA Roadrunners, 98-78, in Denton.
It was the seventh straight victory in Conference USA play for the first-place Mean Green. The Roadrunners fell to 1-10 in games away from home this season, including 1-6 on the road.
UTSA is 0-4 on the road in C-USA with a game at Rice coming up on Saturday night.
The Mean Green took charge by making 10 of their first 11 shots. Three North Texas perimeter players — Gibson, Javion Hamlet and James Reese — nailed three-pointers in the streak.
When Gibson knocked down a two with 14:04 remaining, North Texas was rolling, leading 23-10. The Mean Green went on to shoot 62.5 percent in the first half and in building a 50-36 lead.
North Texas 13-8, 7-1
UTSA 9-11, 3-4
Trailing by 18 points early in the second half, the Roadrunners surged 26-13 over a seven-minute stretch to trim the Mean Green’s lead to five (68-63).
Both Jackson and Keaton Wallace came alive for 11 points during the run.
From there, North Texas turned it on, outscoring UTSA 30-15 in the last 11 minutes of the game to run away with it.
“Disappointed in a couple of the aspects of this game. (But) I still feel like we’re close. (North Texas) is one of the best teams in the league. I feel like we’re close. I think the schedule is set up for us right now.
“If we can keep our head up, have a good practice (Friday), have a good game on Saturday (at Rice), I still think we’re in position to do something special … We’re playing at a high level at times.
“We’re not going to get discouraged. We’re going to sit around and think about what we could have done better in this one. But we’ll bounce back.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson, in a post-game interview on the team’s radio broadcast (KTKR,The Ticket, AM-760).
Moving up the charts
Senior Byron Frohnen, the No. 2 rebounder in school history, pulled down six boards to give him 832 in 120 games over nearly four seasons.
He moved to within 10 rebounds of Jeromie Hill, who had 842 in 122 games from 2010-15.
Jackson, a junior, moved into second place on UTSA’s all-time scoring list.
Jackson has 1,725 points in 78 games. He surpassed forward Derrick Gervin, who had 1,691 in 80 games from 1982-85, in the second, third and fourth year of the program.
Gervin was selected on the fourth-round of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the 90th pick overall. Gervin played two years in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets from 1989-91.
Guard Devin Brown is the school leader in points with 1,922 in 105 games from 1998-2002. Brown played in parts of eight seasons in the NBA.
Powered by transfers
Three junior college transfers in their first season with the Mean Green combined to help destroy the Roadrunners.
Hamlet (a guard from Northwest Florida State College) had 22 points and six assists. He hit 8 of 11 from the floor. Forward Thomas Bell III (Kaskaskia College) had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Reese (a guard from Odessa College) hit four 3-point shots and scored 18.