North Texas cruises past UTSA, 80-62, to sweep season series

Roosevelt Smart and DJ Draper combined to hit 10 three-point baskets as the North Texas Mean Green rolled to an 80-62 victory Thursday night at Denton in Conference USA basketball.

With the victory, North Texas ended UTSA’s three-game winning streak.

The Mean Green also swept both games from the Roadrunners in the season series between the in-state rivals.

Smart led North Texas with 22 points, including four field goals from beyond the arc. Draper hit 6 of 7 from the field, all from three.

Playing its first game without injured freshman standout Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA was led by Deon Lyle with 15 points.

“We weren’t very good on either end of the floor,” UTSA coach Steve Henson told the team’s radio broadcast. “We were just out of sorts offensively.”

Jackson is out for the season with a knee injury that he suffered last Saturday night at home against Louisiana Tech.

North Texas 15-15, 8-9
UTSA 17-13, 10-7

Coming up
UTSA at Rice, Saturday, 7 p.m.

C-USA tournament
Despite the loss to North Texas, UTSA will have an opportunity on the last day of the regular season to secure the No. 4 seed and a bye in the first round of the C-USA tournament.

UTSA remained solidly in contention for the fourth seed when UAB defeated Marshall 91-77, in Birmingham. The loss dropped Marshall to 11-6 in conference, one game ahead of UTSA.

Marshall finishes its regular season Saturday at first-place Middle Tennessee.

To get the fourth seed, UTSA needs to defeat Rice and hope that Middle Tennessee beats Marshall.

The tiebreaker would favor the Roadrunners under that scenario because of their 81-77 victory over the Thundering Herd in San Antonio on Feb. 1.

Henson said it won’t be easy to beat the Owls on their Senior Night.

“We’ve got to play better basketball,” the coach said. “Their match-up defense, they’re doing some really good things with it. They’re playing (a) 3-2 (zone). It’ll be frustrating if we can’t get some better movement and knock down some shots.”

The tournament runs March 7-10 in Frisco.