DENTON, Texas — The North Texas Mean Green outscored the Central Arkansas Bears 11-3 in the final four minutes Tuesday to take a 64-55 victory in front of an "Elementary Day" crowd of 3,664 at The Super Pit.
UCA (2-6) was within 53-52 on a jumper with 4:01 left to play by senior DeShone McClure, who scored a career-high 23 points. But UNT answered with eight straight points, including four of four from the free-throw line, to pull away.
The Mean Green (6-5) made 22 of 30 free-throw attempts (73.3 percent). UCA was just 9 of 19 from the line, and six of 13 in the second half.
"We were able to get the ball to the basket in the second half off our dribble-drive offense,’ said UCA coach Clarence Finley. "We got to the free-throw line a little early in the second half, and also made some layups. But at the end, we just couldn’t block out and keep them off the boards. If they did miss their shots, they tipped it back out. The second and third shots got us down the stretch.’
UCA, down 30-23 at halftime, surged to the lead midway through the second half behind the scoring of McClure and freshman forward Phabian Glasco. The Bears made seven of their first 10 shots from the field. McClure’s 3-pointer at the 12:21 mark gave UCA a 42-40 lead, and after North Texas went back ahead, UCA freshman Jalen Jackson nailed a jumper for a 44-42 advantage with 9:47 to play.
McClure then made two at the line for UCA’s last lead at 48-46 at the 7:00 mark. The 6-foot-3 forward from Jacksonville scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half. Jackson had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Bears, who were outrebounded 43-28. Glasco tied his career high with 12 points, hitting six of eight from the field. The Bears had only nine turnovers in the game while forcing 16.
UCA returns home to the Farris Center for five straight games, beginning at noon Saturday against Charleston Southern.
LAKE HAMILTON — Conway White defeated Lake Hamilton in two junior high boys basketball games Monday night.
The Kittens won the ninth-grade game, 43-32. Kameron King scored 11 points, Marquise Pleasant, 10, and Jaylen Graham, nine.
The White won the eighth-grade game, 55-23. Stuart Lowe had 14 points, Joe Thomas 11 and Jaylen Fulton 10.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Conway Blue (4-2) defeated Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School, 35-30, in boys ninth-grade basketball Monday.
Darius Tate scored 15 points for the Blue and Gentrell Taylor added nine.
In the eighth-grade game, Conway Blue moved to 3-2 on the year with at 70-42 victory over Lighthouse.
Jaren Richards and Devan Clark each had 15 points. Donald Jones added 10 and Kris Anderson and BJ Jones, eight each.
VILONIA — Vilonia edged Greebrier, 17-16, Monday in seventh-grade boys basketball.
Jayden Glover had nine points and Payton Freeling three for Greenbrier.
Vilonia won the B game, 15-12.
Sara McGee had nine points for Greenbrier.
The Ruth Doyle Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team won their fifth-straight game Monday, defeating Ray Simon Middle School, 36-6.
Asiyha Smith led all scorers with 16 points, while Reagan Roetzel added 14 points.
In the B game, the teams tied 5-5. Smoyia Roberson scored three points for Ruth Doyle.