Slow start deadly for Panthers as they fall to the Mean Green

A strong second half fell seconds short of a victory as senior Tymell Murphy scored a career-high 31 points in a losing effort, as the Panthers  lost to North Texas, 65-63.

Down by six at hafltime and with only eight points to show, Murphy battled through and help lead a comeback but the duo of Alzee Williams and Jordan Williams, not related, seemed to be just enough to come out with the win.

A series of 5-0 and 4-0 runs helped cut into the Mean Green’s, as well as missed free throws by North Texas  (13-13, 4-8 C-USA) to close out the game but the lack of energy in the beginning of the night seemed to be costly for the Panthers (13-14, 5-7 Conference USA).

“The slow start hurt us, didn’t come out with energy and they jumped out on us and we were playing catch up the entire game,” Head Coach Anthony Evans said. “It was a valid effort at the end and we got to do a better job starting off games.”

Murphy started the game 11 points shy of reaching the 900 mark all-time at FIU. He reached that after going 1 for 2 at the free throw line to go with his career night.

For Murphy, the stats are nice but the goal was not achieved.

“We didn’t win so it’s not as good, I mean it’s a good thing for my career but I really wanted to win that game,” Murphy said. “We didn’t win so I’m not really thinking about that.”

The Panthers bench has also been a point of concern throughout the season. Thursday night the bench only accounted for eight of the teams 63 points, two in the first half.

“Whoever comes off the bench has to try to give us energy, you know, we’re not looking for them to be big time scorers, just give us some energy so the starters can get a break.”

The Panthers were short a player as Freshman Dominique Williams sat out due to a concussion.

The Mean Green ended the night with four players in double figures, including Alzee Williams who reached the 1,000 point mark at North Texas. Both Williams and Jordan Williams taller than the average guard and proving to be a challenge at certain points of the night.

“I thought we did a decent job against them,” Evans said. “I thought what hurt us was the offensive rebounds in the beginning of the game, not so much the size of the guards but they were active. They were getting second and third shots.”

The Panthers were out rebounded 37-34 and outscored 42-38 in the paint.

The team ended the night shooting 39.7 percent (23-58) from the floor, including 73.7 percent (14-19) from the free throw line.

The Mean Green finished with 48.2 percent (27-56) from the floor and 60 percent (9-15) from the free throw line.

About the Author

Patrick Chalvire
: Radio Host for Panther Sports Talk Live. Assistant Sports Director for The Beacon. Majoring in Communication Arts. Sports fan and aspiring anchor.

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