Mean Green falls a point short of NCAAs

March, 8, 2011
3/08/11
8:10
PM CT
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- North Texas guard Tristan Thompson set a Sun Belt tournament scoring record. It turned out to be one point too few.

Arkansas-Little Rock shocked the Mean Green by rallying from seven points down in the final 1:42 for a 64-63 victory in the Sun Belt final, preventing UNT from punching its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons.

UALR's Solomon Bozeman, the league's player of the year, knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds on the clock. That provided the winning point because Thompson split a pair of free throws on the previous possession.

Thompson finished the tournament with 95 points, including a career-high 36-point performance in the quarterfinals against top-seeded Florida Atlantic. But an ill Thompson struggled in the final, scoring 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting.

"I'm not going to make any excuses about it," a teary-eyed Thompson said.

It appeared that the Mean Green could defend its conference tourney title despite an off game by their go-to guy. Point guard Josh White, who had a team-high 17 points, hit a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining to give UNT a four-point lead.

But the Mean Green couldn't close it out, committing a critical turnover that set up the wild sequence in the final seconds.

"What I wanted to see was these seniors really go out on a high note," UNT coach Johnny Jones said. "They've all had a great career and done a tremendous job at the University of North Texas."

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