North Texas beat UAB to capture the NIT basketball championship

·1 min read
Candice Ward/Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Tylor Perry Show continued when it mattered most.

The Conference USA Player of the Year scored 20 points, 14 in the second half, to lead North Texas to a 68-61 win over UAB in the NIT championship at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday night.

Perry finished with 20 points and was named the NIT MVP. He made a steal and connected on a 3-pointer with 6:22 left to give the Mean Green the lead for good at 55-53.

The finale was a display of two of Conference USA’s top teams and a continued showcase of the conference in postseason play. Conference USA is 18-2 in the NCAA postseason. Charlotte won the College Basketball Invitational tournament; Florida Atlantic is in the Final Four and plays on Saturday.

Kai Huntsberry had 21 points, including 14 in the first half for the Mean Green.

North Texas finished the season with a 31-7 record; UAB finished 29-10.

It’s the second postseason title for coach Grant McCasland, who guided North Texas to the CBI title in 2018. That was his first season in Denton.

North Texas led 37-27 at halftime. It was their largest lead of the game.

The Mean Green shot 45.6% from the field (26 of 57), while UAB shot just 38.6% (16 of 45).

The Mean Green missed just one free throw (10 of 11) and held a 36-30 rebounding edge.