The North Texas Mean Green are heading to the NIT Quarterfinals after defeating Sam Houston 75-55 on Sunday in Denton.
The Mean Green (28-7) shot 52% from the field and 55.2% from three-point range. The Mean Green only trailed in the opening 1:02 of the game and led by as many as 35 throughout the contest.
“We have so much respect for Sam Houston State and believe they are one of the best opponents we’ve faced this year, and I knew we would have to play our best to beat them,” head coach Grant McCasland said in a press release after Sunday’s game.
“Early we were aggressive in attacking and shooting open threes. It really made the difference and opened the game up.”
Tylor Perry led four UNT players who scored double-digits with 23 points, while Qua Grant was the only player with more than eight for Sam Houston.
It was the second win of the tournament for North Texas after it defeated seven-seed Alcorn State earlier in the week.
North Texas advances to play one-seed Oklahoma State (20-15) in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, with the winner going to the NIT Final Four at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Tuesday’s game will be the 17th all-time meeting between the two schools but the first since 2014 and the first time ever in the postseason. North Texas is 1-15 against the Cowboys in its previous 16 meetings.
Oklahoma State (20-15) narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament and defeated Youngstown State and Eastern Washington in its first two NIT games.
The Cowboys are led by Avery Anderson III, Kalib Boone, and Bryce Thompson.
Oklahoma State finished the regular season in seventh place in the Big 12, ahead of a West Virginia team that made the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon (21-14), Wisconsin (19-14), UAB (27-9), Vanderbilt (22-14), Utah Valley (27-8), and Cincinnati (23-12) are also vying to get to Las Vegas.
The winner of Oklahoma State and North Texas will play the winner of Oregon and Wisconsin on March 28.