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UNT tops Troy in first round of Sun Belt tourney

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- George Odufuwa had 17 points and 13 rebounds to lift North Texas to an 83-69 win over Troy in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Saturday night.

Dominique Johnson had 18 points to lead the No. 4 seed Mean Green (20-10), who advance to face top-seeded Florida Atlantic in the tournament quarterfinals on Sunday.

Troy (8-21) defeated North Texas 89-81 on Jan. 15. After trailing 43-38 at halftime on Saturday, the fifth-seeded Trojans closed the Mean Green lead to 57-56 midway through the second half after a putback by Bernard Toombs.

The Mean Green pulled away after that with a 19-4 run to go up 76-60. Tristan Thompson added 16 points, Shannon Shorter 14 and Josh White 12 for North Texas.

Vernon Taylor led four Troy players in double figures with 17 points. The Trojans shot 26 of 60 (43.3 percent) from the field but hit just 4 of 25 3-pointers.