Denton, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Led by 13 points by Vertrail Vaughns, the North Texas Mean Green edged the East Carolina Pirates, 53-51, in a Conference USA tilt at The Super Pit.
For the Mean Green (12-13, 3-8 C-USA), Chris Jones added nine points and Colin Voss scored eight and pulled down seven rebounds.
Caleb White finished with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds for the Pirates (13-13, 2-9), while Prince Williams scored 15 and Michael Zangari grabbed 11 rebounds.
North Texas shot just 39.3 percent from the field in the first, including 2- of-9 from 3-point range. ECU connected on 47.8 percent and 3-of-9 from beyond the arc, but its was the Mean Green that went into the break holding the slimmest of leads, 28-27.
After the intermission, the Mean Green shot 40 percent from the field but excelled with their defense, holding the Pirates to just 31 percent shooting from the field. Trailing by seven in the final minutes, Williams drained two 3-pointers, the second with 49 seconds to play, to cut the North Texas lead to just 52-51. After a Mean Green turnover, Williams had chances to tie or give his team the lead in the final seconds, but had a jumper blocked and came up short on a 3-pointer, as North Texas held on for the win.
The teams combined to shoot just 14 free-throw attempts in the game. The Mean Green had the edge on the glass, outrebounding the Pirates, 39-28. North Texas had the advantage in bench points, 26-18.