North Texas, Roosevelt Smart Beat San Francisco to Claim 2018 CBI Championship

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20:  Roosevelt Smart #3 of the North Texas Mean Green takes a jump shot during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Capitol One Arena on December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.  The Hoyas won 75-63.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

North Texas captured the 2018 College Basketball Invitational title Friday with a 88-77 victory over San Francisco in Game 3 of the championship series at UNT Coliseum in Denton, Texas.

Roosevelt Smart was a force for the Mean Green once again as he poured in a game-high 25 points on the power of a 14-for-14 performance from the free-throw line. Ryan Woolridge also put together a strong game for the CBI champions with nine points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Frankie Ferrari paced the Dons offense with 19 points.

The Dons were ice cold in the opening half. They shot 31 percent from the field and knocked down just three of their 11 attempts from beyond the arc.

North Texas, which went five of 10 from long range before the break, took advantage to build an 11-point lead on its home floor. Smart led the charge with 13 first-half points.

The sophomore guard also established the school's new single-season scoring record:

It wouldn't be March without a second-half run, and San Francisco made one.

The Dons trimmed the Mean Green advantage to a single point, 52-51, after Souley Boum knocked down a three with just over nine minutes remaining.

They couldn't get back tied or take the lead, however, and North Texas responded with a 10-1 run to take control of the contest for good.

The Mean Green ended up making 32 free throws in the win, many of them coming down the stretch to seal the title in front of their home fans.

Here's a look at their celebration:

Now the eyes of the men's college basketball world shift to the Final Four where Villanova, Kansas, Michigan and Loyola-Chicago will battle for the national championship starting with Saturday's semifinals.

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