LAS VEGAS – For the first time in program history, the UNT men’s basketball team won the National Invitation Tournament title, taking down UAB 68-61 Thursday night inside Orleans Arena. The Mean Green continued its impressive stretch of winning titles as they have now won a championship in four consecutive seasons and will close the season at 31-7 overall, setting a school record for wins in a single-season. The Mean Green also became the first team in Conference USA history to win the NIT. Senior Tylor Perry once again put on a show as he scored 20+ points for the fourth time in five NIT contests to be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Perry finished the night with 20 points, a season-high five steals and three assists to lead UNT to its third win over the Blazers in four tries this season. Kai Huntsberry was also fantastic in the win, scoring a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Late in the contest, North Texas found itself down 53-52 but were able to outscore UAB 16-8 over the final 6:22 of the contest to take home the crown. UNT hit each of its first four shots of the game to start the contest on a 10-2 run, fueled by five points from Kai Huntsberry, over the first 3:11. Trailing 12-4, UAB responded with 11 straight points of their own, nine of which came from Jordan Walker, to take a 15-12 lead at the under-12 timeout in the first half. In a first half full of runs, UNT answered with a run of their own as they scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a 23-17 lead. With the score 28-25 in favor of the Mean Green, UNT finished the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 37-27 edge into the locker room. UAB started the second half hot, outscoring North Texas 14-4 to start things off and tie the contest at 41. The strong start continued for the Blazers, as they took their first lead since the 11:06 mark in the second half with seven straight points to lead 49-45 at the under-11 timeout in the second half. Trailing 53-50 with 7:09 left to play, UNT re-took the lead they would not relinquish with an 11-2 run capped off by back-to-back baskets from Aaron Scott. Scott would finish the contest with 14 points and seven rebounds, four of which came on the offensive side of the ball, while going 6 of 10 from the floor. After UAB got back within four at 63-59 with less than a minute to play, Perry took over as he hit a step back jump shot with 56 seconds left to push the lead back to six. A pair of free throws for the Blazers again cut the lead to just four but Perry made sure the trophy would make its way back to Denton, nailing another step back jumper to give UNT a 67-61 lead with 23 seconds left to essentially clinch the win for the Mean Green. Seven of the eight players who saw action for the Mean Green scored at least two points including Moulaye Sissoko who closed the contest with six points and a game-high nine boards. UNT has cut down the nets in four straight seasons after winning C-USA Regular Season titles in 2020 and 2022, winning the C-USA Tournament in 2021 and now the NIT championship in 2023.