Women's Basketball Comes Up Short Against UTEP
Miners Defeat Mean Green, 75-67
DENTON -- The Mean Green women's basketball team was not intimidated by UTEP, one of Conference USA's hottest teams. North Texas went toe-to-toe with the Miners but came up just short in the final minutes in a 75-67 loss on Sunday afternoon at the Super Pit.
North Texas held multiple leads in the third and fourth quarters but costly turnovers and a 14-6 run by the Miners in the final four minutes proved to be the difference. Starr Breedlove was a thorn in the Mean Green's side, scoring a game-high 25 points.
"We did not do enough to win," said North Texas head coach Jalie Mitchell. "We didn't look like we wanted it as much as they did. You cannot show up and defend your home court and not outwork the other team."
The pivotal point of the game came after Candice Adams gave North Texas its final lead, 61-60, with 3:55 left on the clock. Breedlove forced a turnover and then completed a 3-point play following a foul by Adams. Another layup by Breedlove put the Miners ahead by four points, 65-61, and the Mean Green did not have enough time to recover.
"Starr Breedlove is a great guard," said Mitchell. "She has a lot of different ways to score and when she's not scoring, she's creating an opportunity for someone else. I thought we did a great job on her the first half and did not in the second half."
The Mean Green offense was led by Teadra Jones and Bria Frierson who both posted career highs. Jones recorded 19 points, including two 3-pointers, and Frierson recorded 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
UTEP had a fast start, hitting its first four baskets to jump out to 15-7 lead. That start and turnovers by the Mean Green had the home team playing catch up for most of the first two periods.
North Texas, however, would not let UTEP take a large lead. The Miners held a double-digit lead three times in the second quarter, but North Texas always had an answer. Breedlove hit back-to-back layups at the start of the second period to put UTEP ahead, 25-14, and North Texas responded with a layup and 3-pointer cut the advantage to six points, 25-19 at 7:50.
A few minutes later Cameasha Turner hit a layup for UTEP to give the visitors a 10-point lead, 31-21.
Candice Adams responded with a 3-pointer to bring the lead back to single-digits. With three minutes left in the first half, Lawna Kennedy hit a jumper to put UTEP back up by 11, 37-26. North Texas came right back with a 9-2 run to cut the UTEP lead to four points at the half.
North Texas opened the third period with an 11-2 run to take a five-point lead, 46-41. Jones and Kelsey Criner each had four points in the run, and Frierson had three.
A 14-5 run by UTEP gave the Miners back the lead but North Texas stayed within four points of the lead for the rest of the game.
North Texas held brief leads midway in the fourth quarter. A basket by Jones put North Texas ahead by one point, 59-58, at 5:03. Following a UTEP basket, Adams put North Texas back ahead for the final time with a short jumper, 61-60, with 3:55 on the clock.
North Texas takes to road, facing Rice on Sunday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m.
Mean Green Quick Hits
• The Mean Green had its three-game win streak snapped. It was the team's longest of the season.
• North Texas falls to 3-6 in the all-time series with UTEP.
• Teadra Jones, Bria Frierson and Candice Adams all scored in double-figures.
• North Texas held the edge in rebounds, 35-32. Kelsey Criner led the Mean Green in boards with eight.