Flat Start Leads to 53-45 Women's BBall Loss
Roadrunners Run Mean Green Losing Streak to Six
SAN ANTONIO -- Two days after one of its best performances of the season - a slim, 60-58 loss to UTEP - the North Texas women's basketball team came out flat at UTSA on January 4 and it cost them. The Roadrunners used nine offensive rebounds and four three-pointers in the first half to grab a 28-20 lead by halftime, then finished off the Mean Green in the second frame by a score of 53-45.
As has been an issue for much of the season, North Texas struggled on the offensive end. The Mean Green finished the game 17-50 (34-percent) from the field, including 1-7 (14.3-percent) from beyond the arc. But more concerning for head coach Mike Petersen was the lack of "toughness" he saw from his team in this contest.
"Our toughness wasn't good enough today," he admitted. "They got too many rebounds and loose balls. We don't usually have those issues, but we had them today."
Senior Briesha Wynn led North Texas in scoring for the eighth time this season with 13 points - nine of which came in the second half - but only three boards from the forward contributed to the Mean Green being out-rebounded 39-30 by the Roadrunners. Sophomore Candice Adams had six points - her third consecutive game with five or more - a season-high four steals and led the team with two assists.
Adams hit North Texas' only three-pointer on the first possession of the game to give the Mean Green a very early 3-0 advantage, but it would be their only lead of the game. The Roadrunners proceeded to go on a 9-1 run, largely in part to do a 8:33 field goal drought by the visitors. From that point on, North Texas would get as close as 13-12 in the first half and 32-30 in the second half, but would never tie or regain the lead.
On the UTSA side of the ball, sophomore forward Tesha Smith led the home team with 17 points, seven rebounds and three big blocks in only 21 minutes. Petersen used a few different bigs in an attempt to cover Smith, but none were particularly effective.
"She came off the bench and handled us inside," the head coach said.
Junior Acheil Tac showed a burst of energy in 10 minutes on the floor, with two points and three rebounds. However, the forward left the game with 12:26 remaining in the second half with a facial injury after contact with Smith and did not return. Further details of her injury are not yet known.
With the loss, the Mean Green falls to 1-12 (0-2), and their next action will be a home matchup with Rice on January 10 at 4 p.m. The Owls sit at 6-7 (1-1) after defeating UTSA and losing to UTEP in the first weekend of Conference USA play.
When asked about his expectations for the team's third conference game of the year in six days, Petersen was honest, "We gotta keep working on the offense. But we also have to establish the five who will be the toughest out there Saturday versus Rice; that's who we'll start."