Mean Green Lose Close Defensive Game
North Texas Holds Middle Tennessee To 19 Points In First Half
Jan. 7, 2017
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- After 10 lead changes, a late run by Middle Tennessee propelled it to a 60-52 victory over North Texas at the Murphy Center Saturday night.
The Mean Green (5-10, 2-2 C-USA), who were without senior point guard Kelsey Criner for the second game in a row, held the Lady Raiders (8-6, 3-0) to a season-low 19 points through the first half and led by three points at the break. They kept last week's national player of the week, Ty Petty, from scoring through the first three quarters.
For most of the game, North Texas was on track to keep Middle Tennessee below their season low of 48 points, which nationally ranked Arizona State and Kentucky kept them at. But in the final two minutes, the Lady Raiders scored six unanswered points, all six coming at the free throw line, to pull away.
"Our defensive game plan worked in the first half," head coach Jalie Mitchell said to Mean Green Radio Network's John Liddle. "But I think we let fatigue get to us in the second half."
MT's Petty and leading scorer Alex Johnson entered Saturday's game responsible for 53 percent of the team's points scored for the season. At the half, North Texas' defensive game plan kept them both from making a field goal and being a factor at all. Johnson had six turnovers in the first quarter.
In the second half, Petty and Johnson scored a combined 29 points, 18 in the fourth quarter.
North Texas' Bradley had 13 points and eight rebounds at the half. She finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. She scored just one point in the third quarter.
MT's Johnson had just four points at the half but was vital in the Lady Raiders' late run. She finished with 23 points. Nine of her points came from the free throw line.
Adams and Warren scored nine each for the Mean Green.
North Texas has a week off before they play travel partner Rice at home on Jan. 14. The tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
MEAN GREEN QUICK HITTERS
- Senior Terra Ellison scored eight points to give her 600 points for her career
- Terriell Bradley's nine rebounds were a career-high
- Candice Adams has made a 3-pointer in 15 straight games she's played in
- Adams, Terriell Bradley and Tyara Warren all played a career-high 40 minutes
- Freshman Madi Townley had seven rebounds to give her 48 for the season. She has had 19 rebounds in the last three games
- North Texas has now lost 14 in a row at Middle Tennessee