North Texas Women Thunder Past Herd, 71-63
Mean Green Hand Marshall First Loss At Henderson Center
Four NT players scored in double figures on Thursday to fuel a Mean Green offense against Marshall. (Photo by Becca Neu)
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — Marshall entered Thursday’s game against North Texas with an unblemished 8-0 record from its home court at the Henderson Center, but by the end of the evening that mark was no more.
The Mean Green (7-7, 2-2) defeated the Thundering Herd by a score of 71-63 in the second contest of its three-game road stretch, due in large part to a balanced scoring effort that saw four North Texas players finish with double-digit points.
“Our balance is critical to our success and that showed tonight,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We needed everyone to step up. In my opinion the teams we play can’t guard everything on our team so we need to take advantage of anything they’ll give up.”
Four North Texas starters - Acheil Tac, Kelsey Criner, Terra Ellison and Candice Adams - each played 37 minutes or more to anchor the Mean Green attack, including Criner who never came out of the game.
That group was led by Ellison and Adams, who each tied their career highs with 18 points a piece. Tac added a 10 point, 11 rebound effort that was good for her fifth double-double of the season, and Criner had 14 points, five assists and four steals. Adding to the balance was sophomore Tosin Mabodu, who chipped in career-highs in points (8) and rebounds (4).
Defensively, the Mean Green held Marshall (11-4, 1-3) to just 31.6 percent from the floor, including a 25.9 clip for the first half that allowed North Texas to build a lead. Herd senior Leah Scott had a game-high 21 points, but was held to a 4-of-17 mark from the field.
“I think we made them take some uncharacteristic shots,” Mitchell added. “They’re used to getting some things in the paint that we didn’t give up. It also helped that we limited them to one shot a possession for the most part.”
North Texas took its first lead of the day off an Adams 3-pointer at the 5-4 mark early in the first quarter and wouldn’t give it up for the remainder of the contest. The Mean Green led for more than 36 minutes of the game.
But Thursday’s game was far from a runaway affair as 31 fourth-quarter points for the Herd kept the home team in reach. While Marshall clawed its way back to within six points, it was Ellison that finished things off, scoring 12 of her 18 points in the fourth frame alone.
The Mean Green will close out a three-game road swing at Western Kentucky this weekend. North Texas is set to take on the Hilltoppers at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, from Bowling Green, Ky.
• Terra Ellison fell one rebound shy of her first career double-double.
• Four players ended the night in double figures for the third time this season. The other two occasions came in wins against Oklahoma and UTSA.
• NT picks up its fourth win on the road this year. Beforehand, the Mean Green hadn’t had four wins away from Denton since the 2013-14 season.
• NT has now scored at least 70 points in two straight games, the only such outputs for the Mean Green this season.