Mean Green's Comeback Falls Short Against UTEP
North Texas Loses 50-48
Jan. 28, 2018
DENTON - The North Texas women's basketball team rallied from behind to take a lead late but it only lasted momentarily as the Miners made a key 3-pointer to retake the lead and eventually win, 50-48.
Terriell Bradley led the way for the Mean Green with a game-high 22 points in 38 minutes. With five seconds left in the game, Bradley had an opportunity to give the Mean Green the lead but a missed layup in heavy traffic sealed the game for the Miners.
"I'm disappointed in the loss," head coach Jalie Mitchell said. "I thought we picked it up defensively in the second half, but as I told my team, we have to get back to playing 40 minutes of that defense instead of 20."
The Mean Green struggled at the free throw line in the first half, making just three of their first 10 attempts. Trailing by nine at halftime, North Texas crawled its way back into the game with its signature-stifling defense. UNT (11-9, 2-6 C-USA) held UTEP (13-7, 4-3 C-USA) without a field goal from 6:51 left in the third quarter to 2:34 left in the fourth quarter. During that 14 minutes and 25 seconds, UTEP scored five points at the free throw line while North Texas, which trailed by nine at the start of the defensive rally, scored 15 points and took a one-point lead with 3:03 left in the game after Brittany Smith nailed a 3-pointer.
"We just started fighting harder," Smith said of the second half. "Our defense picked it up from the first half and we were able to play more aggressive on both ends. "
The Mean Green defensive stand was finally broken when UTEP's Katarina Zec made the team's sixth 3-pointer to give the Miners a two-point lead. A UTEP free throw on the next possession gave UTEP a three-point lead.
With 21 seconds left, Bradley made a contested layup to cut the deficit to one.
On the pursuing inbound, freshman Trena Mims stole the ball from the Miner and then dove for the loose ball and called timeout as she secured possession.
After the timeout, Bradley drove right of the lane into heavy traffic where she put up a tough shot that was missed and rebounded by the Miners.
With this loss, North Texas has dropped four straight games and has fallen to 2-6 in conference play. With the second half of conference play to begin, Mitchell sees the importance of moving on from this rough stretch.
We're now heading into the second half of conference play where you can make or break your season so it's important to turn it around turn it around quickly."
North Texas travels to UTSA for a Friday night matchup in San Antonio.
MEAN GREEN QUICK SHOTS
- Bradley has scored 20 or more points in 12 games this season. She's also scored 20 or more in three straight games and five of the team's last six games.
- Jada Poland earned her second consecutive start and scored seven points and had six rebounds.
- Smith tied her UNT career-high with 12 points.