Women Drop Nail-Biter To 49ers, Take 13th Seed To Birmingham
North Texas Falls 72-69 To League’s Top Offense
Teadra Jones finished with a career-high 20 points in a loss to Charlotte on Saturday. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mean Green women’s basketball team led by as many as six points in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s contest against Charlotte, but a potent 49ers offense stormed back in the game’s final minutes to take a 72-69 win in a closely-contested regular season finale from Halton Arena.
North Texas (10-18, 5-13) held the upper hand and its biggest lead of the day with 9:39 to play, but the visiting team couldn’t finish the job in what had been a very competitive, back-and-forth affair in the game’s first three quarters. The Mean Green were outscored 14-5 in the fourth frame after claiming the six-point advantage and connected on only one of their last 11 shots.
“Since day one, the message has been about battling adversity,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I think we’ve gotten better at that as the year has gone along and tonight was another example of how this team will fight to the end. We’ve grown, but we’ve just got to find a way to finish.”
The Mean Green’s ability to keep the game close came as a result of fine efforts from two of North Texas’s senior leaders. Acheil Tac and Teadra Jones each contributed career highs with 26 and 20 points, respectively. For Tac, that scoring output went along with 10 rebounds that gave the Garland, Texas, native her 10th double-double of the year, and Jones set a personal best with her 3-of-4 mark from long range.
Charlotte (19-10, 12-6) led by four points at the half, but the Mean Green responded out of the halftime break by outscoring the 49ers, 28-17, in the third quarter. But a Charlotte offense that has been characterized by balance showed itself again on the night as three opposing players finished with 17 or more points: Kira Gordon (19), Grace Hunter (18) and Alexis Alexander (17).
With the loss, the Mean Green enter the C-USA Tournament in Birmingham as the No. 13 seed. That position will pit North Texas versus 12th-seeded Florida Atlantic in the first game of postseason play, set for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, from UAB’s Bartow Arena.
• Tac pulled down 10 rebounds on the day. Her fifth board gave her sole possession of ninth place on the program’s all-time rebounds list with 575 in her career
• Saturday’s game was the first contest of the season in which two North Texas players finished with 20 or more points.
• The Mean Green’s 28 third-quarter points was good for its third-highest output in a single frame this season.
• North Texas enters the C-USA Tournament for the second time in program history. Its first trip came in the 2013-14 season.