Mean Green Falls to UTSA in Season Finale Nail Biter
Dawkins Fourth-Career 20-Point Game Not Quite Enough
DENTON -- On a de facto Senior Night at Kitty Magee Arena, BreAnna Dawkins did all she could to lead her team to victory against visiting UTSA and onto the Conference USA tournament. The guard had 23 points and seven rebounds, but it was not quite enough to defeat the visiting Roadrunners, and the Mean Green lost a nail biter, 57-54 to bring its season to a close.
"It hurts a lot," Dawkins reflected. "We were together in and out [all season]. We might not have gotten the wins we expected but this is a good team."
Despite leading for 32 of the 40 minutes and going 20-23 from the foul line, North Texas ultimately fell because they could not take care of the ball in the closing minutes. The Mean Green committed 17 second-half turnovers, which led to 10 fast break points for the Roadrunners. UTSA instituted an aggressive half-court press defense that gave North Texas a lot of trouble.
"We had issues out front when they ran at us," head coach Mike Petersen said. "When they ran at us up front we panicked a little bit, but when we played downhill against it we either fouled or we got a shot point blank."
After Rice defeated UTEP 79-62 earlier Saturday afternoon to improve to 4-14, the Mean Green needed to win in order to clinch the 12th and final seed in the C-USA Tournament that begins on March 11 in Birmingham, Alabama. With the win, UTSA clinched the No. 4 seed and a bye in the tournament, beating out Old Dominion and UAB in a three-way tiebreaker at 11-7.
Redshirt sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter contributed eight points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes before fouling out with 28 seconds left. Jeter was a team-best plus-six while on the court. In Joh'Vonna Darrington's last collegiate game, she had five points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 27 minutes.
The Mean Green ends its season with a 5-24 overall record, including 4-14 in C-USA play. North Texas had a 4-5 record in conference home games and the program's second-best scoring defense of all time.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
- UTSA junior forward Akunna Elonu had 10 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
- North Texas junior forward Acheil Tac led the team with nine rebounds. It was the seventh time in the last 10 games she has grabbed the most board on the team.