Women's Season Ends In Second Round Loss To Old Dominion
North Texas Can't Hold On To Late Lead In Tournament-Ending Loss, 62-55
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The North Texas women’s basketball team faced off with Old Dominion for the second time in less than a week on Wednesday, but familiarity wasn’t enough to avoid another 62-55 loss to the Monarchs in the Conference USA Tournament’s second round.
Much like last Thursday’s matchup, league scoring leader Jennie Simms paced the Lady Monarchs to victory with a 30-point outing, this time coming in the form of 32 points that combined for more than half of ODU’s total. Despite the Mean Green’s ability to hold every other Monarch player in single digits for the second straight game, the edge that Simms provided was too much to overcome in a contest that came down to the day’s closing minutes.
“Obviously a loss like this is disappointing,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I’m disappointed for my team. I’m disappointed for our seniors, but I’m extremely proud of them for what we were able to do this season. ODU is a tough team and we just didn’t get enough stops against a very quality player in Jennie Simms.”
After three quarters where neither team managed to pull away, North Texas led by three with 4:11 to play, thanks largely to a 10-2 run early in the fourth. That spurt included a clutch three-pointer for Candice Adams to tie things up at the 5:52 mark, before senior Acheil Tac knocked down a jumper on the next possession to give the Mean Green its first lead since the first quarter.
But Simms showed why she is a first-team all-conference player as the junior controlled the game’s final four minutes to seal the win for the Monarchs. In that span, she scored nine points and missed only one shot, of which she collected the offensive board and attempted a successful putback.
That momentum carried over to the final horn as North Texas found itself in a must-foul situation. Hampered by fouls throughout the day, the Mean Green’s 24 penalites was seven more than ODU’s total, and it allowed the Monarchs to go 17-of-21 from the charity stripe on the day.
The Mean Green was led in scoring by junior Kelsey Criner and Candice Adams, who each finished with 13 points. Fellow junior Terra Ellison rounded out the list of double-digit scorers with 11 points as North Texas finished with a 21-of-53 (.396) mark from the field.
While the 2015-16 campaign has come to a close, it was one to be proud of in Mitchell’s first year at the helm. North Texas improved its record by six wins from a season ago, picked up its first win over a ranked team and won its first C-USA Tournament game this season.
“Fans all year have seen how hard we’ve played,” Mitchell said. “They’ve seen the culture and mindset we’ve tried to build going forward. I’m proud of us for all that we’ve accomplished this year and we’ll continue to build on it going into next season.”
• With two three-pointers on Wednesday, Adams has 99 on her career and has taken sole possession of fifth-place on the team’s all-time list. She finishes the year with the eighth-best single-season total in Mean Green history (49).
• Criner finishes the season with 149 assists, second-most in any NT season.
• Acheil Tac finishes her career ranked ninth in total rebounds, finishing with 585. Her 53.6 field goal percentage is the fourth-best in team history.