Mean Green Capitalize On OPSU Turnovers In 63-41 Win
Holmes Posts Second Double-Double With 19 Points, 13 Rebounds
Dec. 30, 2017
DENTON - The North Texas women's basketball team took advantage of an array of turnovers in a 63-41 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State on Saturday afternoon. The Mean Green scored nearly half of their points (30) off Aggie turnovers while they commited zero in the second half.
"We recognized that they didn't handle pressure very well and we played after the pass," North Texas head coach Jalie Mitchell said. "Once we went after the pass, we were more intentional and made the plays."
Freshman Lauren Holmes led North Texas in points (19) and rebounds (13), recording the second double-double of her short career. Deja Terrell joined Holmes in double-digits with 15 points. Micayla Buckner tallied a team-high four blocks, bringing her season total to 19. She now has more blocks this season than last year's team-leader Hannah Hopkins.
"Lauren was huge for us on the boards and scored well in the first half, and she made a lot of plays for us in the second half," Mitchell said. "Deja came in and was huge all over the place. She had a post presence and we were able to feed her. The energy and momentum she provided was huge."
In the first quarter, North Texas shot 6-for-6 from field to take a 17-11 lead, led by five points from Holmes, who finished with eight points, five rebounds and two blocks.
"We work on defense all the time, and I want to do my best on defense, not just offense," Holmes said. "Offensively, my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball and knowing when I needed it."
The Mean Green went scoreless and missed their next nine attempts into the second quarter as OPSU went on a 10-0 run. North Texas took advantage of seven Aggie turnovers in a three-minute span, scoring nine straight to go ahead 26-21, behind seven Holmes points.
"Our defense is how we play and who we are," Holmes said. "Getting turnovers in transition is a big part of our game."
OPSU converted their final three attempts from the field in the second qyarter to make it a one-point game, but Terriell Bradley turned a steal into her first points of the game to give the Mean Green a 32-29 lead at halftime.
Out of the break, North Texas erupted for 12-straight points and a 44-29 lead halfway through the third quarter. The suffocating Mean Green defense settled in, holding the Aggies to just one made field goal in the third quarter, and Terrell scored on three-straight layups to extend the North Texas lead to 51-32.
"It was just the momentum of the game and the energy in the moment," Terrell said on her scoring run.
North Texas is on the road for its first game of 2018 and its Conference USA opener against Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 3.
- The win extends the Mean Green's home win streak to four games, the longest since 2005-06.
- Holmes' 13 rebounds are the most by a North Texas player this season.
- Terrell's 15 points mark a new career high for the freshman from Oak Cliff.
- Holmes now has four games with 17 or more points.
- The Mean Green have posted 15 steals in two of their last four games.