Protecting Home Court
North Texas On Pace To Have One Of The Program's Best Home Records
DENTON — The 2001-02 North Texas women’s basketball season is the most successful season in program history.
Led by Jalie Mitchell, the Lady Eagles won a program-best 21 games that year.
The 21 wins, which still stands as a program-record, could not have been possible if it weren’t for North Texas’ perfect 12-0 record at home that season.
This past Saturday, UNT won its eighth home game of the year, tying the 2011-12 season for the third most since the 2001-02 team. With five home games remaining on this season’s schedule, North Texas is aiming to break a long-standing program-record.
“There’s always that excitement about playing at home,” said point guard Trena Mims. “You’re in your own house and you’re surrounded by Mean Green and it just gives you a good feeling. “
When now head coach Jalie Mitchell and her staff put together this season’s schedule it was a point of emphasis that they play more games at home than they had in her two previous seasons as head coach.
North Texas played seven of their 12 non-conference games this year at home and will play a total of 15 home games — both are the most under the third-year head coach.
“After spending a lot of time on the road last season we felt that it was important to address this for the coming year,” Mitchell said earlier this summer. “We wanted this schedule to encourage even more support and give our fans the advantage of seeing us often.”
And the support has come.
Last season, North Texas saw a 33 percent increase in attendance from the previous season and this year the Mean Green are averaging even more fans per game and on Nov. 29 hosted the largest home crowd in program history with 3,243 fans.
“Protecting home court has and will always be our thing,” Mitchell said. “As a player, there was a lot of pride in winning at home where you have advantages like fan support.”
After Saturday’s home win over Charlotte, the Mean Green now own an 8-2 home record with each loss being by only one point.
In the 10 home games, UNT is holding its opponents to an average of 47.7 points per game while averaging themselves 63.5 points per game.
“There is no feeling better than when you put that jersey on and head to the court for battle,” Mims said. “And there is no way anyone can come in to our Pit and beat us without a dogfight. So, yeah, I guess you could say it’s different a type of emphasis on home games.”
The 2001-02 UNT team was also the last Mean Green team to win 20 games, a goal Mitchell has set out for her team each season she has been here. With 12 more regular season games remaining and North Texas owning an 11-5 record, the goal is within reach but continuing to protect home court will again be key.
“I am definitely proud of the way we have taken care of our home court so far this season,” said Mitchell. “It’s obvious that there is a lot of pride in where and how we play.”
The Mean Green are on the road this week but return to the Super Pit on Jan. 26 to face Western Kentucky.
To purchase tickets to North Texas’ next home game and to any of their final five home games, fans are encouraged to visit the North Texas ticket office located at the Super Pit on gamedays or by visiting the North Texas ticket website.