Mean Green Take On Lady Techsters
North Texas Looks To Capture Its Fourth Conference Win
DENTON — Two days after shooting a season-high 56 percent against the smaller Southern Miss Golden Eagles, the North Texas women’s basketball team welcomes a completely different opponent in Louisiana Tech to the Super Pit.
Saturday at 3:00 p.m., the Mean Green (6-11, 3-3 C-USA) host one of the more post dominate Conference USA teams. Saturday’s contest will be aired live on ESPN3 and on the radio at 88.1 FM KNTU.
Both North Texas and the Lady Techsters (8-9, 3-3 C-USA) enter the game Saturday in a five-way tie for third place in the 14-team conference standings. The Mean Green have played tremendous defense since the start of the new year, holding its last five opponents to an average of 57.2 points per game. North Texas, which owns a 3-2 record in 2017, has had second half leads in all five of the games. A fourth quarter run by Middle Tennessee and Rice were the difference makers in the two losses.
Louisiana Tech rolls into Denton after an overtime victory at Rice on Thursday and is not that far removed from a huge home victory over Charlotte. Since the start of conference play, the Lady Techsters have turned to two of their guards as their primary scorers. Louisiana Tech’s Kierra Anthony and Jasmine LeBlanc have combined to average 28 points per game.
North Texas has never beaten the Lady Techster in its nine previous tries. A win Saturday for the Mean Green would also be the first time they had four conference wins before the month of February since the 2012-13 season and it’d be almost a month sooner than when they captured their fourth conference win last year on Feb. 18 at FIU.
North Texas shot a season-high 56 percent against Southern Miss and made a season-high 10 3-pointers in a 75-62 home win. The Mean Green were led by senior Candice Adams who scored a season-high 16 points and made four of her eight 3-point attempts. North Texas was nearly unstoppable in the second half. They made 62.5 percent of their shots. Head coach Jalie Mitchell attributed the win to vocal leadership on the court and also a season-high 16 assists. The 75 points scored by the Mean Green were the second-most points scored in a regulation game against a conference team under Jalie Mitchell. North Texas scored 79 points last year versus Florida Atlantic in the conference tournament.
In conference play, North Texas owns the C-USA’s top 3-point field goal percentage at 38.5. They’ve made 30 of their 78 attempts in the six games. They’re also the best at defending the 3-point shot in conference. North Texas is holding opposing conference teams to a 26 percent 3-point field goal percentage. Right behind the Mean Green is Louisiana Tech who own a 27 percent 3-point defense percentage. Leading the deep ball charge for North Texas is senior Candice Adams and sophomore Terriell Bradley. Adams has made a C-USA-best 45 percent of her 22 3-point attempts in conference play, while Bradley sits at 43 percent. The two combined to make six 3-pointers versus the Golden Eagles on Thursday. In four of the Mean Green’s six wins this season, the two have combined for at least six 3-pointers. Adams has made a 3-pointer in 17 straight games played dating back to last season — the second longest active streak of C-USA players.
MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
North Texas LA Tech
6-11 (3-3 C-USA) 8-9 (3-3 C-USA)
T-3rd in C-USA T-3rd in C-USA
60.6 PPG 69.3 PPG
31.4 RPG 40.7 RPG
10.1 APG 15.2 APG
North Texas LA Tech
PTS: Bradley (12.9) PTS: LeBlanc (12.8)
REB: Ellison (5.9) REB: LeBlanc (9.1)
AST: Criner (3.5) AST: Lang (3.2)
North Texas will face a less than typical defense Saturday and a team that rebounds the ball tremendously. North Texas’ frontcourt and post must rebound the ball well and not give up many second chance points nor allow the Lady Techsters to get out in transition, as that’s where they are extremely successful. Thursday, sophomore Micayla Buckner returned to the court after not playing versus Rice and had a number of big rebounds and post plays. Another positive game for the Garland native should equal a second-straight victory for North Texas.
Louisiana Tech has dominated the post in conference games both in the half court and in transition. Its posts are a big part of the offense and will challenge opposing teams’ physical and mental toughness. If the Lady Techsters are to win, it’ll be because of a successful game by their frontcourt.
WELCOME TO THE SPACE JAM
Saturday’s game at the Super Pit is Space Jam Day.