Women's Basketball Welcomes Rice For Weekend Home Tilt
North Texas Set For 1986 Celebration Game, Revenge Against Owls
North Texas returns to the Super Pit sporting an 8-9 (3-4 C-USA) record. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
|North Texas Women's Basketball vs. Rice|
|Date | Time||Saturday, January 30 | 2:00 p.m. CT|
|Location||Denton, TX | The Super Pit (10,500)|
|Radio||Mean Green Radio Network - 88.1 KNTU-FM|
|Steven "Poppy" Bartolotta (Play-by-Play), Brent Wise (Color)|
|Game Notes|| North Texas | Rice | Conference USA
DENTON -- The North Texas women's basketball team will close out its three-game home stand this weekend, when the Rice Owls come to town for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Saturday, Jan. 30, from the Super Pit.
The game will be interesting. For one, the Owls stroll into Denton after handing the Mean Green a 100-97 loss just 19 days ago in a triple-overtime thriller from Houston. Secondly, the matinee matchup will serve as a celebration to the 1985-86 basketball team, the only group in the women's program history to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
"An obvious goal of mine, our team and our program is to get back to that [championship] level," head coach Jalie Mitchell said. "I'm looking forward to this weekend because we get to show [the team] around and make them feel special, because they are. I'm looking forward to having them, celebrating them and hearing about their time here."
A 1980's theme will be in full effect for Saturday's contest. Admission for the event is set at $3, while UNT students can enter for free with a valid student ID. The 80's night celebration will also include a best dressed contest and $1 hot dogs.
• North Texas-Rice can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network (KNTU 88.1 FM) with Steven "Poppy" Bartolotta on play-by-play duties and Brent Wise providing commentary. Pregame coverage will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to Saturday's 2 p.m. tipoff.
A Look at the Series
• Rice owns a 4-3 advantage over the Mean Green after a win in Houston earlier this month, but the Owls are 0-2 from Denton. Each team has won two games in this series as members of Conference USA.
• The two squads last faced off on January 10 from Rice's Tudor Fieldhouse. It was the Owls that picked up the 100-97 win in triple overtime. The marathon battle concluded with junior guard Kelsey Criner finishing a rebound away from NT's first-ever triple-double.
•The Owls enter the matchup with a 3-15 record on the year, the team's only wins coming against in-state rivals Sam Houston State, UTSA and the Mean Green.
• At 2-5 in conference play, Rice comes in at 12th in the Conference USA standings, four spots behind North Texas who sits as the eighth seed.
• Last time out: Rice lost a nail-biter from their home court last Saturday, falling 61-60 to Middle Tennessee off a game-winning 3-pointer from Blue Raider Brea Edwards. Junior Jasmine Goodwine had a team-high 22 points in the win, while junior Owl Maya Hawkins followed her up with 14 points and nine assists.
• The Owls enter the matchup with one of the conference's most lackluster offenses. Rice's 55 points per game, 37.8 field goal percentage and 59.3 free throw percentage are all the worst marks in C-USA this season.
• Individually, Rice's unit is led on offense by a trio of double-digit scorers - Maya Hawkins, Shani Rainey and Jasmine Goodwine. Hawkins's 10.9 scoring average leads that group, and she also tops the Owls in assists (3.9 apg) and minutes (32.6 mpg). It is Goodwine that has found her offensive rhythm of late, averaging 16.2 points on 52 percent shooting over the last five games.
A Look At North Texas
• At 8-9 (3-4), the Mean Green sit right in the middle of the conference - eighth place.
• The Mean Green returns to the Super Pit in hopes of closing its three-game home streak with a win. So far North Texas has split the first two games of that stretch, falling to Middle Tennessee (76-52) before knocking off UAB (53-51).
• NT has played in six games that have been decided by five or less points, and junior Kelsey Criner has hit the deciding go-ahead shots in all four NT wins in such contests. Overall, she averages 6.3 points and has not committed a turnover after the two minute mark of the fourth quarter in games decided by five or less points, accounting for 55 percent of the team's scoring in those situations.
• NT's -2.4 scoring margin shows just how close each Mean Green game really is. Through 17 contests on the season, six games have been decided by five points or less, while all but three contests ended with a margin of 10 points or less. Win or lose, you can count on a close one.
• NT is having one of its most efficient seasons ever from long range. The Mean Green has made only 80 3-pointers on the year, but the team is efficient with the shots it does put up. The team's 34.3 percent clip from behind the 3-point line is fifth in the league (56th nationally), and that percentage would be the third-best mark for a single season in team history.
• Junior Candice Adams is three 3-pointers from taking sole possession of eighth place on NT's career makes list.
• Senior Acheil Tac continues to lead C-USA in field goal percentage (.567), and her overall average of 8.5 rebounds per contest is good for fifth in the league. Tac has six double-doubles on the year and 13 in her career to lead NT.
• Criner enters Saturday's contest having dished at least five assists in nine of the last 10 games. Earlier this season she became the first NT player since 2002 to dish 10 assists - a feat she has since accomplished twice. The Dallas native continues to lead the league in dimes, averaging 5.0 per game.