Playing Forty Minutes
North Texas Travels To UTSA
SAN ANTONIO — The phrase “it’s not how you start but how you finish” typically applies to most circumstances, but for the Mean Green women’s basketball team’s head coach Jalie Mitchell, she has emphasized that, in fact, how the team starts is just as important as their finish.
“We need to get back to playing a full 40 minutes instead of just 20,” Mitchell has said throughout this week. “We’ve recently gotten away from that.”
Over the last five games, North Texas has been outscored by its opponents in the first-half by an average of nine points, however, in the second-half they’re much more competitive and have outscored their last three opponents by an average of 3.5 points in the second-half and have made double-digit comebacks.
But maybe no stat is more telling than the team’s record in games when they’ve led after one quarter. UNT is 9-1this season when they have the lead after the first quarter. The team hasn't led after the first quarter in over five games.
“Setting the tone has always been important for this team,” Mitchell said.
Friday, North Texas (11-9, 2-6 C-USA) travels to UT- San Antonio (3-17, 1-7 C-USA) in search for that quick, tone-setting start.
Who they will with out a doubt look towards will be their leader Terriell Bradley.
Bradley is having an explosive second season in Denton and is on pace to finish the regular season with the most points scored in a single-season in the last 16 years. She’s in the top three in Conference USA in points per game and recently in a matchup against Western Kentucky outscored the conference’s leading scorer, by dropping a career-high 29 points.
Bradley has gotten it done from downtown, driving the lane and at the free throw line.
With eight regular season games remaining on the schedule, she’s two 3-pointer shy of setting a new single season career-high and is making nine percent more of her attempts compared to last season. In the team’s last eight games, Bradley has made 45 percent of her 42 3-point attempts.
At the free throw line, Bradley has the highest free throw percentage in C-USA of players with 90 or more attempts.
In just one and a half seasons, Bradley is one free throw away from entering the top 10 in program history for most made free throws and she’s 20 free throws away from the most made in consecutive seasons, which is currently held by her head coach.
“She gets hers,” Mitchell said. “She’s able to create and score with the best. She’s been huge for our team and of course will be down the stretch.”
North Texas hasn't started conference play as they'd hope, but if they can start games quickly as they did when they began the season 9-3, this recent dip in the start of conference won't matter.
Friday’s game, which is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network on KNTU 88.1 FM with John Liddle providing the play-by-play. The game can also streamed live on CUSA.tv.