Women’s Hoops Looks To End Golden Eagles Home Momentum
Southern Miss Enters Thursday Contest with 9-0 Record from Hattiesburg
Head coach Jalie Mitchell will lead her squad into a road battle with Southern Miss on Thursday. (Photo by Rick Yeatts)
|North Texas Women's Basketball at Southern Miss|
|Date | Time||Thursday, February 4, 2016 | 6:00 p.m. CT|
|Location||Hattiesburg, MS | Reed Green Coliseum|
|Stream||Conference USA Digital Network ($)|
|Radio||Mean Green Radio Network - 88.1 KNTU-FM|
|Steven Bartolotta (Play-by-Play), T.C. Greene (Color)|
|Game Notes||North Texas | Southern Miss | Conference USA|
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The North Texas women’s basketball team returns to the road for the first time in two weeks when it faces off against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, from the Reed Green Coliseum. The Mean Green will be in for a tough test on USM’s home court, as they have an undefeated 9-0 mark from from Hattiesburg this year.
On the Air
• North Texas-Southern Miss can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network (KNTU 88.1 FM) with Steven “Poppy” Bartolotta on play-by-play duties and T.C. Greene providing commentary. Pregame coverage will begin approximately 15 minutes prior to Thursday’s 6 p.m. tipoff.
A Look at the Series
• Southern Miss owns a 2-0 advantage over the Mean Green, with both matchups coming as members of Conference USA. The young series has seen one game played on each team’s home court.
• The two squads last faced off on January 24, 2015 from Hattiesburg with USM coming away with a 67-55 victory. Former guard BreAnna Dawkins led NT with 17 points, while current junior Terra Ellison led all current NT players with seven points.
Scouting Southern Miss
• The Golden Eagles enter the matchup with a 10-9 record on the year. Despite the winning record, USM is tied with North Texas’s 3-5 conference mark and comes in at eighth in the C-USA standings.
• Last time out: The Southern Miss women’s basketball team suffered through long bouts of cold shooting in the second half, falling to UTSA 47-41 Saturday. Jayla King was the only player to reach double figures with 10 points while Caitlin Jenkins pulled down 12 rebounds. The Lady Eagles finished the game shooting just 31.5 percent from the field.
• The Golden Eagles are an unblemished 9-0 from the Reed Green Coliseum this season, compared to 1-9 on the road in 2015-16.
• USM enters the matchup with one of the conference’s most stifling defenses, a group that allows an average of 60.1 points per game. That mark is the third-best scoring defense in C-USA.
• The Golden Eagles are led by Caitlin Jenkins, a sure contender for C-USA Freshman of the Year honors. The 6’3 center averages a double-double with her team-leading 12.3 points and 10.6 rebounds. Brittanny Dinkins (10.6 ppg) is the only other double-digit scorer available for USM.
• USM’s second-leading scorer, senior Jerontay Clemons, was ruled ineligible at the semester break. That could be a big blow for the home team, as Clemons averaged 11.8 points per contest.
Scouting North Texas
• At 8-10 (3-5), the Mean Green sit in ninth place in the conference, one spot below Southern Miss.
• Thursday’s game is the first in a two-game road stretch. North Texas will take on Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, from Ruston, Louisiana.
• Former walk-on Orianna Shillow had played a total of two minutes all season prior to last Saturday’s contest with Rice, but the freshman took advantage of added time in her first career start. The Round Rock, Texas, native would go on to connect on five shots from deep in the double overtime contest, setting an individual team-high for the season. She finished with a total of 16 points, two rebounds and two steals.
• The Mean Green are statistically better away from Denton this season. In eight games played on the road, NT is averaging 65.8 points per game while combining for a 4-4 record in away contests. From the Super Pit, the Mean Green is scoring only 58.4 points en route to a 4-6 mark. Some of the team’s more impressive wins have come on the road this year, including an upset over nationally-ranked Oklahoma and a victory at Marshall that snapped the Herd’s 8-0 home mark for 2015-16.
• NT’s -2.6 scoring margin shows just how close each Mean Green game really is. Through 18 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.
• North Texas is having one of its most efficient seasons ever from long range. The Mean Green has made only 86 3-pointers on the year, but the team is efficient with the shots it does put up. NT’s 34.1 percent clip from behind the 3-point line is fourth in the league (59th nationally), and that percentage would be the third-best mark for a single season in team history. Overall, the team’s 42.2 field goal percentage is third in C-USA.
• Junior Candice Adams is two 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 (56.3), and her overall average of 8.3 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 10 of the last 11 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 is second in C-USA for assists, averaging 5.0 per game.