New Orleans, La. (2/7/02) Jalie Mitchell scored a career-high 37 points to propel the North Texas women’s basketball team (15-6, 9-2) to an 81-75 victory over New Orleans (9-14, 5-6) Thursday night at Lakefront Arena.
Eight of Mitchell’s 37 points came from the charity stripe, giving her 385 made free throws for her career and the school record. Also reaching double-figures for North Texas, Nicole Thomas finished with 18 points. Yolanda White paced New Orleans with 22 points.
“I only heard about the (free throw) record two games ago, so it kind of surprised me I was that close,” said Mitchell. “I am very excited about the accomplishment. "
The outing marked the third straight road victory for North Texas and its sixth win in a row overall.
The Lady Eagles went on an 11-5 run through the first six minutes of the second half to open up their largest lead of the game, 49-31. Down 60-45 with 8:32 left in the second half, UNO used an 8-0 run to pull within seven points, 53-60. The Privateers would cut the North Texas lead to just four points, 68-64, with 1:50 remaining before Rosalyn Reades hit a jumper and Mitchell hit a lay-up to push the Lady Eagles advantage back to eight.
“We started taking too many quick shots and sending them to the foul line towards the end of the game,” said senior guard Rosalyn Reades. “But we knew if we started taking care of the ball and running our offense, we would be alright.”
Mitchell scored 18 of her 37 points in the first half to give the Lady Eagles a 38-26 halftime advantage. Ahead 13-12 at the 15:11 mark of the opening half, North Texas went on a 9-0 run to grab a 22-12 advantage, its first double-figure lead of the game. The Lady Eagles extended its lead to 15 (34-19) with 6:29 left in the half, but UNO worked it back down to 12 to close out the first 20 minutes of action.
“We ran a lot of the same inbounds plays and I was able to take advantage of those situations,” said Mitchell. “I wanted to make some things happen and I felt like I was hot, so I kept on taking my shots.”
“I think we did a good job of attacking the basket tonight and with the way Jalie was playing, South Alabama wasn’t able to adjust,” said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. “This win gives us a lot of momentum going into Saturday night’s game.”
North Texas will play its final road game of the regular season Saturday, squaring off against South Alabama at 7 p.m.