Women Begin Florida Swing Against FIU

Game 25 • Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 • 3:30 p.m. CT/4:30 p.m. ET
North Texas Mean Green (13-10, 6-4 SBC)
at FIU Panthers (15-8, 5-5 SBC)
Miami, Fla. • US Century Bank Arena (5,000)
Radio: KNTU 88.1 FM • TV: None
Series Record: FIU leads 8-6
Last Meeting: W, 76-69 (1/13/2011) at North Texas

North Texas Begins Florida Swing Against FIU
The Mean Green are set to take on FIU in the first of a two-game Florida road swing, and the start of a season-ending stretch of four of six games on the road. The Mean Green enter the game on an offensive surge, having scored an average of 67.3 points the last three games, and are shooting 44.6% from the field in that span. The Mean Green sit in third place in the Sun Belt West, one game behind UALR for second, and 1.5 games ahead of ULM for fourth. The Mean Green currently lead the tiebreaker against both teams.

Briefly On The Mean Green
Karen Aston is one win away from her 100th as a head coach
Jasmine Godbolt became the 13th NT player to score 1,000 points with 12 against MT on Feb. 2
• North Texas is one of two teams nationally to have eight more wins than in 2010-11, giving the Mean Green Division I's second-best turnaround, in terms of wins, so far.
• The Mean Green defense has improved by 16.0 points, the most in the nation
• North Texas is scoring 67.3 points per game and shooting 44.6% in its last three games
• The Mean Green have had chances to win 22 of 23 games, coming away with 13 wins and having at least one second-half possession to tie in nine of 10 other games
• North Texas hosts Play 4Kay in its next home game, on Feb. 15

North Texas vs. FIU
North Texas has won its last two games against FIU, beating the Panthers 76-69 last season at the Super Pit, and winning what was the third meeting between the two sides in 2010, a 61-51 victory over FIU at the Sun Belt Championships in Hot Springs, Ark. North Texas is also 2-2 in its last three trips to Miami, winning matchups at FIU in 2004 and 2009.

Mean Green Working On Nation's Second-Best Turnaround
North Texas has improved its record from 5-25 in 2010-11 to 13-10 so far this season, which is tied for the nation's second-biggest turnaround, in terms of wins. The Mean Green and Cal State Northridge are the two teams nationally who have won at least 8 more than their total from 2010-11. In terms of winning percentage, North Texas has the third-best turnaround in the nation.

Biggest Turnarounds - Division I - 2011-12 (Through Feb. 5)
Rank School 2011-12 2010-11 Change (W)
1 Cal State Northridge 14-9 4-26 +10
2 North Texas 13-10 5-25 +8
3 Niagara 8-16 1-29 +6
A&M-Corpus Christi 8-14 2-27 +6
IUPUI 10-13 4-24 +6
Oregon State 15-7 9-21 +6
San Jose State 8-14 2-27 +6
UNLV 17-7 11-20 +6
William & Mary 9-13 3-26 +6

Mean Green Features Nation's Most Improved Defense
As of the most recent statistical report (Feb. 5), North Texas' defense is the second-most improved in the nation, improving from 73.3 points per game, which ranked 321st in the nation in 2010-11, to 71st in the nation this year in the most recent national report, at 57.3 points per game, improving by 16.0 points, which is the largest improvement in the nation. and 250 ranks, also the most in the nation. North Texas currently has the lowest opponent scoring average in school history; NT has only held opponents to under 60 points per game in 2005-06, holding opponents to 59.7 points per game.

Biggest Defensive Improvement - Division I - 2011-12 (Through Feb. 5)
Rank School 2011-12 2010-11 Change (Pts)
1 North Texas 57.3 73.3 16.0
2 Tex.-Pan American 61.3 76.9 15.5
3 UTEP 51.7 65.2 13.6
4 Tulane 52.6 65.8 13.2
5 Washington St. 60.7 73.0 12.3
6 Tulsa 58.6 70.6 12.0
7 Miami (OH) 63.1 75.0 11.9
8 Fla. Atlantic 58.3 70.0 11.7
9 South Carolina 48.1 59.6 11.5
10 San Diego 55.1 66.7 11.5

99 Problems, But Winning Isn't One
Karen Aston is one victory away from her 100th career win, sitting on 99 career victories, including a 86-47 record at Charlotte in addtion to 13 wins at North Texas. Aston would become only the second head coach to win her 100th career game while the head coach of North Texas, joining Tina Slinker.

Godbolt Reaches 1,000
Jasmine Godbolt became only the 13th player in school history to score 1,000 points with 12 points against Middle Tennessee on Feb. 2. She is only the 8th to score 1,000 points in three or fewer seasons. Brittney James was the last NT player to hit 1,000 points, accomplishing the feat in 2009-10. She is 35 points away from 10th place on North Texas' all-time scoring list. Godbolt also ranks 8th at North Texas in career rebounds, and is 140 away from the school record. Godbolt has made 263 free throws for her career and is tied for 6th at North Texas, while she ranks 2nd all-time with 494 free throw attempts.

Department Of Defense
North Texas is on pace to shatter the school record in points allowed, holding opponents to 57.3 points per game this year, well below the record of 59.7 points per game, set in 2005-06. The Mean Green need to average 67.7 points or fewer during the rest of the season to set the school record.

Sharp Shooters
Since shooting 30.0% in a loss to Denver on Jan. 21, the Mean Green's worst shooting performance in conference play, North Texas has shot 44.6% from the field and averaged 67.3 points in its three games since.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Mean Green's win at Louisiana-Lafayette represented the first win for the Mean Green in 2011-12 on a plane trip. The Mean Green are 5-1 on bus trips, 7-3 at home and 1-5 on plane trips.

Play 4Kay
North Texas hosts its 3rd-annual Play 4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness game on Feb. 15th against ULM, in association with The Kay Yow Cancer Fund . Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.

Mean Green Lead The Belt In Rebounding
North Texas is owning the offensive glass this season, having a 41.1% offensive rebounding percentage, and averages 15.9 offensive rebounds per game, both which lead the Sun Belt Conference. The Mean Green also lead the Sun Belt Conference in league games with a offensive rebound percentage of 40.0% and 14.0 offensive rebounds per game. Overall, the Mean Green have scored 334 second-chance points on offensive rebounds (0.91 points per play), and have only allowed 179 second-chance points on 279 offensive rebounds allowed (0.68 points per play).

Stanley's Recent Hot Streak
Sara Stanley is averaging 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds since Jan. 21, and is shooting 72.7% from the field in that four game stretch. She scored a career-high 14 points, including her first career 3-point basket, against Middle Tennessee on Feb. 2, to go along with 8 rebounds, a career-high for a Sun Belt Game. She has scored at least 7 points in each of the last four games.

Coming Back Strong
Jasmine Godbolt has improved her shooting, after missing a four game stretch from Dec. 17-31, and is third in the Sun Belt Conference in field goal percentage (league games only), shooting .195 better, and shooting .170 better on free throws since the injury compared to her pre-injury stats.

Category Pre-Injury Post-Injury Change
Field Goal Pct 57-146 (.390) 41-74 (.554) +.164
Free Throw Pct 33-70 (.471) 31-50 (.620) +.149

Whoooa, Nelly
Desiree Nelson had a career game against Louisiana-Lafayette, tying a career-highs with 16 points, six rebounds, and earning a career-high three steals. Nelson went 4-of-6 from 3-point range, making her the third Mean Green player to hit 4+ 3-pointers in one game, joining Tamara Torru (5, at Arizona) and Laura McCoy (4, at Texas; 6, WKU; 4, Middle Tennessee), and moving her to 2nd in 3FG% in league games. She played a career-high 36 minutes at the Cajundome. Prior to her 3 steals, she picked up exactly one steal in 12 of 20 games, but had not gotten multiple steals in a game.

North Texas has held opponents to 50 points or fewer eight times this season, which is the most times an opponent has been held to the half-century mark or less in school history, surpassing the mark set in both 2004-05 and 2005-06. North Texas held opponents to 50 points or fewer just three times in the span from 2008-11.

Not Hanging Ten
Against Denver, North Texas had no players score in double-digits for the first time since Dec. 18, 2005 at Texas, when Didi Wali and Sanetra Jackson co-led the team with eight points in a 69-49 loss to the Longhorns. On Jan. 21, Brittney Hudson and Sara Stanley co-led the team with eight points apiece, but it was not enough to get past the Pioneeers, as North Texas lost 50-44.

Winning The Rebound Battle
North Texas has out-rebounded its opponents 20 times this season, and has not been out-rebounded since Dec. 3 against Oregon State, the only time the Mean Green have been out-rebounded this season. Three times teams have finished with equal rebounds this season.

Hudson Beats The Buzzer At ULM
Brittney Hudson's buzzer-beater against ULM, the first buzzer-beater for North Texas since Feb. 13, 2000, sent North Texas into first place in the Sun Belt West on Jan. 15. With the game tied at 54 and 7.5 seconds remaining, Hudson, who had scored two points in the game prior to that, was able to gather the ball and hit a layup as time expired to give North Texas the victory. North Texas' last buzzer-beater came at UC Irvine on Feb. 13, 2000, as Ashley Norris hit a jumper from the free throw line to give the Mean Green a 61-59 victory. Norris, like Hudson, had only made one field goal in the game prior to making the game-winning shot.

Godbolt Named College Sports Madness SBC Player of the Week On Jan. 16
Jasmine Godbolt was named College Sports Madness Player of the Week for the Sun Belt Conference on Jan. 16, coming off two straight conference wins agianst Western Kentucky and ULM. She scored 18.0 points per game, as moved into first place in the Sun Belt West. Against ULM (Jan. 15), she tied a season-high with 20 points, reaching that plateau for the 2nd time in three games.

Coaching Barefoot
Karen Aston and staff coached barefoot in the Jan. 28 victory against Arkansas State, in support of Samaritan's Feet. Aston raised over $1,100 for Samaritan's Feet, exceeding her goal of $1,000. The Barefoot Coaching Movement was put into practice in January 2008, IUPUI Coach Ron Hunter coached a game in his bare feet to raise awareness for the plight of impoverished children who suffer needlessly from foot-borne diseases and infections due to a lack of shoes.

The Importance Of Starting Fast
When the Mean Green get their first points before 17:30 of the first half, it is 11-3, with losses coming to Oral Roberts, at Arizona and Denver. However, when the Mean Green score its first points at 17:30 or later in the first half, it is 2-7. In 10 games-including nine of North Texas' 10 losses-the Mean Green have trailed by five or more points in the first five minutes of the game.

Don't Let Me Into My Zone
Laura McCoy hit six 3-pointers against Western Kentucky on Jan. 11, which is tied for the second-most in a single game at North Texas. Sanetra Jackson was the last North Texas player to hit 6+ 3-pointers before McCoy, making six at Louisiana-Lafayette four years to the day before McCoy did, on Jan. 11, 2007. McCoy set a career-high against the Lady Toppers, pouring in 18 points.

Evans' Start To Conference Play
Ash'Lynne Evans three games of 17 or more points to start league play is the first string of three games where any Mean Green player has scored 17+ points in three games since Denetra Kellum scored 17+ on Feb. 3, Feb. 17, and Feb. 19 in 2010-11.

Tailor-Made Victory Over Troy
North Texas had its best defensive performance of the season against Troy on Dec. 31, winning 57-36. North Texas started the game on a 14-0 and 21-1 run, its best opening run of the season, at its largest run at any point of any game this year. The Mean Green held Troy to opponent season-lows in points (36), field-goal percentage (19.6%), field goals made (10), and points at halftime (13). The 36 points allowed are the fewest allowed by the Mean Green since Feb. 25, 2006.

FTs Falling For McCoy
Laura McCoy is 43-of-46 on the year in free throws, and would rank 2nd in the NCAA, if qualified, with a percentage of 93.5%. She led Division I in Free Throw Percentage from Dec. 11 until Jan. 1, when she fell out of the statistical report. Opponents have been reluctant to foul McCoy, as she has not gone to the line in nine of her past 14 games. In that span, she has set a career-high in points three times, including 18 points against WKU. She made her first 20 free throws of the year before missing her first.

No Doubters
In North Texas' 13 wins this season, the Mean Green have trailed for a total of 2:39 and eight possesions combined in the second half. North Texas had three deficits of 1 point to overcome for a total of 58 seconds early in the second half against SMU on Nov. 22, and trailed by a point for 15 seconds and one possession from 18:28 to 18:08 of the second half against Alabama on Dec. 9. Against Western Kentucky, the Mean Green trailed for 84 seconds over four offensive possesions.The Mean Green have wired their opponents in the second half a total of 10 times this season.

Nearing A Triple Double
Tamara Torru sniffed a triple-double against UALR on Dec. 28, coming three assists and three rebounds short of North Texas' first-ever triple double. Her seven assists were the most by a North Texas player since Dec. 13, 2010, and a personal career-high. Additionally, Torru came two steals and four blocks of a 5x5, which also would have been a North Texas first.

Taking Care Of Buisness
North Texas is 11-3 against teams that did not make the postseason in 2010-11, and is 2-7 against teams that did qualify for the NCAA Tournament or WNIT last season. North Texas has two games remaining in league play against 2011 postseason teams; one against Sun Belt Tournament champ UALR, and one against NCAA At-Large pick Middle Tennessee.

Only In Horseshoes
Despite having nine losses on the season, North Texas has been in position to win eight of those games, having a chance to tie on at least one possession in the last 10 minutes in seven of 10 losses, and a chance to tie in the second half of nine of the losses.
Latest Lead Latest Poss. to Tie
Game Result Time Score Time Score
Oral Roberts L, 60-67 12:17 42-41 11:39 42-45
Arizona L, 62-69 16:24 (1st) 4-3 2:46 61-66 (Tech FT + Poss.)
Tulane L, 47-55 8:16 (1st) 15-14 17:50 28-30
Missouri State L, 67-78 None 3:13 63-66
Texas L, 61-72 8:13 52-50 7:15 52-54
Nicholls St. L ot, 64-67 4:25 52-51 0:00 (ot) 64-67
South Alabama L, 60-69 None 17:39 (1st) 0-2
Arkansas State L ot, 64-70 3:06 (ot) 64-62 1:07 (ot) 64-66
Denver L, 44-50 18:54 22-20 7:05 30-32
Middle Tennessee L, 68-70 2:57 63-61 0:00 68-70

Mean Green Started Fast
At 7-2, North Texas had its best nine-game start since 2005-06, which ties for the second-best start in school history through nine games, with Karen Aston taking over the reins of the program. Aston joined Tina Slinker as the only two coaches in North Texas program history to win a debut game, with a 66-47 road win, and joins Slinker as the only coaches to start their North Texas career 4-1. North Texas opened its 12th season of Sun Belt Play with two consecutive wins, and was 2-0 in league play for the third time in school history, joining the 2004-05 and 2005-06 squads with 2-0 starts. North Texas started the season 2-0 in road games, their best start on the road since 2000-01.

Mean Green Win Gene Hackerman Invitational
North Texas won two games at Rice's Tudor Fieldhouse on Dec. 2-3 to take home the Gene Hackerman Invitational title, North Texas' first regular season tournament title since the Southwest Texas CenturyTel Classic in 2002-03. Jasmine Godbolt was named tournament MVP with 15.0 points per game and 8.5 rebounds, and Tamara Torru was named to the all-tournament team with 9.0 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Tam Can Do It All
Tamara Torru has been an all-around contributor for the Mean Green, being the only player who has led the team at least five times in a single game in each of points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. In fact, she is the only North Texas player this season to have games of 20+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ assists, 2+ blocks, and 3+ steals. She ranks in the top 15 of the Sun Belt in 8 different categories.

Hudson Steals The Show
Brittney Hudson tied a North Texas single-game record with nine steals against Tulane on Dec. 9, putting her atop the single-game leaderboard with Regina Woods, who has 9 steals against Texas State on Feb. 20, 1985. She is 5th in the Sun Belt Conference and is 220th nationally with 2.1 steals/game.

Hot Hoops In Hot Springs
For the fourth consecutive season, the Sun Belt Conference Tournament will be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Summit Arena & Convention Center. The format features all 12 teams going to Hot Springs. The top two teams from each division will earn byes into the quarterfinals. The women's tournament will be held from March 3-6. North Texas' Coaches Show is on the day preceding the tournament, March 2, from Lucky's in Hot Springs.

The Super Pit Is It
The Mean Green is 6-3 in its last 9 games at the Super Pit and has won six of its last eight non-conference home games dating back to the start of 2010-11. Since 1998-99, North Texas is 109-57 in all games at The Super Pit. North Texas has its most home wins since 2007-08

NT Records At Home Since 1998-99
1998-99: 10-0 2005-06: 11-3
1999-00: 11-2 2006-07: 6-5
2000-01: 9-2 2007-08: 9-6
2001-02: 12-0 2008-09: 4-7
2002-03: 5-6 2009-10: 6-7
2003-04: 6-6 2010-11: 4-7
2004-05: 9-3 2011-12: 7-4

Mean Green Voted Fifth
North Texas recieved one first place vote and was picked to finish fifth in the West Division in the preseason coaches poll. Denver was picked to finish first in the West, and Middle Tennessee was picked to win the East division.

2011-12 Sun Belt Preseason Poll
West Division Points East Division Points
1. Denver 62 (6) 1. Middle Tennessee 68 (9)
2. Arkansas State 56 (1) 2. FIU 58 (1)
3. UALR 53 (3) 3. Western Kentucky 48 (1)
4. Louisiana-Monroe 29 4. South Alabama 38
5. North Texas 28 (1) 5. Florida Atlantic 23 (1)
6. Louisiana-Lafayette 24 (1) 6. Troy 17

North Texas Inks Five
North Texas signed five players in the early signing period, including two guards, Briana Brooks and Loryn Goodwin, and three forwards in Eboniey Jeter, I'Tiana Taylor and Acheil Tac. Brooks (Tyler Robert E. Lee HS), was named first-team all-district in her junior year, posting 15.5 pts and 5 asts a game. Goodwin (Cypress Falls HS) was named TGCA All-State, and was the District 12-5A Offensive MVP in 2010-11. Jeter (Harker Heights HS) averaged 13.9 pts and 16 rebs her junior year, en route to being named first team all-district. Tac (Sasche HS) is one of the leading rebounders in the DFW area for and was named All-District 10-5A in 2011. Taylor (Pflugerville HS) ranks as the 52nd best power forward in the country by Dan Olsen Girls Basketball Report.

North Texas On The Tube
The Sun Belt Network televises one remaining NT women's basketball game this season:
Feb. 18 La.-Lafayette (SBN) 1 p.m.

Patiently Waiting
North Texas is having one of its best seasons in recent memory. Below are selected accomplishments that the 2011-12 team has achieved for the first time in a while. The accomplishment for the 2011-12 is in parenthesis.
2007-08: Won 13+ games (13), Won 7+ home games (7)
2006-07: Had a player make 6 3FG in a single game (Laura McCoy, WKU)
2005-06: Started 7-2, Winning non-conference season (7-5), Season-opening double-double (Tamara Torru, 13 pts, 12 reb), Held opponents to 60 points or less over a season (in progress), defeated the defending SBC Tournament Champion (UALR), Started 2-0 in Sun Belt play, Held an opponent to under 40 points (Troy)
2003-04: Had a player shoot over .900 on FTs for the season (Laura McCoy, in progress)
2002-03: Won a regular-season tournament (Gene Hackerman Invitational)
1999-00: Won on a buzzer-beater (Brittney Hudson, ULM)
1989-90: Head coach won a debut game (Karen Aston, UT Arlington)
1988-89: Defeated a Pac-12 team (Oregon State)
1984-85: Had a player with 9 steals in a single game (Brittney Hudson, Tulane)
First: Win vs. SEC team (Alabama), Win vs. Mountain West team (New Mexico), Held 8+ opponents to 50 or fewer points




North Texas Mean Green