DENTON (2/16/02) The North Texas women’s basketball team (17-7, 10-3) claimed the program’s 300th all-time win with a 75-72 victory over Western Kentucky (14-11, 8-5) Saturday night at the Super Pit. With the win, the Lady Eagles remained perfect at the Super Pit this season and set a school record with 12 consecutive home wins.
Led by senior forward Jalie Mitchell with 25 points and 10 rebounds, North Texas had three players record double-double’s. Rosalyn Reades had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Shannan Stephenson added 16 points and a team-high 11 boards. Mitchell now needs just 13 points to become the all-time leading scorer in school history.
The Lady Eagles led for much of the game despite making only 15 percent (2-of-13) of their three-point shots. North Texas led 40-32 at halftime and by as much as 13 midway through the second half before Western Kentucky mounted a comeback. The Lady Toppers went on a 27-12 run to take a 70-68 lead at the 2:13 mark of the second half. Western Kentucky held onto the lead until Mitchell hit a runner in the lane to give North Texas a 73-72 lead with 55 seconds remaining. Trailing by one point, Western Kentucky was poised to play for the last shot before Vilma Grismanauskaite came up with a steal to give North Texas the ball back with 11 seconds to play in the game. Rosalyn Reades was fouled at that point and connected on one-of-two free throws to give the Lady Eagles a 74-72 advantage. Mitchell grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled. She also hit one-of two free throws to push the North Texas lead to three. WKU was able to get a three-point shot off in the closing seconds, but it bounced off the side of the rim.
North Texas (17-7, 10-3) remains atop the Sun Belt’s Western Division standings with two games remaining against New Orleans and South Alabama at the Super Pit next week.
NORTH TEXAS PLAYER QUOTES
On Natalie Powers
”I thought we could have picked up our intensity when she fouled out, but I think her leaving might have energized them.”
”They are very good team. They have been to the NCAA tournament and went very deep in the WNIT last year. We knew they would be tough for us.”
On Natalie Powers
”I was focused on trying to defend her tonight. I could not do it alone, we had to play good team defense if we were to have any hopes of slowing her down. Her getting in foul trouble helped us out, but WKU had other players step up tonight.”
”They are extremely tough. They are the No. 2 team in the Eastern Division trailing only Florida International. This win should help us because they are ranked high in the RPI ratings.”