Game 28 • Wednesday, February 22, 2012 • 7:00 p.m.
UALR Trojans (15-12, 10-4)
at North Texas Mean Green (14-13, 7-7 SBC)
Little Rock, Ark. • Jack Stephens Center (5,600)
Radio: KNTU 88.1 FM • TV: None
Series Record: Series Tied 10-10
Last Meeting: W, 64-57 (12/28/2011) at North TexasMean Green Takes On UALR To Start Final Road Trip
The Mean Green take on UALR, who North Texas beat to open conference play, as they finish the regular season on the road. The Mean Green are tied with ULM for third place in the Sun Belt West. North Texas is finishing the season with four of six games on the road, and has just snapped a four game losing streak in its last game. The Mean Green are scoring 67.9 points per game since Jan. 25, and shooting 42.8% from the field. The Mean Green have the nation's second-best turnaround, both in terms of record and defensive improvement. North Texas would clinch its first winning season since 2005-06 with one win in its final two games.
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 three teams nationally to have nine more wins than in 2010-11, giving the Mean Green Division I's second-best turnaround.
• The Mean Green defense has improved by 15.3 points, the second-most in the nation
• North Texas is scoring 67.9 points per game and shooting 42.8% in its last seven games
• Sara Stanley has averaged 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds since Feb. 2
North Texas vs. UALR
North Texas, despite at one point leading the series 9-1, now is tied in the all-time series with UALR 10-10, and broke a streak of nine consecutive Trojan wins, dating back to 2005-06, on Dec. 28. North Texas head coach Karen Aston is a graduate of UALR, playing for the Trojans from 1984-86.
Mean Green Working On Nation's Second-Best Turnaround
North Texas has improved its record from 5-25 in 2010-11 to 14-13 so far this season, which is the nation's second-biggest turnaround. The Mean Green, Cal State Northridge, and Niagara are the teams nationally who have won at least 9 more than their total from 2010-11.
Biggest Turnarounds - Division I - 2011-12 (Through Feb. 19)
Rank School 2011-12 2010-11 Δ Wins Change (Total)
1 Cal St. Northridge 16-10 4-26 +12 +14.0
2 North Texas 14-13 5-25 +9 +10.5
3 Niagara 10-18 1-29 +9 +10.0
Miami (OH) 19-7 11-19 +8 +10.0
Oregon St. 17-9 9-21 +8 +10.0
San Diego St. 20-5 12-17 +8 +10.0
UNLV 19-8 11-20 +8 +10.0
UTEP 24-2 16-14 +8 +10.0
9 Nebraska 20-6 13-18 +8 +9.5
10 Two schools tied +7 +9.0
Mean Green Features Nation's Second-Most Improved Defense
As of the most recent statistical report (Feb. 19), 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 86th in the nation this year in the most recent national report, at 58.0 points per game, improving by 15.3 points, which is the second-largest improvement in the nation.
Biggest Defensive Improvement - Division I - 2011-12 (Through Feb. 19)
Rank School 2011-12 2010-11 Change (Pts)
1 Tex.-Pan American 61.0 76.9 15.9
2 North Texas 58.0 73.3 15.3
3 UTEP 52.4 65.2 12.8
4 Tulane 53.5 65.8 12.3
5 Miami (OH) 62.9 75.0 12.1
6 Washington St. 61.1 73.0 11.9
7 Tulsa 59.2 70.6 11.4
8 Virginia 53.1 64.5 11.3
9 San Diego 55.4 66.7 11.3
10 Fla. Atlantic 58.9 70.0 11.0
Big Win Over Louisiana-Lafayette
North Texas had its biggest win of the season over Louisiana-Lafayetted on Feb. 18, winning by 38 points, its biggest conference win since 2001-02 and its biggest overall win since 2005-06. The Mean Green put together a season-best 31-0 run in the first half, led by 11 Sara Stanley points, to turn a 13-11 deficit into a 42-13 lead. In the second half, Louisiana-Lafayette never got closer than 25 points before settling on the eventual margin of 28 points. North Texas finished the game with season-highs in points, assists, and margin of victory.
Over its past five games, North Texas' bench has averaged 27.8 points per game (139 total points). Prior to that stretch, the Mean Green bench was averaging 16.6 points per game.
If North Texas wins against UALR, and ULM loses to Middle Tennessee, North Texas is the 3-seed in the West. If North Texas loses against UALR, and ULM wins against Middle Tennessee, North Texas must beat Denver and ULM must lose to Louisiana-Lafayette for NT to get the 3-seed. North Texas cannot get the 1-seed or 2-seed in the West, but could fall to the 5-seed if it loses both games and Arkansas State wins its remaining two games. Seeding between Arkansas State and North Texas would then be determined by the drawing of lots.
Aston Wins 100
Karen Aston got her 100th career win against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 18, after posting a 86-47 record at Charlotte in addtion to 14 wins at North Texas. Aston is only the second head coach to win her 100th career game while the head coach of North Texas, joining Tina Slinker. Assistant coach Angela Ortega has been a part of all 100 wins as a coach, and Director of Basketball Operations Erin Floyd has been a part of all 100 wins as either a player or assistant.
Department Of Defense
North Texas is on pace to shatter the school record in points allowed, holding opponents to 58.0 points per game this year, well below the record of 59.7 points per game, set in 2005-06. The Mean Green need to hold opponents to an average of 75.0 points or fewer to set the school record.
Stanley Sets Career-Highs
Sara Stanley scored a career-high in three successive games from Feb. 2-11, starting with 14 pts against Middle Tennessee, 19 at FIU and her current career-high of 21 at Florida Atlantic. She is averaging 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds since Feb. 2, and is shooting 66.0% from the field in that stretch, and has improved her field goal percentage in league games to 57.1%, which ranks second. Overall, she has a field goal percentage of 52.2%, which would rank 7th all-time in a single season at North Texas. Valerie Gilbert (53.6%, 1995-96) is the last NT player to shoot at least 52.2% over a season.
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 42.6% from the field and averaged 67.9 points in its seven games since. North Texas has scored 63 points or more in each of its last seven games.
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 16.0 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 40.5% and 14.7 offensive rebounds per game. Overall, the Mean Green have scored 393 second-chance points on offensive rebounds (0.91 points per play), and have only allowed 208 second-chance points on 329 offensive rebounds allowed (0.63 points per play).
No Lingering Effects
In games following an overtime loss this season, North Texas is 3-0, beating UALR, 64-57, Western Kentucky 50-42 and Louisiana-Lafayette 78-40. The Mean Green shot a combined total of 40.0% from 3-point range in those games.
Braylah Blakely leads North Texas and ranks 3rd in the Sun Belt Games with 24 blocks (1.5 per game). Amber Jackson (28, 2008-09) was the last North Texas player to have at least 24 blocks in a season. Blakely is 8 blocks away from 10th place on North Texas' single-season blocks list (Talicia Sanders, 32, 2006-07). At FIU, she blocked four shots, which is tied for the 12th most in a single game at North Texas. Blakely has gotten mutliple blocks in 7 games this season, and has led or co-led North Texas in blocks 13 times this season.
McCoy From Distance
Laura McCoy has some stellar performances with the 3-point shot, and is looking to move into the North Texas record books. She ranks10th on North Texas' single-season list, and would jump up to 7th with four more 3-pointers made. She hit six 3-pointers against Western Kentucky on Jan. 11, which is tied for the second-most in a single game at North Texas. McCoy has made 4+ 3-pointers in three games this season.
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 in 10th place on North Texas' all-time scoring list. Godbolt also ranks 7th at North Texas in career rebounds, and is 140 away from the school record. Godbolt has made 266 free throws for her career and is tied for 6th at North Texas, while she ranks 2nd all-time with 498 free throw attempts.
North Texas has held opponents to 50 points or fewer nine 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 on Jan. 21, 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. 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.
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.
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 field goal before 17:30 of the first half, it is 12-4, with losses coming to Oral Roberts, at Arizona, Denver and at FIU. However, when the Mean Green score its first field goal at 17:30 or later in the first half, it is 2-9. In 11 games-including 10 of North Texas' 13 losses-the Mean Green have trailed by five or more points in the first five minutes of the game.
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 47-of-50 on the year in free throws, and would rank 2nd in the NCAA, if qualified, with a percentage of 94.0%. She led Division I in Free Throw Percentage from Dec. 11 until Jan. 1, when she fell out of the statistical report. She made her first 20 free throws of the year before missing her first.
In North Texas' 14 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 Business
North Texas is 12-6 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 WNIT participant Denver.
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.
Only In Horseshoes
Despite having 13 losses on the season, North Texas has been in position to win 11 of those games, having a chance to tie on at least one possession in the last 10 minutes in nine of 13 losses, and a chance to tie in the second half of 11 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
FIU L, 65-68 12:36 42-41 0:00 65-68
Florida Atlantic L, 63-71 None 16:38 (1st) 0-2
ULM L ot, 67-70 1:19 (ot) 66-65 0:00 (ot) 67-70
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.
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 9th 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 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 110-58 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: 8-5
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 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 14+ games (14), Won 8+ home games (8)
2006-07: Had a player make 6 3FG in a single game (Laura McCoy, WKU)
2005-06: Started 7-2, Winning non-conference season (7-6, 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), Beat any opponent by 38 or more (Louisiana-Lafayette)
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)
2001-02: Beat a Sun Belt opponent by 38 or more (Louisiana-Lafayette)
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