DENTON (2/26/04) -Three Mean Green players scored in double figures to help lead the North Texas women’s basketball team to a 67-56 victory against New Orleans on Thursday night at the Super Pit. The win combined with a New Mexico State loss gave the Mean Green a berth in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
North Texas (11-15, 7-7) defeated the Privateers (10-16, 5-9) for the first time since March 2, 2002. With the win, the Mean Green moves into a tie for second place in the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference.
"This was a big win for us," said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. "New Orleans fought back and pulled within two when Jill Medlock hit a three to propel us to victory. It’s a relief for us to get into the tournament. We want to finish strong. With Saturday night being Senior Night, we want to send them out with a win."
North Texas led throughout the entire second half. The Privateers came within two, 58-56, with 3:11 left in the game, but Jill Medlock hit a three from the top of the key to push the Mean Green ahead for good, 61-56. The Privateers were forced to foul, and NT made six of the next eight free throws to seal the win.
Senior Kim Blanton led the Mean Green with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The forward posted her fifth double-double of the season and the 10th of her career.
Medlock joined Blanton in double figures with 14. The guard moved into second on Mean Green’s single-season three-point list with 57 treys. She needs three more three-pointers to tie the NT record held by Ashley Norris. Medlock was 4-of-5 tonight from behind the arc, including two right behind intermission to help give the Mean Green a six-point cushion at the half.
Freshman Mia Ajekwu was the third NT player in double figures with 12 points. She also pulled down eight rebounds. The forward posted her second consecutive double-point game.
North Texas shot 39.3 percent from the field compared to New Orleans’ 26.9.
North Texas rounds out the regular season on Saturday night with a 7 pm home matchup against South Alabama. Three Mean Green seniors will be honored before the game for their contributions to the NT program.