DENTON (2/28/04) - Freshman Kelsie Edwards posted 15 of her 18 points in the second half, but the North Texas women’s basketball team fell short, 61-50, against South Alabama on Saturday night in the Super Pit. The Mean Green received the fifth seed in the conference tournament and will face Middle Tennessee in the opening round.
The Jaguars (22-5, 11-4) defeated the Mean Green (11-16, 7-8) for only the second time since the first meeting between the two teams in 2000. The last time South Alabama was victorious against NT was Feb. 9, 2002
"USA had a nice game plan for us tonight," said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. "They made our posts shoot over them. USA made us beat them from the outside tonight.
"Kelsie had a great game for us tonight. We just have to do a better job of getting production from our posts."
Edwards led the Mean Green with 18 points and 10 rebounds, her first career double-double. Her 18 points was two shy of her career high of 20, set against Texas A&M in December. After the Mean Green scored a season-low 17 points in the first half, Edwards scored six points in the opening minutes of the second period to help bring NT within three, 31-28.
South Alabama responded with six straight points and then extended its lead by as much as 12, 48-36, with 5:21 left in the game. Edwards cut the lead to six, 48-42, after making two free throws with 3:55 on the clock. USA was able to break the NT press and convert 7-of-9 free throws in the final three minutes.
Freshman Mia Ajekwu scored nine points in the game, including seven in the first half. Senior Kim Blanton pulled down 11 rebounds for the Mean Green.
North Texas shot 25 percent from the field compared to South Alabama’s 40.
North Texas will face fourth-seed Middle Tennessee in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Sunday, March 7 at 11 am in Bowling Green, Kentucky.