HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - March has arrived and it's an opening round matchup against Western Kentucky for the North Texas women's basketball team as they begin play at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The Mean Green faces the Lady Toppers Saturday at 12 p.m. from the Summit Arena with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals on Sunday.
North Texas and Western Kentucky are meeting for the 16th time in series history. WKU has the edge over North Texas as they lead the series 10-5. The Mean Green has dropped four straight games in the series, including the only matchup this season 69-64 in Bowling Green.
This will be the fourth time that the two teams will meet in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. WKU has won two of the three prior tournament meetings. North Texas defeated WKU 84-52 in the semifinals in 2002. The next year WKU knocked off North Texas 65-53 in the quarterfinals and in 2008 WKU beat the Mean Green 61-53 in the quarterfinals.
North Texas enters the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed out of the West Division this season. The Mean Green has an all-time tournament record of 7-10 since joining the Sun Belt in 2000. North Texas has played for the tournament title once before, in 2002 against FIU.
The Mean Green has advanced to the semifinals of the tournament only twice before, and not since the 2002 season. North Texas has won two straight opening round games of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Senior Denetra Kellum was named third-team All-Sun Belt this season. Kellum leads the Mean Green in scoring and is fifth in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring, is the only all-conference selection for North Texas.
It is the fourth straight year for the Mean Green to have an all-conference selection. North Texas has had at least one-player selected to the all-conference team in 13 of the past 14 seasons dating back to 1998 and the Big West Conference. It is the first All-Sun Belt nod for Kellum in her career.