Playing With Heart
North Texas Takes On WKU At 8 p.m. In C-USA Semifinals
FRISCO -- Friday night, the North Texas women's basketball team returns to the Star in Frisco in an unfamiliar position but yet a position head coach Jalie Mitchell remembers exactly.
The Mean Green will face Western Kentucky in its first conference tournament semifinal game in 16 years, one win away from reaching a conference championship game for just the second time in program history.
That one time, came 16 years ago.
Led by senior guard and Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Jalie Mitchell and her 25 points, North Texas won the 2002 conference semifinal game, 75-72.
When asked following the Mean Green's win over Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals on Wednesday if she knew who North Texas played in its last conference semifinal, Mitchell without hesitation confidently responded, "Western Kentucky."
In 2002, North Texas was the higher seed over the Lady Toppers. Friday, the Mean Green will be the heavy underdogs as they, the tournament's No. 11 seed, will face a No. 2 seed WKU team that has won 22 games this year and has won two of the last three C-USA tournaments.
North Texas has already pulled off two upsets in the tournament and beat a Lady Techsters program that the Mean Green had never beaten, not even Mitchell's 20-plus win teams 16 years ago accomplished that.
"We have dreamed about these opportunities," Mitchell said. "We have set these goals and they're in front of us."
What WKU will present on Friday is a talented and deep challenge.
The Lady Toppers' Tashia Brown is the 2018 C-USA Player of the Year. She and fellow senior Ivy Brown both made the conference's all-conference first-team list.
On the bench, they have the conference's sixth player of the year in Dee Givens.
But having less depth isn't something the Mean Green aren't used to. Due to four season ending injuries this summer, they only have had at most 10 players on its active roster all year.
How North Texas has overcome that deficit is heart.
"There's passion, fire and hope that fuels you at this point in the season," Mitchell said. "You have to feed off of those things and have love and passion for each other. Our team fights and fights together and it's a beautiful thing."
Tickets to tonight's game can be purchased at the gate or at the online Mean Green ticket office.
UNT Faculty/Staff tickets can be bought here. Promo Code: SEMIFINAL
UNT Student Tickets Are Free!
Take a free shuttle to the game by reserving a space here. Space is limited.