Remember The Name
Freshman Deja Terrell Ends The Season On A High Note
FRISCO -- When the North Texas women's basketball team's freshman forward Deja Terrell took the court Friday night at the Star in Frisco for the Mean Green's semifinal Conference USA tournament game against Western Kentucky, she was far from nervous.
The Oak Cliff native was confident.
The confidence took a second to settle in as she missed her first couple of shots but once she got going no one was going to stop her.
"I wasn't that surprised with my game," Terrell said. "I know I'm capable of a lot more."
Matched up for a majority of the game with the Lady Toppers' C-USA Freshman of the Year winner, Raneem Elgedawy, Terrell contained Elgedawy to four points on 2-of-10 shooting and limited her to just four rebounds. Meanwhile, Terrell had one of the best games of her young career, scoring eight points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.
"With each game I've gotten more and more confident," Terrell said. "But I've never doubted myself that I can play against whoever. Why would I doubt myself?"
Terrell began to find her groove midway through the second quarter. Even though the buckets weren't falling yet for her she found a way to impact the game in other ways.
Terrell kept WKU's post out of the lane with box outs and played physical with one of the biggest teams in C-USA.
"I'm never going to back down," Terrell said. "I'm going to play with everything and give the opponents everything I have."
As the Mean Green attempted to make one last push to advance to their first conference championship game in 16 years, Terrell was leading the charge and got better with each play. The 18-year-old made calculated post moves and continued to fight for every rebound, leading her team to outrebound the Lady Toppers by eight.
Even in the final seconds of the game, the team down double digits, the game all but sealed, Terrell came flying in to crash the boards with a scowl on her face and grabbed the final defensive rebound of the game as if the season depended on it.
"I want them to remember who I am," Terrell said. "I want them to know where I come from and what team I play for."
Though the game and the season didn't end exactly as the team had planned or hoped, Friday was a perfect illustration of the growth, success and future Terrell possesses.
"I believe I can be the best on the court every time I step on it," Terrell said. "I'm excited for the future because I know with each day I'll only continue to get better and continue to grow and I know with each game we as a team are closer to getting that ring."