Women’s Basketball Draws Little Rock To Start Preseason WNIT
North Texas Set To Face Trojans For First Time Since 2013
DENTON — The North Texas women’s basketball team drew Little Rock as its first round Preseason WNIT opponent, tournament officials announced on Monday. The Mean Green will meet the Trojans at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 11, from the Jack Stephens Center to begin the 2016-17 season.
The matchup will pit North Texas against the Trojans for the first time since 2013. The Mean Green will be seeking to improve upon a series that has seen North Texas win just two of the last 10 matchups. Overall, Little Rock leads the all-time series with a 12-11 record in head-to-head contests.
“I have watched, scouted and played against Little Rock for several years now,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “Joe Foley does an incredible job there. His teams always compete, they are hard-nosed and they defend well. We will definitely have to be prepared for a fight. I love the opportunity this presents for us at the start of the season. We will be able to gauge where we are as a team, and our fans will have the chance to cheer us on as we begin our quest for a championship.”
North Texas was 11-19 in the 2015-16 campaign after finishing with only five wins the previous season. The turnaround featured the nation’s largest improvement in shooting percentage as the Mean Green upped its efficiency from 34.4 to 41.7 percent from the field. The Mean Green was led by Conference USA All-Defensive Team selection Kelsey Criner and features a lineup that returns three starters from last season.
Like North Texas, the Trojans will make their second appearance in the preseason tournament. Little Rock was 20-13 last season, due in part to an impressive 15-game winning streak in Sun Belt Conference play, before their season ended in the first round of WNIT postseason play.
The second round of the 16-team event will unfold Nov. 13-14; the semifinals are Nov. 17, and the Preseason WNIT Championship will be played at 2 p.m. CT, Nov. 20, with the contest being televised by CBS Sports Network.
The tournament features a three-game guarantee, so if a team loses in the championship bracket before it has played three games, it will play in the consolation bracket.
To view the tournament’s championship bracket, click here.