Women's Basketball Announces 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule
Mean Green Host Texas On Nov. 12
DENTON -- The North Texas women's basketball team has finalized its 2018-19 non-conference schedule.
The Mean Green, who reached the semifinals of the 2018 Conference USA Basketball Championship, begin the season on Nov. 7 at home versus Mid America Christian University and will host seven of their 12 non-conference games including welcoming Texas to the Super Pit on Nov. 12.
Immediately following its matchup against the Longhorns, UNT travels to another Big 12 school in Kansas State on Nov. 16, looking to avenge its one point loss to the Wildcats in the Super Pit last November.
"The non-conference schedule for next season is one we hoped would not only challenge us early, but prepare us yet again for league play," said head coach Jalie Mitchell who is entering her fourth season at UNT. "We are almost straight out of the gate with two Big 12 programs, and I believe this is the year for that kind of task."
The Mean Green's game against UT has been one that Mitchell and Texas head coach Karen Aston have been looking to schedule for some time and it has a variety of storylines heading into it.
Aston was an assistant at UNT under Tina Slinker from 1996-98 and helped recruit Mitchell to North Texas but left the summer before Mitchell's freshman season.
Aston returned to Denton in 2011 to be the Mean Green's head coach and hired Mitchell as an assistant on her staff. In their one season together at UNT, Aston and Mitchell led the Mean Green to a 15-16 overall record -- the team's most wins in five seasons and triple the wins from the previous season. Current Mean Green assistant coach Kasondra Foreman was a senior starting guard on that team as well.
Following the 2011-12 season, Aston accepted the head coaching job at Texas and brought Mitchell with her.
In Austin, Aston and Mitchell rebuilt the program and in 2015 guided the Longhorns to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008. They also recruited and coached all-Americans and future WNBA draft picks.
Last season, Texas finished the year ranked No. 8 nationally and reached NCAA Regional Semifinals. They won 28 games, which was the fifth straight year they've won 20 or more.
"I was part of rebuilding that program, which helped me prepare to rebuild my own," Mitchell said. "Our fans will love the fact that we get to host a top-10 nationally ranked program and they can see two coaches most have come to know and love over the years."
It will mark the 13th time the two schools have met and the first time they've played since December of 2011 when Aston was the Mean Green's head coach. It'll be just the second-time they've played in Denton and the first time since 2004.
Along with the two headline match-ups, North Texas will travel to SMU on Nov. 28. It will be the 17th straight season and the 49th time overall the two schools have played. The Mean Green beat the Mustangs by seven last year in Denton and held them to just 40 points in the process. Since arriving to her alma mater in 2015, Mitchell is 2-1 versus SMU.
SMU head coach Travis Mays was on the Texas coaching staff under Aston with Mitchell for three seasons before Mitchell left for UNT.
For the first time in program history, North Texas will play at Xavier University of Louisiana. The Mean Green take on the Gold Nuggets on Dec. 16. XULA is in New Orleans, which is the hometown of rising Mean Green senior Terriell Bradley who was named first-team all-conference last year after she averaged 18.6 points per game for the entire season.
As they did in 2017, the Mean Green will play in a Thanksgiving tournament. This year North Texas travels to Pacific in Stockton, California, to play in two games in the Tiger Turkey Tip-Off against teams that will be announced at a later date.
The seven non-conference home games matches their total from last season. The Mean Green went 6-1 at home last year in non-conference and won by an average margin of 22.3 points and held all seven opponents to an average of 44.7 points per game.
North Texas owned one of the nation's top defenses last year, and was ranked No. 3 in the country in scoring defense for a majority of the year.
"Overall, we continue to strive to have more contests at home to give our supporters plenty of chances to catch us in action," Mitchell said.
North Texas will play an exhibition game prior to its season opener. The details to the exhibition game and its C-USA schedule will be announced later.
COMPLETE NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Nov. 7 vs. MACU
Nov. 12 vs. Texas
Nov. 16 at K-State
Nov. 23 Tiger Turkey Tip-Off
Nov. 24 Tiger Turkey Tip-Off
Nov. 28 at SMU
Dec. 1 vs. Missouri State
Dec. 5 vs. Houston Baptist University
Dec. 8 vs. Utah State
Dec. 16 at XULA
Dec. 21 vs. CSU Bakersfield
Dec. 29 vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State Univ.
Fans are encouraged to follow the Mean Green on Twitter @MeanGreenWBB and on Instagram @MeanGreenWBB.