The Season Is Finally Here
North Texas Takes On Little Rock
Little Rock, Ar. — It’s been 248 days since North Texas women’s basketball last played in a regular season game but the wait is finally over.
Friday, the Mean Green are back on the court playing in an anticipated season opener at former Sun Belt Conference competitor Arkansas Little Rock in the first round of the Preseason WNIT tournament. The tip off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Last season, North Texas uprooted the 2015-16 preseason predictions of the team by more than doubling its win total from the previous season and defeating teams such as No. 17 Oklahoma on the road. Under first-year head coach, Jalie Mitchell, the Mean Green accomplished program firsts despite having a far less than complete roster. 248 days later, North Texas returns key upperclassmen and have added nine eligible newcomers. The combination has created higher expectations and also given energy to this season the program has never seen..
The Trojans are a dangerous team that caught fire towards the end of last season. After starting the year 5-11, Little Rock rattled off 15 consecutive wins before losing in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game on a buzzer beater. The 20-win season was their ninth in the last ten years.
Another challenge North Texas will face is the Jack Stephens Center. Little Rock is 136-27 at home since the 2005-06 season.
But like the Mean Green, the Trojans are also going through changes. Little Rock lost their top-two scorers from a year ago. They were the only players on the team that averaged double-digit scoring outings.
A win for North Texas would be their first in two trips to the Preseason WNIT. It’d also be their first win in a season opener in three years and it’d give them a victory over a team that is a constant in the NCAA postseason furthering the excitement of this season.
Tale Of The Tape
The once Sun Belt Conference combatants will compete against one another for the 24th time. North Texas has beaten the Trojans 11 times and the two schools have split their last four games dating back to 2011.
The Preseason WNIT is a 16-team tournament. If North Texas wins its opening round game over Little Rock they will play the winner of Elon vs. Green Bay on Sunday. The Mean Green will host if they were to play Elon.
A loss by North Texas means they’d move to the consolation bracket and have to wait a week to play.
North Texas associate head coach Bobby Brasel spent two seasons at Little Rock before joining Jalie Mitchell in Denton in 2015. Brasel helped lead the Trojans to a program-best 29 wins in 2014-15.
Milestones To Watch Friday
North Texas’ senior guard Candice Adams is one 3-pointer away from 100 for her career. After making 50 in her freshman and sophomore seasons combined, Adams improved her 3-point shooting as a junior and made 49 last season alone.
She made a 3-pointer in all but four of the 29 games she played in last season and scored a career-high four 3-pointers in three separate games.
When she reaches 100 3-pointers, she’ll become just the fifth Mean Green player to get there.
How To Follow Along
Fans are encouraged to listen to Mean Green Radio on 88.1 FM.