DENTON, Texas (11/16/08) - The Shanice Stephens era officially begins Monday night as the North Texas women's basketball team opens the regular season on the road at Marshall. The Mean Green is coming off an exhibition win over TWU, 85-77, while Marshall is 1-0 to start the regular season after a win on Friday night over Appalachian State. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. and the game can be heard on 88.1 FM KNTU.
In the win over TWU senior Jo Hall had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The Mean Green and Thundering Herd are squaring off for only the second time. The two teams met for first time last season at the Super Pit. That was a 12-point Marshall win, 82-70. In that game the Thundering Herd raced out to a 14-point halftime lead and never looked back.
North Texas returns nine players from last year’s roster and the firepower returning for the Mean Green is across the board. North Texas returns over 70 percent of its scoring from last year, 95 percent of its 3-point shooters, and 84 percent of its defense when it comes to steals.
The Mean Green brings back its top three scorers from last season in Amber Jackson, Brittney James, and Jo Hall. Not since the 1999-00 season has the Mean Green returned its top three scores from a season. That year North Texas won 17 games.
Its shaping up to be a special season for forward Amber Jackson. She is 83 points away from becoming just the 11th player in school history to score 1,000 for her career. Jackson could easily move up the charts quickly this season. She is averaging 305 points a season and that would move her into sixth place all-time. However if she turns in a season similar to last year she will vault her way up the charts into the top 5 all-time.
Jackson is also on the verge of breaking into the top 10 all-time in field goals and rebounding for her career. Along with Jackson, Brittney James needs only three more 3-pointers to enter the top 10 all-time. Its not inconceivable that James could join the 1,000 point club this year either. She is starts the season needing 390 points to reach the 1,000 point plateau.