Mean Green Face Rio Grande Valley
North Texas To Play Friday, Saturday In WNIT
ABILENE, Texas -- With more than half of the team's makeup being newcomers, building chemistry on the court is a theme early in the season for North Texas.
Friday, the Mean Green's chemistry will be tested against a strong shooting UT-Rio Grande Valley team in the consolation bracket of the Preseason WNIT at 8 p.m. at Abilene Christian University.
In its season opener last week at Little Rock, nine players for North Texas (0-1, 0-0 C-USA) scored but none scored more than nine points as they fell 55-44. Friday, they will look to rebound against a Vaqueros (0-1, 0-0 WAC) team who lost their season opener in the Preseason WNIT at the hands of Nebraska, 71-53.
Against Little Rock, North Texas seniors Candice Adams and Terra Ellison led the way. Adams was 3-for-3 on 3-pointers while Ellison grabbed nine rebounds to tie a personal game-high. Six of the nine newcomers played in Little Rock and on defense the team's chemistry looked solid for their first time playing together. They contained the potent Little Rock offense for most of the game. Little Rock only made 17 field goals all game and just three in the third quarter. A fourth quarter offensive drought by the Mean Green ended up being the glaring difference.
Friday, North Texas will need to continue to build on the chemistry and keep up the defensive pressure. UTRGV is a team that can be streaky with shooting. The Vaqueros' top scorer is senior guard Shawnte' Goff. The captain made 19 points last week against the Cornhuskers and now is only 31 points away from becoming the program's all-time leading scorer. She's also in UTRGV's top-five for 3-pointers made, assists, free throw shooting percentage and field goals made. Goff is the engine of this UTRGV team and will be a large focus on the defensive side of the ball.
Regardless of the outcome Friday, the Mean Green will play again Saturday in Abilene, either against Abilene Christian or Omaha.
PREGAME QUICK SHOTS
North Texas is 5-1 all-time versus Rio Grande Valley. Their last meeting was in 2010.
Senior Candice Adams is just 11 3-pointers shy of passing 2010 graduate Brittney James for fourth-most 3-pointers made in program history.
In their game at Little Rock, point guard Kelsey Criner played 39 of the game's 40 minutes. She did that eight times last season and twice played in the entire game.
Six of the Mean Green's nine newcomers played at Little Rock. They combined for 25 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
During her freshman season at North Texas, now Mean Green head coach Jalie Mitchell had her first 20-point game against Rio Grande Valley on Dec. 10, 1998.