Denton (11/21/01) - After leading by just three points at halftime, the North Texas women’s basketball team (2-1) opened up a commanding lead early in the second half against SMU (1-2) and cruised to a 72-53 victory over the Mustangs Friday night at the Super Pit.
Jalie Mitchell (Sr.; F; Duncanville, Tex.) scored a game-high 22 points and Shannan Stephenson (Sr.; F; Winchester, Tenn.) registered her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Eagles went on a 24-6 run over the first 10:19 of the second half to turn a 33-30 halftime lead into a 24-point advantage at 60-36. SMU got no closer than 14 points the rest of the way. North Texas never trailed the entire game and was up 25-16 with 7:33 remaining in the first half. The Mustangs went on a 9-0 run at that point to tie the game 25-25 with nearly four minutes left, but the Lady Eagles outscored SMU 8-5 over the remaining 3:53 of the first half.
Mitchell scored at least 20 points for the second time in the Lady Eagles first three games. Dating back to last year’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament, she has now scored 20 or more points in four of North Texas’ last six games. Stephenson has reached double-figures scoring in every game this season and her 10 rebounds against the Mustangs was a career high. Karen Lee (Sr.; P; Whitestown, Ind.) scored 12 points and Rosalyn Reades (Sr.; G; Arlington, Tex.) had six assists, six rebounds and five steals.
The 19-point victory tied North Texas’ second biggest win over SMU in school history and snapped a two-game losing streak to the Mustangs. The Lady Eagles defeated SMU by 37 points (77-40) in 1978.
North Texas will be back in action this weekend at the UT-San Antonio Classic. The Lady Eagles will play UTSA on Friday at 8 p.m. and No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday at 6 p.m.
North Texas Head Coach Tina Slinker Quotes:
On The Game:
"I knew it was going to be a battle, but we came out and got the tempo back up and used it to our advantage".
"SMU was really trying to slow us down and we were trying to speed them. I think that created a lot of the turnovers you saw out there".
On Jalie Mitchell:
"She’s so consistent and creates a lot, but it also helps that we have a lot of depth to go around her".
On Shannan Stephenson:
"She’s been a little frustrated of late, but she has really been helping us out and doing alot down low"