DENTON, Texas (11/22/09) - The Mean Green women's basketball team turned up the heat defensively in the second half to help rally from a 15-point deficit and beat the UMKC 'Roos 79-65 for their first victory of the 2009-10 season.
North Texas (1-3) forced 17 turnovers in the final 20 minutes, 33 overall, and converted those into 34 points. They also allowed the 'Roos to shoot only 42 percent from the field in the second half as opposed to 54 percent in the first half.
The Mean Green was led offensively by Denetra Kellum, who scored a season-high 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Brittney James (16 points) and Tamara Torru (12 points) also scored in double-figures.
In the game's final eight minutes, North Texas outscored UMKC 29-16 to pull away for the win.
UMKC (2-2) was led in scoring by Chazny Morris with 17 points and LeAndrea Thomas (13 points).
North Texas converted on a five-point possession at the 11 minute mark to completely change the momentum of the contest. Kellum, who was making her first career start as a member of the Mean Green, came up with a steal at midcourt and trying to go coast-to-coast was hammered at the basket for a flagrant foul.
Kellum calmly sank both free throws and then sophomore Torru hit a wide-open three-pointer from the left wing to bring North Texas all the way back to take a 46-45 lead.
Both teams played a sloppy first half in which there were 32 combined turnovers (16 each), but it was UMKC who had things rolling offensively. The 'Roos shot 54 percent from the floor and connected on 10-of-13 from the free throw line. Morris led the way with 14 points in the first half for UMKC and the 'Roos took a 39-26 lead into halftime.
On the flip side the Mean Green shot only one free throw in the first 20 minutes, which was a miss from Jasmine Godbolt. Kellum led North Texas with seven first half points on 3-of-5 shooting.
The Mean Green will take to the hardwood again on Wednesday, Nov. 25 when they host UTPA.