DENTON, Tex. - North Texas and SMU renew a metroplex rivalry for the 40th time on Wednesday night as the Mean Green hosts the Mustangs at the Super Pit at 7 p.m. The Mean Green has won three of their last four games and are coming off a 13-point win over UAB.
SMU leads the overall series with North Texas 25-14. The series is the longest in school history and represents the most games against a single opponent in North Texas school history. SMU has won three straight games as the last Mean Green win in the series came in 2005. At home North Texas is 9-9 against SMU with the last game being a 68-62 loss to the Ponies in 2007.
The Mean Green has won three of its past four games and they have done it with defense. Through the first three games North Texas had allowed 87 points a game. In the next four games the Mean Green has allowed only 67 points. In the three wins this season the Mean Green is forcing just over 26 turnovers a game. In the four losses that number tumbles to just 17.8 turnovers by the opponent. One more win would be the best five-game stretch under Shanice Stephens as North Texas will have won four of its last five games.
Junior Denetra Kellum has burst onto the scene the last five games. In her first two games of the year Kellum scored a combined three points, since then she has averaged 15 points a game, 6.4 rebounds, and hit on 52 percent of her shots. Kellum hasn't been on dimensional either as she has 16 steals in the last five games, including a seven steal performance against Samford. After a dismal 0-for-4 start through two games, Kellum has had 50 percent of her shots in the last five games.
Through seven games the Mean Green has the top scoring offense in the Sun Belt Conference, averaging 68 points a game. The Mean Green hasn't averaged that many points in a single season since 2001-02. North Texas leads the league in steals with 9.9 a game and ranks third in 3-point field goal percent at 33.6 percent.
Individually freshman Jasmine Godbolt is 11th in the league at 7.7 rebounds a game, but she is the top rebounding freshman in the Sun Belt Conference. Godbolt is also fourth in the league in field goal percentage at 53.1 percent. Denetra Kellum is eighth in field goal percent at 48.1 percent.
North Texas is the only team in the Sun Belt that has four players in the top 25 in the league in scoring this season, led by Brittney James who is sixth in the conference at 13.7 points a game.
Niq'ky Hughes is 11th in the SBC in scoring at 12.3 points a game, Kellum is 22nd at 11.1 and Godbolt is 25th in the conference with 10.6 points a game.