Women's BBall Hopes to Out-Defend UT Arlington
Offense Will Be Tested Against Lady Mavs' Top-Ten Defense
DENTON -- Home sweet home?
Not so much - so far - for the North Texas women's basketball team. In five games at the friendly confines of the Super Pit this season, the Mean Green is still winless, sporting an 0-5 record. The margins have been near, like a two-point overtime game against Eastern Illinois, and far, like a 28-point fall to Oklahoma, but still no victories.
However, head coach Mike Petersen and his club looks to turn things around when the team returns to Denton for a matchup with UT Arlington December 21 at 3:30 p.m. The game will begin 30 minutes after the final buzzer of the Mean Green men's contest against Creighton Bluejays; that tip off is at 1 p.m.
North Texas returns for its first home game in 14 days following a two-game road trip to San Francisco via Kansas City. After disposing of UMKC by 18 points, the Mean Green turned right around and fell by 18 to the Dons at the City by the Bay.
Against the Kangaroos, everything came together for the Mean Green. The defense played well, just like it has all season, holding the opposition to 47 points in the 65-47 win. But the offense finally shot over 40-percent for the first time this season - 46.7-percent to be exact - committed a season-low 13 turnovers and made a season-high 28 field goals.
But at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco, North Texas reverted to a more familiar offensive performance, scoring under 50 points for the fifth time this season in a 60-42 loss.
"I know it sounds like I'm oversimplifying it, but we just gotta make shots," Petersen said. "We watched the film of the San Francisco game with the players. There were a number of layups, put-backs and post-ups when we had leverage, and we just didn't get the ball to go in the hole. We're creating fairly good shots, we need to do a better job of making baskets."
Now, after a flight back to Texas and a quick turnaround, the Mean Green face the Lady Mavericks in the team's penultimate home non-conference game of the year.
UT Arlington boasts one of the best defenses in the country, as the visitors allow 49.9 points per game, which ranks seventh in the NCAA. Meanwhile, North Texas allows a stout 56.4 points per game, which ranks 53rd in the NCAA. A low-scoring game is one the Mean Green is very familiar with, and Petersen expects another barn-burner against the Lady Mavericks.
"If you look at it, you would think it will be a low-scoring game with two good defensive teams," he hinted. "Usually these kind of games are gonna come down to a couple of possessions at the end. Then it's about who's able to stay focused and who's able to be tough-minded enough at the end to make a play or two to decide who wins and loses."