Las Cruces, NM (12/30/01) Despite getting 29 points from Jalie Mitchell, the North Texas women’s basketball team (7-5, 1-1) suffered an 81-72 setback to a New Mexico State (5-7, 1-1) team that was able to capitalize on 12 made three-pointers.
Mitchell’s 29 points tied her season high, while NMSU’s 12 made shots from beyond the arch tied a school record. Led by Mari Sanchez and Sinnamonn Garrett, the Aggies hit 12-of-30 shots from beyond the arch for a .400 percentage.
NMSU carried a 41-38 lead into the locker room and after eight ties and 17 lead changes, finally took the advantage for good with 9:19 remaining in the game. With the score tied at 59, NMSU converted a three-point play that began a 17-6 run that gave them their largest lead at 11 points (76-65). UNT closed the gap to six points with 1:17 left in the game, but got no closer.
“New Mexico State got a lot of second and third shots that really broke our back,” said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. “I thought we played well defensively, but they rebounded well and that hurt us.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle that saw four ties, nine lead changes and neither team gain more than a five-point advantage. The Aggies were fueled by seven 3-point shots, including three by Garrett in the first four minutes, while Jalie Mitchell led North Texas with 16 points off an 8-of-9 shooting performance in the first 20 minutes of action.
Mitchell led three players in double-figures for North Texas. Rosalyn Reades and Shannan Stephenson both finished with 11 points for the Lady Eagles.
“Jalie’s mentality is to take over a game, but we didn’t get much out of our post play and that shouldn’t happen when Jalie has a game like she did,” said Slinker.
NMSU had five players score in double figures, including Melanie Maynes’ team-high 19.
North Texas’ next game will be Jan. 3 against Arkansas-Little Rock in Denton.