Mean Green Open Conference Play Versus Charlotte
North Texas Welcomes Top-50 RPI Ranked 49ers
DENTON -- The North Texas women's basketball team begins its 18-game Conference USA portion of the schedule Friday by hosting the Charlotte 49ers at 7:00 p.m. at the Super Pit.
Charlotte will be the first top-50 RPI team the Mean Green have played this year. On Sunday, North Texas hosts conference foe Old Dominion at 3:00 p.m.
Fans can buy four tickets to each of this weekend's games for 17 dollars total. Tickets can be purchased at gates A and D of the Super Pit on gameday. The game will be live streamed online at CUSA.TV and aired on KNTU 88.1 FM.
North Texas rallied from 23 points down to tie the game in the final minute but lost a tough one to Texas State on Dec. 22, 59-58. Full Recap.
MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
North Texas Charlotte
12th in C-USA 2nd in C-USA
60.6 PPG 63.3 PPG
30.7 RPG 35.7 RPG
10.36 APG 14.25 APG
CHA: Ciara Gregory, Laia Raventós, Nyilah Jamison-Myes, Lefty Webster, Grace Hunter
MITCHELL vs. RPI TOP-50
Head coach Jalie Mitchell is 1-2 all-time versus the RPI top-50. Last season, she earned her first win as a head coach by beating Oklahoma on Nov. 16, 2015. The Sooners were ranked No. 17 in the country and had an RPI ranking of 26.
North Texas has yet to play a school in the top-50 RPI this year, but has played two who were in the top-60. Both Little Rock and Indiana were ranked in the top-60 RPI when they played the Mean Green this season.
Besides Oklahoma, last year North Texas played against UTEP and Western Kentucky when those schools were ranked in the top-50 of the RPI.
Prior to coming to the Mean Green, Mitchell spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas. The Longhorns defeated eight top-50 RPI teams and five top-25 RPI teams during her time in Austin.
PTS: Bradley (11.7) PTS: Hunter (14.1)
REB: Ellison (5.5) REB: Hunter (6.8)
AST: Criner (4) AST: Webster (5)
CHARLOTTE SCOUTING REPORT
Quickly and quietly, Charlotte turned an average start to the season into a excellent one. After starting the year 3-3, the 49ers have pulled off five consecutive wins to boast an 8-3 record headed into league play. Their eight wins are the second-most of C-USA teams and they've accomplished the wins by playing stout defense.
Opponents average just 58.3 points per game versus Charlotte, which ranks third lowest in the conference. Its turnover margin is also one of the best in the conference. Where they really strive on defense is protecting the rim. Charlotte leads the league in blocked shots with 72, an average of six per game. They have 10 more blocks than the next best C-USA team (UTEP).
While they do a good job at holding opponents to low scores, they themselves, until recently, had not been scoring at a high rate. Through its 11 non-conference games, Charlotte averaged just 63.3 points per game. In their most recent game, the 49ers scored a season-high 93 points versus in state rival Davidson.
Charlotte has also struggled at the free throw line. They own a free throw percentage of .631 percent, the second lowest in the conference. This comes as good news to the Mean Green who have been torched all season with opponents converting a high percentage of free throws.
Low rebounding numbers and slow starts have hurt the Mean Green all season. North Texas' ability to prevent sophomore 49er guard Grace Hunter from impacting the game too much will be important.
The 5-foot-9 Hunter can stuff the stat sheet by scoring and rebounding. She's only played in eight games this season but she already has scored 113 points and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds. If North Texas' guards can defend her and prevent her from rebounding will only increase the Mean Green's chances of pushing the tempo to a pace they like.