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A look back at the up-and-down season from women’s basketball

A look back at the up-and-down season from women’s basketball

A look back at the up-and-down season from women’s basketball
March 18
22:31 2019

The North Texas women’s basketball team (15-15, 8-10 Conference USA) concluded the 2018-19 season with a 43-61 loss to the Rice Owls in the second round of the C-USA Championships tournament. The Mean Green are losing four seniors from their roster: point guard Brittany Smith and guards Grace Goodhart, Terriell Bradley and Orianna Shillow.

At the end of the regular season, two athletes received All-Conference USA honors: Bradley and junior center Anisha George. Bradley received C-USA First Team for the second year in a row and George was named to the C-USA All-Defensive team. Despite the loss, Bradley feels there is much to be proud of.

“As a personal accomplishment, I would say being part of the all-conference team for two years,” Bradley said.

North Texas began the season going 8-5 in its pre-conference schedule. This schedule consisted of the No. 11 Texas Longhorns (23-9, 12-6 Big 12) and Kansas State (21-11 11-7 Big 12), both of which the Mean Green lost to. North Texas began their schedule with a three-game homestand, going 2-1 against Mary Hardin-Baylor, Mid-America Christian and Texas. The Mean Green lost 54-64 to the Longhorns in their first Power 5 matchup of 2018. Sophomore point guard Trena Mims scored 16 points and tallied four rebounds in the loss. North Texas went to Manhattan, Kansas and lost 42-60 to the Kansas State Wildcats.

The Mean Green then traveled to Stockton, California where they played in the Turkey Tipoff against Wyoming and North Dakota State. North Texas went 1-1 in this tournament with a 49-53 loss against the Cowboys and a 92-78 victory over the Bison. Bradley put up 40 points and five rebounds in 36 minutes against North Dakota State. This victory broke a three-game losing streak for the Mean Green.

After going 2-2 against Southern Methodist, Missouri State, Houston Baptist and Utah State, the Mean Green began a six-game win streak. During that streak, North Texas outscored their opponents 420-310, averaging 70 points per game.

Bradley put up 30 points and eight rebounds in 34 minutes in the 66-73 loss to the metroplex-rival Mustangs. The Mean Green went into overtime against Missouri State at the Super Pit, winning 83-76 in their only overtime game all season. Bradley accumulated 36 points, four steals and five rebounds in 41 minutes. The game against Houston Baptist resulted in a 100-75 win over the Huskies. Senior guard Orianna Shillow scored the 100th point.

“The shot when I made the 100 points was exciting,” Shillow said. “It was exciting to find out we have not done that in our program in 20 years.”

This win streak consisted of non-conference matchups against Xavier University of Louisiana, California State-Bakersfield and Oklahoma Panhandle State. George put up 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 21 minutes against Xavier.

North Texas began their C-USA schedule with a game in Ruston, Louisiana against Louisiana Tech. Wins against the Lady Techsters, Southern Miss and Texas-El Paso put the Mean Green at 3-0 and tied for first in C-USA halfway through Week 2. The win against Louisiana Tech was the first win for North Texas in Ruston. George put up 25 points and eight rebounds in the 14-point victory over Southern Miss.

Their six-game win streak was immediately followed by a five-game losing streak. Losses to Texas-San Antonio, No. 24 Rice, Alabama-Birmingham, Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion set North Texas back to 3-6 in conference and 11-10 overall. Going into half time against the Owls, the Mean Green were down by five and finished the game losing by 12 points following a collapse in the fourth quarter. Redshirt sophomore Madison Townley and Bradley both put up 16 points in the loss to Alabama-Birmingham. In the final game of this stretch, Anisha George put up a season-high 24 points.

North Texas rebounded with a 86-83 victory over Charlotte at the Super Pit, before losing 55-67 to Marshall in Huntington, West Virginia.

The Mean Green finished the regular season going 3-3. North Texas defeated Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Florida International and lost to No. 25 Rice, Western Kentucky and Texas-El Paso.

“[The best team accomplishment] was beating Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss at their place for the first time in program history,” Bradley said.

In North Texas’ last home game against Western Kentucky, the four seniors were honored and Bradley put up 19 points in the 66-71 loss. The Mean Green’s final regular season game was a 51-59 loss to Texas-El Paso where George scored 19 points. This losing stretch to close the season cemented North Texas’ position as No. 9 heading into the C-USA Championship tournament.

In their first game of the tournament, the Mean Green played No. 6 Southern Miss for their third matchup of the season. After switching off leads in quarters, North Texas won 49-46, led by Bradley’s 16 points. The Mean Green faced the Rice Owls for the third time this year and lost 43-61, with Bradley and Townley both scoring 11 points.

Despite the loss in the tournament, head coach Jalie Mitchell hinted that this wouldn’t be the last game for these seniors.

“As long as there is ball left to play, we can bounce back from it,” Mitchell said.

On Monday, North Texas announced they would be participating in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, participating in their first postseason tournament since 2002. The Mean Green won Wednesday night 56-42 over Texas-Rio Grande Valley, earning their first postseason win in program history. George earned player of the game with 19 points, two rebounds and one block.

Featured Image: Mean Green redshirt senior guard Terriell Bradley drives down the lane against a Rice defender at The Star for the CUSA Tournament on March 14, 2019. Image by: Trevon McWilliams.

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Rachael Sanders

Rachael Sanders

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