North Texas Daily

Cold start freezes women’s basketball at Middle Tennessee

Cold start freezes women’s basketball at Middle Tennessee

January 18
22:35 2018

Thursday night was not a night for shooters. In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, jump shots from both sides were chilled just like the air outside the Murphy Center. North Texas (11-6, 2-3) shot just 34 percent and fell to the Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders (11-7, 3-2) 56-48.

The 48 points is the lowest total since a Nov. 29 contest vs. Southern Methodist University for North Texas, who could not get it going offensively. Reigning Conference USA Player of the Week, guard Terriell Bradley, struggled to find a rhythm, shooting 2-of-12, but the junior did salvage five free throws and seven rebounds on her way to a team-high 10 points.

“I thought she probably needed to get to the line a little bit more,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said of Bradley. “I think they missed some calls as far as sending her to the free throw line but that’s just how it is and she knows that.”

Fresh off her Saturday heroics against Charlotte, freshman guard Lauren Holmes scored nine points. Unfortunately, her outside shot was not clicking as she missed on all five of her three-point attempts.

Junior guard Grace Goodhart notched seven points including a pair of threes but also had trouble knocking down shots as she made 2-of-7 from downtown. The long-range struggles spread to all of the Mean Green, as they shot 4-for-15  from beyond the arc as a team.

Junior post Micayla Buckner made 4-of-5 attempts from the field and reached eight points, but was limited to just 13 minutes and fouled out in the fourth quarter. However, this opened the door for freshman forward Deja Terrell and sophomore forward Jada Poland, who both answered the call.

“[Those two] did everything we asked them to do,” Mitchell said. “I think they worked hard. I would have loved to have Micayla more just because she’s more comfortable scoring, but I thought when they got a touch they made the most of it and we’ll keep growing.”

The initial cold shooting set the tone for a low scoring affair. The game was tied at just three points apiece halfway through the first quarter and after 10 minutes, the scoreboard displayed a score of 10-6. The visiting Mean Green found a groove in the second quarter, though, outscoring Middle Tennessee 18-10 and carried a four-point-lead into the break.

As well as forcing North Texas into 19 turnovers, the Lady Raiders used the three-pointer against North Texas in the second half, converting on 7-of-8 tries.

North Texas’ head coach was not shy about what cost her team this game. More basketballs need to find the bottom of the net.

“We need other people to make shots,” Mitchell said. “We got Lauren 4-for-11 and Grace 2-for-10 so it’s going to be tough if we’re not knocking down shots to win against a team like this.”

Next up: A day off separates tonight’s game with a matinee at the University of Alabama at Birmingham against the Blazers. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.

Featured image: Mean Green point guard Trena Mims (24) runs towards the goal in a game against SMU. Madison Gore

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Asher Feltman

Asher Feltman

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