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Criner sparks women’s basketball to overtime win

Criner sparks women’s basketball to overtime win

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the basket for a layup against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Criner sparks women’s basketball to overtime win
February 04
17:38 2017

Trevon McWilliams | Staff Writer

The North Texas women’s basketball team finally got revenge Saturday in Houston.

After a two-point loss to Rice University in January, a rematch was on the team’s mind for quite some time.

For a while, it looked as though the Mean Green (7-14, 4-6) would again fall short as Rice had control of the game until the fourth quarter. At one point, the Owls by 17 points in the third quarter.  

But senior point guard Kelsey Criner hit a big 3-pointer early in the fourth as part of a key 17-1 run for North Texas. Criner was pivotal in helping facilitate a comeback that eventually resulted in a 77-69 overtime win, leading the way with a season-high 25 points while adding seven rebounds.

Sophomore guard Terriell Bradley and senior forward Terra Ellison combined for 28 points and seven rebounds as well, giving the Mean Green a strong supporting cast in what was a huge performance for Criner.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for North Texas, which improved to 2-0 in overtime games this season.

“I think this game was huge for us,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We matured up a lot, put on our big girl pants today and came out with a win.”

Like many nail-biters, the Mean Green allowed Rice to nearly comeback in overtime as foul trouble started to play a factor. A combined six players fouled out in the game. 

The Mean Green grabbed an early lead in the extra period with a quick layup from freshman forward Jada Poland. North Texas continued to add to its lead, eventually gaining a seven-point edge on the Owls. 

After trailing by 17 points in the game, the Mean Green found a way to get it done.

“We had a really slow start but just really proud of our time,” Criner said. “Our rebounding really elevated our game today and Jada had a really great game.”

In addition the strong performance from Criner, freshman Jada Poland had a significant impact with her rebounding ability. Poland finished the game with eight points and eight rebounds.

“I think we just turned it up and did good on the boards,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I think Criner was huge and just did a great job keeping up in the game.’”

Next up: The Mean Green host Florida Atlantic University at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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Trevon McWilliams

Trevon McWilliams

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2 Comments

  1. Jimbo
    Jimbo February 05, 00:32

    Cool ink.

    Reply to this comment
  2. A Big Fan!
    A Big Fan! February 08, 15:13

    Way to Go!!!

    Reply to this comment

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