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Exhibition victory reveals new women’s basketball identity

Exhibition victory reveals new women’s basketball identity

North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) calls out a play during an exhibition against Texas Woman's University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Exhibition victory reveals new women’s basketball identity
November 07
17:52 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer

@alexlikechexmix

The North Texas fans, cheerleaders, dancers and basketball band all gathered for the first game action of the semester in the Super Pit Saturday afternoon. Led by four double-digit scorers, Jalie Mitchell won her first game as the Mean Green head coach.

During pre-game, the lights were dimmed as players lined up for introductions. A video was played on the big screen, introducing each member of the team and the new coaching staff as part of a “new era” of North Texas women’s basketball.

“We’ve had a couple scrimmages that nobody could see, so I guess I was prepared to be on the sideline,” Mitchell said. “It felt good. It felt natural.”

Even though the exhibition won’t count towards the overall team record, the Mean Green were still motivated to prove they were the best team in Denton against Texas Woman’s University.

“Three years ago, they beat us at our house,” junior guard Candice Adams said. “We just wanted to turn that face around.”

North Texas got off to a quick start and held its lead the entire game. Every time TWU went on a run and came close to a lead change, Mitchell’s squad came up with a defensive stop for an easy transition bucket.

North Texas junior guard Terra Ellison (20) shoots a 3­pointer during an exhibition against Texas Woman's University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

North Texas junior guard Terra Ellison (20) shoots a 3­pointer during an exhibition against Texas Woman’s University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Running the fast break more often is a big focal point for the team this year, and was the main factor in why North Texas came out victorious in its season opener.

“I wish I had somebody to dunk it for y’all,” Mitchell said. “We definitely want to push [the ball] and see what we can get. We have some people that are really good in the open floor.”

Senior forward Acheil Tac is proving to be one of the biggest threats in transition for the Mean Green. Tac led the team in scoring with 21 points, and looks to be a major element of the North Texas offense all season.

“My teammates are always looking for me in transition,” Tac said. “I’m a runner, so that’s where I get most of my points. When I’m down low, they look for me.”

North Texas junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) dribbles down the court during an exhibition against Texas Woman's University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

North Texas junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) dribbles down the court during an exhibition against Texas Woman’s University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Most of all, the new culture is something Tac and Adams are most excited about. Adams said playing at a fast pace with an emphasis on defense is the identity the team is looking to embrace moving forward.

The two veterans have taken on a leadership role early on, both vocally and by example. By taking things one game at a time and always looking to improve with each practice moving forward, the duo hopes to avenge an extremely disappointing season last year.

“We know how it feels,” Adams said. “We don’t want a repeat of what we’ve been through in the past few years.”

Featured Image: North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) calls out a play during an exhibition against Texas Woman’s University. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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