North Texas Daily

Inconsistency proves costly down the stretch for women’s basketball

Inconsistency proves costly down the stretch for women’s basketball

February 25
22:17 2016

Alex Lessard | Associate Sports Editor

@alexjlessard

Similar to the way it has for the majority of the season, a lack of steadiness held back Mean Green women’s basketball in Thursday night’s 78-67 loss to Louisiana Tech University. North Texas (9-16, 4-11) scored at least 14 points in each quarter, but were outscored by 11 points in the third quarter alone.

In addition to struggling after halftime, the energy after the opening tip was also lacking. The Lady Techsters (14-12, 9-6) began the game on a 7-0 run, leading head coach Jalie Mitchell to call a timeout just one minute and thirty seconds into the game.

“Every night, you have a very competitive team that you’re lining up against,” Mitchell said. “You have to show up, and you have to show up for 40 minutes. I don’t think we quite yet understand that.”

After the timeout, the team bounced back to take and maintain a lead until halftime. Junior guard Kelsey Criner led all scorers with 15 points and went on to add eight assists, six rebounds and two steals for the game. But the Dallas native but couldn’t find a rhythm in the second half, scoring just three points in the final 20 minutes.

“I wasn’t being as aggressive as I was supposed to be,” Criner said.

Although Criner didn’t finish strong, North Texas remained aggressive on the offensive end until the final buzzer sounded. The Mean Green got to the free throw line 32 times and took advantage of those opportunities, shooting 78.1 percent.

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the baseline against Louisiana Tech. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the baseline against Louisiana Tech. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

“We talked about that before the game and talked about it at halftime, so being aggressive wasn’t the issue,” Mitchell said. “But when it’s time to step up and make at the critical moments when we had opportunities, we didn’t knock them down.”

Throughout the game, offensive production wasn’t a huge problem for the Mean Green. Four of its players scored in double digits, and North Texas finished with a 34-32 advantage on the boards.

Nevertheless, defense after turnovers was a big issue. Louisiana Tech had 14 steals for the game and scored 25 points off of Mean Green miscues, the majority of them coming on transition baskets.

“We didn’t get back in transition quick enough and find our man,” Adams said. “They get the ball out really fast.”

With just three games remaining in the regular season, North Texas looks to snap out of its current funk. The team has won just two of its last 11 games and would have to play in the opening round of four teams in the Conference USA tournament if the season ended today.

Saturday’s 2 p.m. matchup against the University of Southern Mississippi will serve as one last chance to grab a win at the Super Pit this year, and Mitchell said she hopes senior night festivities will give her team the jolt it needs.

“We have a lot to play for,” Mitchell said. “Those [seniors] have put a lot of time into this program, and I think that they deserve to go out on a high note.”

Featured Image: Senior guard Teadra Jones (2) drives the baseline looking for a pass. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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