North Texas Daily

Leader in the lane: Townley inspires teammates while making history

Leader in the lane: Townley inspires teammates while making history

Leader in the lane: Townley inspires teammates while making history
March 03
12:00 2022

A crowd of 1,353 applauded as graduate forward Madison Townley walked to center court and was presented a basketball to commemorate her program record for most career games played.

Women’s basketball head coach Jalie Mitchell and director of athletics Wren Baker made the presentation before the team’s Feb. 10 contest against Rice University. Townley said she had no idea the ceremony was happening as the team kept it secret from her for weeks. Now in her sixth year at North Texas, she continues to build on two school records she broke earlier this year — career games played and career rebounds.

“I always keep coming back because I believe in the next team,” Townley said. “I always believe in those players that are coming back or those new players that are coming in. I always come back because I see the talent — I see the potential just like coaches.”

Townley passed Brittney James’ (2006-2010) record of 124 career games played with now 128 through the Feb. 26 game against Louisiana Tech. She said having the all-time games played record is special because it means she has been lucky to stay healthy in her career.

Junior guard Jazion Jackson came to North Texas (14-11, 8-7 Conference USA) in 2019 and looked to Townley as an established leader on and off the court. Jackson has started every game alongside Townley this season and is one minute behind her at 30.4 minutes per game.

“If I’m not working harder than Madi, then what am I doing?” Jackson said. “I can always count on her to play her hardest in a game. And honestly, most of the time this season, I’ve been thinking about her when we do play because I want to win for her in her last year.”

After coming to North Texas in 2016, Townley has not averaged lower than 6.4 rebounds per game since putting up 3.8 per game her freshman season. She pulled down career rebound No. 762 in a loss to Old Dominion University earlier this season, passing Amber Jackson (2005-2009).

When Mitchell recruited Townley from her alma mater Duncanville High School, Mitchell said she saw a player who always knew what she was good at and excelled in her role as an intelligent defender and rebounder.

For Townley, though, the choice to come to North Texas was simpler.

“[North Texas] was close to home,” Townley said. “I’m a huge family person – I always have been. You can probably ask anybody that because I go home literally every week on our off day.”

In Townley’s last season with the Mean Green, she is averaging 6.2 points per game and leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game. Townley has started every game for the Mean Green this season while averaging the third-most minutes on the team with 31.4.

Mitchell said Townley has also developed at North Texas offensively by adding a midrange jumper to her game. Townley is shooting 41.7 percent from the field on 144 attempts this season with her jumper.

At the end of January, North Texas had a record of 8-9 and was 2-5 in C-USA. Since then the Mean Green are 6-2 and were on a six-game winning streak before losing to Louisiana Tech University on Saturday.

The Mean Green currently have the No. 6-ranked defense in C-USA at 62.1 points allowed per game. Mitchell said Townley has been the most significant contributor to the defensive improvement as the unit’s anchor.

“If we were keeping up with charges drawn, I know that she would be the all-time charge leader in the history of the program,” Mitchell said. “We depend on her a lot. It’s going to be weird without her next year.”

Featured Image: Madison Townley does a layup during a game on Feb. 10, 2022. Photo by Kristian Freeman

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Paul Witwer

Paul Witwer

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