North Texas Daily

Mean Green fall to Rice, hint at extended postseason

Mean Green fall to Rice, hint at extended postseason

Mean Green fall to Rice, hint at extended postseason
March 14
14:08 2019

The North Texas women’s basketball team (15-15, 8-10 Conference USA) held the Rice Owls (26-3, 17-0 C-USA) to 5.5 points below their season average in a 43-61 loss in the second round of the C-USA Championship tournament. Redshirt sophomore forward Madison Townley led the Mean Green in rebounds (8) and tied for most points (11) with senior guard Terriell Bradley.

“It’s just a mindset,” Townley said. “Once you get on the court, you just have to do what it takes to get done on both ends.”

After being down by five in the first quarter, sophomore guard Trena Mims was able to bring North Texas back into a one-possession game at 13-16 at the end of the first with five points in 1:30 of play. The Owls spent most of the first quarter running screens with their post players, redshirt sophomore center Nancy Mulkey and sophomore center Alexah Chrisman.

Rice’s height in the frontcourt helped them to out-rebound North Texas 43-35. North Texas had 17 offensive rebounds compared to Rice’s 11, but the Owls were able to grab 32 defensive rebounds while the Mean Green totaled 18. Mulkey was named to the All-Conference USA team, put up 20 points on the Mean Green and was the tallest player on the court today, checking in at 6-foot-9.

“She’s a skilled player with great length,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “Everyone that had their chance at her today did the best job that they could.”

Heading into halftime, the Owls were up 30-22 and North Texas was able to stay within reach for most of the game leading up into the third quarter. Heading into the final period, Rice was up 45-34, and built upon their lead in the fourth quarter. Rice outscored the Mean Green 16-9 in the fourth quarter, which was enough to put the game away and win by 18.

The defining factor in the game came in the 3-point game. In all other scoring attributes (points in paint, points off turnovers, second chance points, fast break points and bench scoring), North Texas outscored or stayed within five points of Rice. The Mean Green shot 1-of-12 from beyond the arch and the Owls shot 5-of-16, a margin of 12 points.

“For the most part, our team continued to move the ball and get the looks that we wanted and take the shots we wanted,” Mitchell said. “They just didn’t fall.”

The Owls had three players who scored in the double digits: Mulkey (20), sophomore guard Sydne Wiggins (10) and junior guard Erica Ogwumike (15).

The Owls shot 40.8 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from three and 84.2 percent from the line, where they shot 16-of-19 on free throws. North Texas shot 29.4 percent on field goals, 8.3 percent on 3-pointers and 33.3 percent on free throws, where they went 2-of-6.

In both of their games in the C-USA tournament, the Mean Green were unable to score over 50 points. In their first game, it was enough for them to win. When asked about the potential of an extended postseason, Mitchell hinted that she doesn’t want this to be the last game their seniors play.

“I would have liked to give [the seniors] a winning season,” Mitchell said. “There were some opportunities that we missed before this tournament to accomplish that, and that’s the biggest reason why I hope we get a chance to keep playing. I think that the seniors, the time and the effort they put in, they deserve that.”

Featured Image: Mean Green sophomore guard Trena Mims dribbles the ball against a Southern Mississippi defender at The Star on March 13, 2019. Image by: Trevon McWilliams.

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Zachary Cottam

Zachary Cottam

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