North Texas Daily

Mean Green start home stint with Florida Atlantic

Mean Green start home stint with Florida Atlantic

Mean Green start home stint with Florida Atlantic
February 13
10:48 2019

The Mean Green women’s basketball team (12-11, 5-6 Conference USA) begins a four-game home stint against the Florida Atlantic Owls (5-19, 2-9 C-USA) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14.

The Valentine’s Day matchup will be critical for a North Texas team with five games left. Despite being tied at No. 7 in C-USA, due to their pre-conference record, the Mean Green would miss the conference championship tournament at this time.

The Mean Green come into the Florida Atlantic game averaging 65.7 points per game and allowing 61 points per game, a margin of 4.7 points.

Florida Atlantic is led by mostly freshman with a scoring margin of -14. Out of the 14 players on the roster, eight are freshmen. Freshman forward, Juliette Gauthier, leads the Owls in scoring (261), rebounds by freshman forward Abby Voss (144) and in assists by freshman guard Glenisha Harkless (46).

“I think there’s a lot of potential and a lot of chemistry,” said Owls head coach Jim Jabir in an interview with FAU Sports. “I like how hard the kids are working but we’re really young, with eight freshmen and Myka (Johnson Matthews) being new and stepping in.”

The Owls and the Mean Green have a very similar field goal performance, with Florida Atlantic shooting 496-of-1345 for 1,420 points and North Texas shooting 556-of-1,412 for 1,511 points.

“They do a good job of penetrating and creating shots for themselves,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “That’s one big thing we’re gonna have to make sure we limit, their dribble penetration. Also, rebounding is key for us on both ends. [We have to] sure we limit their opportunities and get more for ourselves.”

Mean Green senior guard Terriell Bradley drives against a Charlotte defender at the Super Pit Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. Image by: Trevon McWilliams. 

Redshirt senior guard Terriell Bradley enters this game sitting at No. 6 in all-time career scoring for the Mean Green with 1,312 points. Bradley leads North Texas this season in minutes (33.4), 3-pointers (35), points (336) and steals (23). The Kansas transfer trails her head coach, who currently holds the No. 1 spot in career scoring, by 452 points. Assuming the Mean Green miss the tournament, Bradley would need to average 90.4 points to tie the record.

“That was the expectation for her after the season she had last year,” Mitchell said. “She’s an incredible player and I would love for her to do as well as she can. I think what’s great about her is whatever is gonna happen, it’s gonna happen within the team setting. She’s definitely a team player first.”

Currently, North Texas is 7-4 at home, 4-6 away and 1-1 at neutral sites. Mitchell believes that being at home gives the Mean Green a big advantage closing out the season.

“Anytime you can play in a familiar place and in front of your fans, it’s always a good thing,” Mitchell said. “It gives you a bit of an edge.”

North Texas won’t play, the teams it’s tied with in its last five games — Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss. However, they will play the No. 1 seed in C-USA standings in a Feb. 23 matchup against the Rice Owls (20-3, 11-0 C-USA). The Owls are led in scoring, assists and rebounds by junior guard Erica Ogwumike (368, 60, 242). Ogwumike was named to the 2018-18 C-USA All-Defensive Team, All-Conference Team and All-Tournament Team and the 2017-18 C-USA Newcomer of the Year.

North Texas is currently led in rebounds by junior post Anisha George (183) and in assists by sophomore guard Trena Mims and senior guard Brittany Smith (70).

“This team is focused and we’re just learning every single day,” Mims said in an interview with the Daily. “We’re figuring out what every one of us can bring to the table to be able to put ourselves in positions to be successful.”

Featured Image: Mean Green sophomore guard Trena Mims dribbles to mid-court at the game against the Charlotte 49ers on Feb. 3, 2019 at the Super Pit. Image by: Trevon McWilliams. 

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Zachary Cottam

Zachary Cottam

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