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Recap: Late free throw heroics from Jazion Jackson lifts women’s basketball over Marshall

Recap: Late free throw heroics from Jazion Jackson lifts women’s basketball over Marshall

Recap: Late free throw heroics from Jazion Jackson lifts women’s basketball over Marshall
February 27
01:18 2021

Women’s basketball pulled away against Marshal University 52-51 where sophomore guard Jazion Jackson banked consecutive free throws with under one second remaining to take game one in the two-game set. For the first time since joining Conference USA in 2013, North Texas has accomplished a .500 season in conference play. 

Offensively, the Mean Green (12-4, Conference USA 9-2) was held to 30.5 percent shooting overall on the night (second-lowest of the season in a game) and tied their season-low in points with 52. Defensively North Texas allowed its fewest points of the season at 51 to the Thundering Herd (6-9, C-USA 5-8) and out-stole Marshall 13-5. Sophomore guard Quincy Noble recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

“We had some big opportunities, some big and-ones, some big rebounds,” Head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I love the fact that we converted at the free-throw line.”

North Texas played its first game in two weeks following a postponed series against Western Kentucky University was scheduled for last weekend. The Mean Green swept the University of Southern Miss on their home court on Feb. 12 and 13. 

Marshall came into Friday’s game with a win over the C-USA west leader Rice University last Saturday in a 68-56 contest handing the Owls their first loss of the season.  

In the first quarter, junior forward Rochelle Lee scored eight of the 16 Mean Green points to jump out to a 16-12 lead. 

Marshall since trailing 16-6 in the first quarter scored nine unanswered points to trail 16-15. Sophomore forwards Alexis Johnson and Mahagony Matthews, and sophomore guard Paige Shy each added 3-pointers in that time frame. 

The Mean Green closed out a 29-22 halftime lead with junior guards Destiny Brooks and Quincy Noble banking in 3-pointers. 

North Texas through the first half outshot Marshall at 44.4 percent to the Thundering Herd’s 30.8 percent shooting. 

The Marshall defense in the second half held North Texas to 18.8 percent shooting and outscored the Mean Green 16-10 in the third quarter. 

The third quarter resulted in North Texas slowly losing its seven-point halftime lead as the Thundering Herd trailed 39-38 at the end of three frames. Noble scored four of North Texas’ ten points in the third quarter on a jumper and making consecutive free throws.

Through the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, North Texas reached out to an eight-point lead on a 9-2 lead with Jackson scoring seven points and senior forward Emma Villas-Gomis scoring on a layup.

Marshall immediately responded with an 11-2 run in the second half of the fourth quarter on 3-pointers by sophomore guard Savannah Wheeler and senior guard Kristen Mayo. North Texas trailed 51-50 with 18 seconds on the clock with Mitchell calling a timeout and draw a play up. 

Jackson, in the process of retrieving a rebound, was fouled with 0.8 seconds remaining with an opportunity to tie or take the lead on two free-throws. 

With the game on the line, Jackson made both free throws to put North Texas ahead 52-51 and time expired as Marshall failed to score in the remaining time. 

“It was a missed shot, so I had no choice but to go in there try to get a rebound for my team to get a win — and I’m not missing,” Jackson said.

Noble and Lee led North Texas’ scoring efforts with 12 points apiece. Senior forward Townley led the team in rebounds with 12 with Noble behind her at 10. Jackson had a team-high of four assists. 

Wheeler led the Thundering Herd offense with 16 points and a team-high three assists. Junior forward Lorelei Roper tallied a team-high 10 rebounds. 

“The people that we didn’t want to get loose late got loose for five (points),” Mitchell said. “Hopefully we can change that tomorrow. We toughed it out. Some things didn’t go our way, and some things did.”

Up Next: North Texas will play Marshall again Saturday 3:30 p.m. to conclude the two-game series.

Featured Image: Sophomore guard Jazion Jackson stretches out wide while defending an inbounds attempt on Feb. 26, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello

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Preston Rios

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