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Recap: Women’s basketball falls 64-58 in game one on back and forth matchup against Rice

Recap: Women’s basketball falls 64-58 in game one on back and forth matchup against Rice

Recap: Women’s basketball falls 64-58 in game one on back and forth matchup against Rice
March 05
03:18 2021

Women’s basketball fell 64-58 in its game one matchup against Rice University on their home court. The loss officially wipes the Mean Green’s contention from being crowned the Conference USA West co-champions this season. Sophomore guard Jazion Jackson had a career-high 20 points on the night. Owls senior center Nancy Mulkey had a double-double performance on 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks. 

The two teams were neck-and-neck in rebounds with 39 apiece, North Texas shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point range to Rice’s 31.3 percent. However, the Owls outshot North Texas 47.1 percent overall to the Mean Green’s 31.9 percent. 

“I thought that when Rice needed a big shot they made it,” Head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “When people play Rice they get a little hesitant because of [Mulkey] down there. What I hope we took from tonight is that we still have to be aggressive, but also be smart about offensive rebounds at the rim. We have to kick it out and get better shots.”

North Texas (12-6, C-USA 9-4) came into Thursday night with a split against Marshall in consecutive one-point contests, winning 52-51 in game one and falling 56-55 in game two.

Rice (16-2, C-USA 12-1) traveled to Denton with a sweep against Louisiana Tech University on their home court 73-50 in game one and 64-53 in game two

 The Owls took an early first-quarter lead outscoring the Mean Green 19-13 in the first frame. Sophomore Rice guard Katelyn Crosthwait, junior guards Haylee Swayze and Jasmine Smith contributed 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Sophomore North Texas guard N’Yah Boyd and freshman guard Keira Neal made 3-pointers. Mean Green sophomore guard Quincy Noble contributed five points in the first quarter. 

The momentum shifted to North Texas’ favor in quarter two. From the end of the first quarter trailing 19-10 to 1:08 remaining in the second half, North Texas went on a 21-6 run over the Owls in the given time frame.

Jackson contributed eight points, senior forward Emma Villas-Gomis followed with six points and freshman forward Tommisha Lampkin added four points to take a 31-25 lead.

Sophomore forward India Bellamy and Smith tallied three points to inch the game to a one-possession contest with a 31-28 North Texas lead. 

North Texas cashed in on Rice’s seven turnovers and held the Owls to 27.3 percent shooting in the second quarter. 

Both teams scored 13 points in the third quarter while the Mean Green maintained a lead throughout the quarter. Mulkey recorded three blocks of her seven on the night during the third quarter. 

Trailing 48-43, Rice went on a 14-3 run through the first half of the fourth quarter getting layups from senior guard Sydne Wiggins, Jackson, and Mulkey. Schwartz and Crosthwait each contributed 3-pointers. The Owls regained their lead 57-51. 

North Texas responded with a 3-pointer by junior guard Destiny Brooks, two free throw points from senior forward Madison Townley and Jackson to trail 59-58 with 1:09 remaining.

The Owl’s scored on layups by Smith and Wiggins to close out a 64-58 win in the final minute of the game. 

Jackson led the North Texas scoring efforts with 20 points on the night and a team-high six assists. Lampkin snagged a team-high 11 rebounds. 

Schwartz led the Owls offense with 16 points, including Wiggins with a team-high five assists. Mulkey had a team-high 10 rebounds. 

“I still like how hard we played,” Mitchell said. “We will correct our mistakes and hopefully have a better outcome on Saturday.”

Up Next: North Texas will travel to Houston and play against the Owls Saturday at 4 p.m. to conclude the two-game series and its final regular season conference game.

Featured Image: Senior forward Emma Villas-Gomis lays the ball in after beating her defender along the baseline during a game on March 4, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello

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Preston Rios

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