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Simms, Old Dominion eliminate women’s basketball from C-USA tournament

Simms, Old Dominion eliminate women’s basketball from C-USA tournament

Junior guard Candice Adams (14) passes to the baseline for an assist against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Simms, Old Dominion eliminate women’s basketball from C-USA tournament
March 09
17:50 2016

Alex Lessard | Associate Sports Editor

@alexjlessard

With a spot in the Conference USA tournament quarterfinals on the line, Mean Green women’s basketball had an opportunity to avenge its 62-55 loss to Old Dominion University on March 3, a game in which Jennie Simms poured in 33 points.

Despite No. 13 seed North Texas (11-18) hanging around the entire game and forming a comeback in the fourth quarter, Wednesday’s game finished with the same score and result. Simms, C-USA’s leading scorer, carried the No. 5 seed Monarchs (14-16) with a game-high 32 points, including 7 in the final two minutes to seal the victory.

“I thought it was a hard fought game,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “They had the lead for a bit, and I thought we fought back.”

The Mean Green scored the first basket of the game but only held its lead for the first 53 seconds, heading into halftime down by 10. Nevertheless, North Texas continued to hang tough with senior forward Acheil Tac in foul trouble, who was limited to just 20 minutes of action.

North Texas forced 18 turnovers in the game, including seven by Simms, which helped fuel an 11-2 fourth quarter run to regain the lead. Then, a sequence of three consecutive fouls committed by the Mean Green sent Simms to the line, giving the Monarchs a lead it would not relinquish.

“Some things didn’t go our way as the momentum shifted a bit,” Mitchell said. “There we some stops we needed to get, and we started fouling way too much.”

Although North Texas had five double-digit scorers in its first round win over Florida Atlantic University, junior guards Kelsey Criner (13), Candice Adams (13) and Terra Ellison (11) were the only players with more than six points versus Old Dominion. Tac and senior guards Kasiney Williams and Teadra Jones combined for just 15 points in the last game of their careers.

“I think we set the foundation for the teams to come,” Tac said. “For the future, and the Mean Green basketball team, I know that they’re going to do great things.”

North Texas won the turnover battle by a slim margin and posted 10 assists as a team compared to just six for the Monarchs. However, the Mean Green offense became stagnant down the stretch, scoring only one point in the final four minutes.

“That’s kind of where they got a lot of easy points,” Mitchell said. “We wanted to give ourselves a chance to defend and get a stop, and do that without fouling or basically giving up points when you put people on the free-throw line.”

Having its season end is a tough pill to swallow, but Mitchell said she is still happy with what her team has accomplished. The team more than doubled its win total from last season and won its first tournament game since joining C-USA in 2013.

“Our team will always fight,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud of my team for their effort this season.”

Featured Image: Junior guard Candice Adams (14) passes to the baseline for an assist against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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