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Tac’s game-winner in final career home game seals women’s basketball victory

Tac’s game-winner in final career home game seals women’s basketball victory

Senior forward Acheil Tac (23) goes up for a layup against Louisiana Tech. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Tac’s game-winner in final career home game seals women’s basketball victory
February 27
18:03 2016

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

Senior forward Acheil Tac talked all week about how important a win on senior day against the University of Southern Mississippi (14-13, 7-9) would be to both her and the team. And at the end of the game, she was the one that made it happen.

After Southern Miss tied the game at 55-55 with four seconds remaining, North Texas coach Jalie Mitchell called a timeout to bring the ball to the other side of half court. Coming out of the timeout, junior guard Kelsey Criner assisted Tac on a game-winning shot from the middle of the paint.

After getting off to a hot start scoring with eight points in the first half, Tac was held scoreless through the third quarter before heating up towards the end of the game. The senior finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

“I was lucky enough to have coach give me the opportunity to go out there and make the winning basket,” Tac said. “The trust that she had in me meant a lot out there. I felt like my teammates played hard for us seniors tonight, and that meant a lot to us.”

After the team faced several deficits both early and late in the game, the Mean Green (10-16, 5-11) had to fight back multiple times just to be in a position for Tac to secure the win on the final play. The team got off to a slow start in the first quarter before picking up the pace offensively and gaining a 28-25 lead going into halftime.

“We were really aggressive,” Mitchell said. “We always do that, but we started knocking down shots. We just had some more shots fall in that second quarter.”

However, that success shooting the ball didn’t carry over into the second half, as the Mean Green went on a long scoreless streak towards the end of the third quarter that allowed Southern Miss to pull back ahead.

The offense found it’s groove again at just the right time, setting up a clutch three-point field goal from junior guard Terra Ellison with two minutes remaining in the game that gave the team it’s first lead of the fourth quarter.

Ellison had missed shots on the previous two possessions before knocking down the go-ahead three-pointer and a subsequent jump shot on the ensuing possession.

“It felt great,” Ellison said. “I felt like that’s what made the game change when we got that lead back. That brought more momentum to us, and we kept getting stops and scoring.”

The win resembled the several comeback wins the Mean Green have had this season, including last second victories over Southern Methodist University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

North Texas also secured its tenth win of the season, doubling last year’s total in the team’s first season with Mitchell at the helm of the program.

“We had a lot of great things happen today,” Mitchell said. “We played with a lot of heart. I think we’ve been fighting all season, and it hasn’t always gone our way, but we have continued to fight. I’m so glad it worked out for us today.”

Featured Image: Senior forward Acheil Tac (23) goes up for a layup against Louisiana Tech. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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