North Texas Daily

With two games left, Mean Green prepare for C-USA tournament

With two games left, Mean Green prepare for C-USA tournament

With two games left, Mean Green prepare for C-USA tournament
March 01
12:09 2019

The North Texas women’s basketball team (14-12, 7-7 Conference USA) played No.25 Rice this week at home and lost 47-59, falling into a tie for eighth place in C-USA. At eighth place, the Mean Green are in the middle of the pack heading into the postseason.

North Texas still has two games left in the season — a home game against Western Kentucky (15-13, 9-5 C-USA) on March 2 and an away game against Texas-El Paso (7-20, 4-10 C-USA). The Mean Green are confident they can secure wins to advance to the postseason.

“The last three-game stretch [and] how they spread it out helps us and our bodies a lot to prepare for the postseason,” sophomore guard Trena Mims said.

Down the stretch of the season, North Texas transitioned from having two games per week to only one. With the postseason beginning on March 13, head coach Jalie Mitchell believes this will give the Mean Green a chance to recover and prepare better for their games.

“Our last few weeks here, we only have one game,” Mitchell said. “We can take one day on strict offense and one day on strict defense because we have time to really work on some things and prepare. We are making sure that we are ready and we get the support that we need.”

The C-USA women’s tournament will be held March 13-16 in Frisco, Texas at the Ford Center at the Star. With the Star being a 35-minute drive from Denton, Mitchell believes that the close proximity to the home court could benefit the Mean Green yet again.

“We want as many people as we can to pack the stands,” Mitchell said. “I think that was a major part of why went so far last year because of the home feel and the energy.”

Freshman forward Charlene Shepard was awarded the C-USA Freshman of the Week honors following the Feb. 16 game over Florida International. Shepard scored 16 points and notched 7 rebounds after averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“It feels great,” Shepard said. “It was an accomplishment that I have been working towards all season.”

For the seniors, this will be their last chance at a postseason title. After making it to the Conference USA semifinals in the 2017-18 season and losing 61-77 to Western Kentucky, the seniors believe they have a chance to go that deep again. Senior guard Orianna Shillow is ready to build on last year.

“I think that we will do really well in the tournament,” Shillow said. “I hope that we win and play hard.”

On the other side, the freshmen on the team are excited for their first C-USA tournament. Assuming the Mean Green finish strong down the stretch, freshman forward Charlene Shepard believes they will do better than they did last year.

“I think we have a good chance of winning it,” Shepard said. “If we play our best we will be alright.”

The Mean Green use Shepard’s mantra of “stay ready so that you don’t have to get ready” to keep themselves going throughout the season.

The contest against Western Kentucky will be the final home game for North Texas and the graduating seniors will be honored on senior night on March 2. The game will begin at 5 p.m.

“It is going to be an amazing night,” Mims said. “We have quite a few seniors this year that is going to be a pretty big night and we definitely have to bring home the win for them that night.”

Featured Image: Freshman forward Charlene Shepard and senior guard Grace Goodhart trap an Owl guard at the game against Rice on Feb. 23, 2019. Image by: Trevon McWilliams.

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Rachael Sanders

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