North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball drops triple overtime thriller to Rice

Women’s basketball drops triple overtime thriller to Rice

Junior guard Kelsey Criner lays it up in Saturday’s win over IUPUI, pushing the Mean Green women to a 3-4 record. Matthew Brown | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball drops triple overtime thriller to Rice
January 10
21:16 2016

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

It took an extra 15 minutes of play and every player on North Texas’ bench on Sunday afternoon, but the Mean Green (6-7, 1-2 CUSA) came up just short and fell to Rice University 100-97. It was the first triple overtime game for North Texas since 2012, when it lost to the University of Alabama.

Junior guard Kelsey Criner nearly recorded the first triple double in the history of North Texas women’s basketball, finishing with a career high 36 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. But her effort was not enough, as the Owls (3-11, 2-1 CUSA), led by junior guard Maya Hawkins, matched the Mean Green blow for blow and eventually came out on top.

“I can’t ask of her anymore, to be quite honest,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said of Criner’s performance. “I thought she stepped up. She took the shots we needed her to take and she made the passes we needed her to make. I’m proud of her performance.”

North Texas blew a nine point lead and had to make a last minute comeback to force overtime. The effort was orchestrated by junior guard Candice Adams, who scored the team’s final five points of regulation. She finished with 17 points on 6 of 19 shooting.

Neither squad was able to get the edge in the first or second overtime, see-sawing back and forth before Rice finally hit a dagger three pointer to put the game away.

“That’s all I can ask for, is for them to keep fighting,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud that we did that.”

There were 13 ties and 18 lead changes in the game, as the marathon took its toll on both benches. Four North Texas players fouled out, which left Mitchell with only six players to work with in the third overtime period.

The Mean Green had a sloppy first half, turning the ball over 10 times, but the team still took a 31-22 lead into the intermission. North Texas made several changes at halftime, most notably attacking the rim off ball screens, which allowed the team to score 26 points in the paint in the second half and three overtimes.

But every for every big shot North Texas hit, Rice had an answer until the Mean Green ran out of chances.

Next Up: North Texas travels to take on Marshall University on Thursday Jan. 14. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.

Featured Image: Junior guard Kelsey Criner nearly recorded the first triple double in the history of North Texas women’s basketball during Sunday’s game against Rice University. File Photo

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