Women’s basketball fails to hold first half lead in home loss

Women’s basketball fails to hold first half lead in home loss

Senior guard Kasiney Williams drives the hoop before passing the ball against Louisiana Tech. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball fails to hold first half lead in home loss
February 25
21:06 2016

Alex Lessard | Associate Sports Editor

@alexjlessard

Mean Green women’s basketball was unable to get revenge against Louisiana Tech University at the Super Pit after building a first half lead, losing 78-67. North Texas (9-16, 4-11) had fallen 77-71 on the road in the first meeting between the two teams on Feb. 6.

Momentum swings flipped the game multiple times, but two facets of the game proved to be the ultimate difference makers. Louisiana Tech (14-12, 9-6) outscored North Texas 32-22 in the paint and scored 25 points off Mean Green turnovers.

The Mean Green came out flat to begin the game, struggling to penetrate Louisiana Tech’s full-court press defense. North Texas fell behind 7-0 in the first 1:30, forcing head coach Jalie Mitchell to call an early timeout. The early break proved beneficial, as the team went on a 10-0 run to take a 16-13 lead later in the quarter.

Junior guard Kelsey Criner and senior forward Acheil Tac carried the offensive load throughout the first ten minutes, scoring 18 of the Mean Green’s 22 points on the way to a five-point lead headed into the second quarter. Criner led both teams in scoring with 15 first half points.

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

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

The aggressive mentality for North Texas continued to hold strong, getting to the line 16 times in the half compared to just 4 attempts for Louisiana Tech. But the scoring efficiency was nearly identical for each team, with both squads hovering just over the 45 percent mark headed into the intermission.

The tides turned for North Texas in the third quarter once the Lady Techsters began to make the game swing back and forth. After five lead changes, the Mean Green played the latter half of the quarter from behind, trailing by as many as nine points for the first time in the game.

Down the stretch, North Texas was unable to chip away at the deficit, as every loose ball and rebound seemed to go Louisiana Tech’s way. Criner and Tac were held to just five points combined in the fourth quarter, finishing with 18 and 13, respectively.

Junior guards Candice Adams and Terra Ellison contributed 13 points each as the third and fourth double-digit scorers for North Texas. Adams hit three of the team’s four shots from three-point range.

The Mean Green will look to bounce back in its last home game of the season Saturday against the University of Southern Mississippi. Tipoff will be at 2 p.m.

Featured Image: Senior guard Kasiney Williams drives the hoop before passing the ball against Louisiana Tech. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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