North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball falls in first game after devastating late run

Women’s basketball falls in first game after devastating late run

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the basket for a layup against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball falls in first game after devastating late run
November 11
23:28 2016

The Mean Green women’s basketball team tipped of their 2016 campaign in the preseason NIT tournament. At a competition of 16 teams, including the AP No. 1 team in the country, Notre Dame, they knew they would be tested out of the gate.

And tested they were.

The Mean Green lost to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock 55-44 Friday night on the road. The two were knotted at 34 with under eight minutes left in the fourth, before the Lady Trojans took over for the next six minutes, going on a 13-1 run that proved to be fatal.

“[Little Rock] did a good job of giving themselves second and third opportunities, and we did not do a good job of stopping them,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “It was a back and forth game for the most part, and that was a big run, and they were able to pull away.”

The Mean Green gave up 21 points in the final 7:47 of the game, two fewer points than they gave up in the entire first half. Defensively, they played well for over three quarters, but a few key errors in the fourth cost them the win.

While the loss puts the team at 0-1, the Mean Green was able to shoot the ball from deep effectively, going 5-15 from beyond the arc – a vast improvement from its 0-for-9 performance in its scrimmage.

“Nothing changed offensively [after the scrimmage],” Mitchell said. “I thought we just made more [threes]. I mean 0 for 9 is not normal, [and] we have several good shooters that should be able to find the net.”

The offense went stagnant at times, as evidenced by two stats in particular, the Mean Green coughed up 20 turnovers and did not score a single fast break point.

With talented guards and a coach that had stressed pace before the season, the latter stat is one that will be remedied immediately.

“I thought we could have pushed [the tempo] a little more,” Mitchell said. “We did not push it near as much as we typically do. Transition is a big part of our game [and] we were not as aggressive as we should have been.”

Despite keeping pace with Little Rock for the majority of the game, North Texas knows there are no moral victories and there are plenty of things to improve on.

“[I saw] two major things to work on,” Mitchell said. “Rebounding and, offensively, maintaining that aggressiveness. [We need to] focus on finishing.

Featured Image: Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the basket for a layup against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell 

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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