North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball falls to 0-3 to start season

Women’s basketball falls to 0-3 to start season

November 21
23:27 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green women’s basketball team dropped its third straight game to open the season, falling to the University of Massachusetts 56-46 Friday night at the Super Pit to open the Hospitality Hill Challenge.

North Texas (0-3) controlled the game throughout the first half, going up by as much as 12 points with 7:28 left in the period. However, foul trouble for the Mean Green bigs led to poor rebounding throughout the game and helped UMass (2-2) go into halftime only down by two and eventually run away with the second half. The Mean Green were outrebounded 47-25 for the game and gave up 16 offensive rebounds.

“We got badly, badly, badly out-toughed down the stretch,” head coach Mike Petersen said. “We got out-rebounded by 22. That’s a problem, so we’ve just got to get tougher there.”

UMass forward Kim Pierre-Louis, who was averaging 15 points a game for the Minutewomen prior to tonight’s game, struggled in the first half with only two points but scored the team’s first 10 points of the second half. Petersen said his team played poorly on defense after the break.

“She took the ball and drove it just like we said she was going to,” Petersen said. “I thought she did a really good job of it, and I thought we did a really bad job of guarding her.”

Pierre-Louis continued to score at will for UMass, especially after sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter and junior forward Acheil Tac fouled out early in the second half. Pierre-Louis finished with 18 points on 75 percent shooting, while Jeter finished with 10 points and five rebounds in only 18 minutes of play.

Without two of its best post players, the Mean Green struggled to generate much second half offense and had trouble defending the paint. Petersen said he was specifically disturbed by the Mean Green’s inability to grab a rebound after missed foul shots by UMass, who only shot 48 percent from the line.

“When you’re rebounding out of a free throw, that referee lets you stand right next to that person. And that person cannot leave their spot until the ball is released,” Petersen said. “[Jeter and Tac fouling out] has nothing to do with anything. Again, foul trouble happens in basketball. You’ve got to step up and make a play.”

Poor free throw shooting continues to haunt the Mean Green, as the team only shot 52 percent on the night. North Texas also committed 28 fouls and sent UMass to the line 29 times.

“We couldn’t shoot free throws very well in this game either. We shot 52 percent,” Petersen said. “But free throws weren’t the issue tonight. Tonight, we just got in foul trouble for sure, but then the tougher team down the stretch won the game.”

North Texas plays Eastern Illinois University on Sunday at 2 p.m at the Super Pit to conclude the Hospitality Hill Challenge.

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