North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball improves to 5-1 after low-scoring win over SMU

Women’s basketball improves to 5-1 after low-scoring win over SMU

November 29
15:15 2017

North Texas’ third-ranked scoring defense in the country put on yet another defensive clinic at the Super Pit Wednesday afternoon.

The Mean Green women’s basketball team (5-1) held Southern Methodist University to under 29 percent shooting for the afternoon en route to a 47-40 victory. 

“I thought it was one we really gutted out,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “First and foremost on the defensive end, I was really proud of how we defended today. I am appreciative we paid attention to the gameplan, I thought we were on point with that for 40 minutes.”

The Mustangs (3-5) made only 13 shots the entire game and had five assists to 24 turnovers. North Texas scored 17 points off of those turnovers and were able to score in transition on occasion.

 “Once we got the first couple [of turnovers] we knew this is something we can do all game,” junior post Micayla Buckner said. “We just fed off of that and kept our intensity high.”

Buckner was one of only two double-digit scorers for the Mean Green. She also posted her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Going against an SMU team that had size at the forward positions, Buckner did not hesitate when she got her opportunities inside.

“The presence inside was missing the last two games,” Buckner said. “I think that motivated me to go out there and do my best and try to dominate.”

North Texas went just 4-of-21 from three, while SMU went 1-of-7, and the usual snipers struggled to get in rhythm.

Freshman guard Lauren Holmes and junior guard Terriell Bradley combined to shoot 1-of-14 from distance against the Mustangs, who switched to a 3-2 zone.

“[We said to] keep shooting,” junior guard Brittany Smith said. “Shooters are going to have of nights but some of them are going to go in, so we told our shooters to continue shooting and we’ll continue to get them the ball.”

While the offense struggled to find a groove, the Mean Green continued to press the issue in the paint and from three as their penetration and catching at the high-post forced the defense to collapse.

“I thought in the first half we got some good shots that we normally knock down,” Mitchell said. “This wasn’t a typical night for Terriell or Lauren but at the same time I thought we stepped up in some areas and made some plays.”

Despite their struggles, the Mean Green actually went 6-of-10 from the field with four assists in the pivotal fourth quarter, which turned out to be the difference in the win over the cross-town rival.

“I think we just knew the fourth quarter was the most important quarter,” Smith said. “We decided to make some great passes, move the ball and take the open shots.”

With the win, Mitchell’s team has become the first team in 12 years to start the regular season 5-1. The five wins also match her non-conference high in her previous two seasons with six games left before conference play.

“I think it’s a great start,” Mitchell said. “I feel like what we’ve been putting together all this time is here. Now we just have to continue to build and keep improving as a team every single day.”

Next up: The Mean Green host Tulsa at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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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