North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball looking for consistency in second half of season

Women’s basketball looking for consistency in second half of season

Women’s basketball looking for consistency in second half of season
February 03
12:30 2022

Women’s basketball has recently struggled in conference play, winning two out of seven games played in 2022. The Mean Green sat at 6-2 on the season when the fall semester concluded for winter break. As classes resumed in the spring, the team had a record of 7-8 and currently holds an 8-9 record, 2-5 in Conference USA.

North Texas had two games postponed and another canceled due to COVID-19 issues during the stretch but went 2-5 in the games it did play in January. The shift from blowing out Southern Methodist University by 26 to winning two of its last nine games has everyone around the team repeating one word.

“What we’ve been talking about is consistency,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “Consistency in production and consistency in us playing a total 40-minute game.”

To find consistency, the Mean Green have turned to junior guard Quincy Noble who is averaging 15.8 points per game. She recently tied her career-high with 30 points against the University of Southern Mississippi on 50 percent shooting. In the loss to Louisiana Tech University, Noble scored 25 points on 56 percent shooting including 15 points after halftime.

“I feel like [my teammates] spark me,” Noble said. “They put me in those positions to make those shots and are always in my head with their confidence.”

With three road games before returning to the Super Pit to face Rice University on Feb. 10, North Texas sits at 0-5 on the road. In those road losses, the Mean Green are shooting 23.5 percent from the 3-point line compared to a season average of 30.2 percent. During the team’s 6-2 start the season, it shot 35.8 percent from deep. In the last nine games, the team is at 24.2 percent.

“I really think [we should] not limit ourselves to [3-point] shots,” Mitchell said. “I think sometimes those shots fall and sometimes they don’t. You have to know when another opportunity to score comes to get layups, pull-ups or get to the free-throw line. You have to play the game however it’s going for you that day.”

The Mean Green expect to get starting guard Aly Gamez back from injury soon after missing the past two games, Mitchell said. Before the injury, Gamez averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 33.8 minutes per game. Graduate guard Amber Dixon replaced Gamez in the starting lineup. Mitchell said Dixon’s experience and role on the team made it an easy choice.

“We really just have to recognize the team we can be, tap into that and be more consistent in the areas that we struggle with,” Dixon said. “Once we fix the little things, we can definitely turn this thing around.”

With Gamez out and Dixon in the starting lineup, Mitchell tried a couple of different lineup combinations to see who would come off the bench. Against Southern Miss, freshman guard Chloe Callahan posted five points along with season-highs of three assists and two steals.

Junior guard Jazion Jackson has played in every game for North Texas this season at guard. Jackson is third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.9 point per game.

Freshman guard Kendall McGruder has also seen the court more, averaging nine minutes per game while shooting 38.6 percent from 3-point range. Averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for the season, junior forward Tommisha Lampkin has been the first player off the bench with Dixon starting. The Mean Green’s bench unit has been outscored 40 to 17 in the past two games.

“Everybody’s going to have to step up,” Mitchell said. “It’s that time of the year when you’re really trying to solidify your place and confidence. […] I think as a whole we were missing some bench production last week, and that has to improve.”

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Paul Witwer

Paul Witwer

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