North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball looking to hold current seed heading into final regular season weekend

Women’s basketball looking to hold current seed heading into final regular season weekend

Women’s basketball looking to hold current seed heading into final regular season weekend
March 02
07:02 2023

Women’s basketball returns from a week of play in which it saw two victories separated by only two points or less.

North Texas (11-17, 8-10 Conference USA) now sits sixth out of 11 teams in C-USA, but is just one game ahead of both Florida International University and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. 

With only two games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Mean Green prepare to take on two of the top three conference teams on the road in Western Kentucky University and No. 24 nationally-ranked Middle Tennessee State University.

“[These last two games] are very important,” associate head coach Alex Furr said. “It’s two tough teams that we haven’t seen in a while, and in order to have good momentum going into the tournament, we want to handle business and take them as learning opportunities.”

North Texas will travel on the road for both contests taking on the Blue Raiders (23-4, 16-2) on Thursday and the Hilltoppers (15-12, 12-6) on Saturday.

On Jan. 5, the Mean Green scored 46 points in the second half to defeat the Western Kentucky in an 84-76 victory in their first matchup this season. Just two days later, North Texas fell to the Middle Tennessee by a score of 57-76.

“It has been a season where we have had some ups and downs,” Furr said. “But it’s definitely tested our toughness and I think these [players] have gotten a lot tougher as the year has gone on.”

The Mean Green began conference play with a 3-6 record over their first nine games of the season. Since Jan. 26, North Texas has a 5-4 record, with all four losses in that span coming within 10 points or less aside from one game. 

“It’s really good to see some close games at the end [of the season],” Furr said. “Because you know at the tournament everyone is going to bring their best game, so it is just getting us battle ready.”

Throughout the 5-4 stretch, the Mean Green dropped three-straight games from Feb. 9-16. However, the team has bounced back since then, winning two of its last three games with the lone loss coming by just one point to the University of Texas-San Antonio (10-18, 8-11). The two wins came over second-place University of Texas-El Paso (19-8, 12-6) and the 49ers (11-17, 7-11).

With the win over the Miners, North Texas has now defeated the current second and third place teams in the conference. Freshman guard Breanna Davis credited the defense for the team’s recent success.

“Defense was our main focus [through the 2-1 run],” Davis said. “We go where our defense goes. So when we can lock up on defense, then the energy carries over and we make good things happen on offense.”

The Mean Green allowed their opponents to score 71.78 points each game throughout the first nine games of the season. In the subsequent nine games North Texas allowed 63 points per game. Overall, the Mean Green allowed 66.8 points per game in conference play which is currently the sixth-best on the season.

“If we continue to build on ourselves, then I think we’ll get some good outcomes [for the end of the season],” senior guard Quincy Noble said. “So I think continuing to grow and build needs to be the main things we’re focusing on.”

North Texas received a double bye in last season’s conference tournament as the second seed in the western division, but fell short to Charlotte in a 66-63 loss in a game that could have sent the team to the championship round.

Heading into its final two contests, the Mean Green currently hold the six seed. Ahead of the seventh place Roadrunners by a 1.5 games, the team must win at least one of its final two games in order to keep its current seeding.

“These are our two final tests,” Furr said. “We’ll take them as anything that we need to clean up going into the tournament. Seeding is important, but all we can worry about is our next game, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

Featured Image Tommisha Lampkin shoots and scores against UTEP on Feb 18, 2023. Lauren Campbell

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Joshua Paveglio

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