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Women’s basketball loses fourth straight heading into Conference USA tournament

Women’s basketball loses fourth straight heading into Conference USA tournament

March 04
18:11 2017

Just a few short weeks ago, North Texas was on a five-game winning streak and had improved to 8-6 in conference play.

Now, the Mean Green have lost four consecutive games as they attempt to turn their focus to the Conference USA tournament beginning in just four days.

The Mean Green fell to Marshall 60-57 Saturday afternoon on senior day in their last regular season game.

After photos were taken and friends and family celebrated, the game got off to a fast start. It was a pace that Marshall (13-16, 5-13) was able to maintain as North Texas (11-18, 8-10) began to falter in the second quarter.

“We needed to make stops and keep our momentum or at least make one [shot] to go on a run,” senior guard Candice Adams said. “But we weren’t able to do that.”

One particular change the Thundering Herd implemented was the usage of a 2-3 zone. Head coach Jalie Mitchell frequently vents about how her offense against a zone needs to improve and the Mean Green again struggled to create scoring opportunities.

“I think once they went to it we stopped being as aggressive as were against the man,” Mitchell said. “We just were standing around, passing around, not really penetrating it, not looking to be aggressive like we needed to.”

Marshall leads the conference in 3-pointers made and they shot their average on Saturday, making 8-of-22 attempts from deep. The Mean Green were just 5-of-21 from downtown.

The plus-nine from three and a plus-six margin from the free-throw line proved to be the difference in Marshall’s narrow victory.

“It wasn’t tough [to defend them], we just didn’t play defense well like we were supposed to,” senior guard Kelsey Criner said. “We didn’t have our hands up and we were going under screens so that let them get open looks.”

The game was tight throughout the second half as neither team could build a lead larger than four, making every possession crucial.

Adams had a look from 3-point range to put the Mean Green up two in the final minute but was unable to hit it. Then sophomore guard Terriell Bradley was called for a travel with under three seconds left on the team’s final possession.

While North Texas missed opportunities on the offensive end, Mitchell felt like it was the other side of the court that cost them the game late.

“Defensively, we didn’t do everything we needed to do [late],” Mitchell said. “[Marshall] shot 44 percent in the fourth quarter, 67 percent percent from three, so that’s not good at all.”

Sophomore guard Tyara Warren posted a career-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and consistently bailed out offensive possessions with either a pull-up jumper or a hard drive.

However, the North Texas bench totaled failed to support its starters and came up with just two points in 38 minutes.

With this loss, the Mean Green will now be tasked with regrouping in four days and winning in Birmingham.

“[Being] in isn’t good enough,” Mitchell said. “You never want to go in on a losing streak, but that does not mean you can’t go in and start a win streak.

Next up: The Mean Green head to Birmingham, Alabama for the first round of the C-USA tournament on Wednesday. Opponent and game time is TBD.

Featured Image: Kelsey Criner (3) looks to drive through Marshall’s defenses. North Texas trailed Marshall 36-30 at halftime. Jake King

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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