North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball loses second game in WNIT to start the season

Women’s basketball loses second game in WNIT to start the season

North Texas junior guard Candice Adams (14) drives the baseline against Rice. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball loses second game in WNIT to start the season
November 19
09:11 2016

In their second game of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, the Mean Green women’s basketball team suffered their second loss at the hands of the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley 74-69 Friday night in Abilene.

On the consolation side of the bracket after their season opening loss to Arkansas-Little Rock, North Texas (0-2) struggled on offense to open the game but stayed close with the Vaqueros (1-1), only trailing by six after one quarter.

In a surprise move, head coach Jalie Mitchell did not start senior guard Kelsey Criner. Although it was sudden and unexpected, she had a good reason for it.

“[It was] just a coach’s decision,” Mitchell said. “Based on practice.”

Even though Criner did not start the game, the team was seven points better with her on the court – one of only two North Texas players to have a positive plus/minus.

In the second quarter, the Mean Green managed only eight points, and entered the locker room at half time with ground to make up.

“[It’s about] really just making shots,” Mitchell said. “I thought we had some quality shots but we have to finish better. And that’s something that we saw in the last game. We have to get our percentage up.”

But the second half was a different story, on both ends.

Offensively, they put up 44 points, however, they allowed 41 points.

The Mean Green had chances to come within three on a few possessions early in the second half with under 30 seconds to play – but were never able to close the gap.

“I think it’s really simple, we couldn’t get stops on the defensive end,” sophomore guard Terriell Bradley said. “And we let them hit back to back threes at one point.”

Sophomore guard Tyara Warren had a huge night with 17 points, 5 rebounds and only 1 turnover. Bradley also put up big numbers, pouring in 21 points to contribute to the comeback effort.

Even though they are just two games in, inept offense has plagued North Texas at times, so they are hoping to turn a corner soon.

“Mainly attacking the basket was working for us because they were fouling us every time,” Warren said. “And just hitting open shots [in the second half] really. We just stepped it up.”

Rio Grande Valley senior guard Shawnte’ Goff exploded for 29 points on an uber-efficient 9-of-13 shooting. Her scoring kept the Vaqueros in front when they needed a score and kept pressure on the Mean Green all night.

“Honestly we just kept getting hit by screens,” Warren said. “Once we recovered from the screens we’d end up fouling her, she went to the line 14 times, which is really unacceptable.”

After dropping two winnable games to start the season, the team will look to pick up their first win tomorrow in their final game of the WNIT tournament.

The rotations, starters and roles on the team are all still getting sorted out, but North Texas is not letting this stumble out of the gate keep them down.

“[We need to] get defensive stops, make sure we’re aware on defense and just keep up the intensity,” Bradley said.

Featured Image: North Texas senior guard Candice Adams (14) drives the baseline against Rice last season. Colin Mitchell

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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