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Women’s basketball shut down in second half, loses to Arizona

Women’s basketball shut down in second half, loses to Arizona

Junior guard Terra Ellison (20) scores against the University of Arizona. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball shut down in second half, loses to Arizona
November 27
16:39 2015

Scott Sidway | Sports Editor

@ScottyWK

The Mean Green women’s basketball team fell to the University of Arizona 51-44 Friday afternoon at the Super Pit. It’s the team’s second straight loss since upsetting Oklahoma University two weeks ago in Norman.

North Texas (1-3) stormed out of the gates, with guard Candice Adams burying her first two shots from beyond the three-point arc. The whole team was hot in the opening frame and was able to fluster the Arizona (4-1) attack, storming out to a 18-11 lead.

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) looks for a teammate to throw the ball to while being blocked by the University of Arizona’s guard Farrin Bell (20). Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) looks for a teammate to throw the ball to while being blocked by the University of Arizona’s guard Farrin Bell (20). Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

However, the two early threes from Adams were her only points until the fourth quarter. She picked up three fouls in the first quarter, forcing her to play minimal minutes until late in the game. Once the Mean Green established its largest lead of the game in the second quarter, leading by 11, the Wildcats were able to trim the lead down by halftime, trailing 28-24 going into the break.

North Texas’ shooting became colder as the game progressed into the third quarter. The Mean Green only scored four points by the end of the third, which was aided by a flurry of turnovers. The Wildcats meanwhile began to find their rhythm and funnel their offense through junior forward Breanna Workman. She finished the game with 15 points after scoring only two in the first half.

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) rushes the ball to the basket. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) rushes the ball to the basket. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

After trailing for the first time in the game toward the end of the third quarter, the Mean Green could never recover. The team began to turn the ball over and miss free throws – something it found success at early in the game. Arizona, who came into the game shooting 52 percent from the free throw line, began to knock down its freebies in the fourth quarter, finishing the game 60 percent from the line after struggling early.

The Wildcats also made a handful of could-be costly turnovers, giving North Texas a chance to draw even down the stretch. But the second half offensive struggles continued, scoring 16 points in the second half compared to 28 in the first.

Adams was the Mean Green’s leading scorer with 12, but the team’s offense and comeback attempt was primarily fueled by junior guard Kelsey Criner. On top of finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds, she also made a handful of hustle plays, including steals by stepping in between passing lanes and offensive rebounds off of missed Arizona free throws.

Junior guard Terra Ellison (20) looks for her teammates during a game against the University of Arizona. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Terra Ellison (20) looks for her teammates during a game against the University of Arizona. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

The Mean Green defense held the two leading Wildcat scorers in check, allowing only nine points to junior guard Malena Washington and three points to Taryn Griffey – the daughter of former baseball star Ken Griffey Jr, who was in attendance for the game. Grand Prairie native JaLea Bennett led Arizona in scoring with 17 points, shooting 6-9 and a perfect 3-3 from downtown.

North Texas will host Southern Methodist University on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at the Super Pit. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Featured Image: Junior guard Terra Ellison (20) scores against the University of Arizona. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

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