North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball starts strong, falters in loss to Charlotte

Women’s basketball starts strong, falters in loss to Charlotte

January 26
22:13 2017

Matt Brune | Staff Writer

The North Texas women’s basketball team ambushed the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Thursday night. The Mean Green (6-13, 3-5) sank eight of their first 17 shots to jump out to an early 13-point lead against one of the top teams in Conference USA..

The rest of the game, however, went a little differently, as Charlotte (15-4, 7-1) used a combination of layups and free throws to claw back in the game. And in the fourth quarter, the wheels completely fell off. The 49ers outscored North Texas 22-7 in the final frame to claim a 66-49 victory.

“[Charlotte] made a run in the second quarter, but I thought we handled it well – we still went in up at the half,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I didn’t think we handled it so well in the third and fourth quarters.”

After the early 18-5 lead, North Texas was outscored 61-31 in the final 32 minutes of the contest. While both of those numbers are staggering, the defense was especially troublesome. The 49ers scored 55 percent of their points in the paint and had 18 points off free throws.

Points in the paint and free throws combined gave Charlotte 54 of its 66 points.

The Mean Green forced just 13 turnovers, which was seven below their average, and fouled 19 times – nine more than the 49ers.

“[Foul trouble] affected us a lot,” senior forward Terra Ellison said. “Our posts were having a pretty difficult time trying to stop [Nyilah Jamison-Meyers]. Our foul trouble just gave them extra possessions, buckets, and and-ones.”

Ellison finished with 14 points and was the lone player on the team to score in double-digits while also shooting a team-high 45 percent. Ellison also posted her second double-double of the season, adding 10 rebounds to her 14-point outing.

“On defense [we were] not letting their key players do what they wanted to do and putting a lot of pressure on defense,” Ellison said. “[We were also] executing on offense, but for the rest of the game we laid off from what was actually working which cost us the game.”

The Mean Green shot a woeful 28.1 percent as a team, which was nowhere near enough to stick with the 49ers. A large part of that is because the Mean Green were without their leading scorer in sophomore guard Terriell Bradley for 20 minutes as she sat with foul trouble.

Bradley finished with seven points on 3-of-12 shooting and never found the pulse of the game.

Foul trouble has been a recurring issue for Bradley as she now leads North Texas in personal fouls. To be consistent offensively, Mitchell and the Mean Green need their best offensive threat on the court for more than 28 minutes.

With losses in four of their last five games, North Texas will look to the upcoming stretch as a major step in righting the ship before the C-USA tournament.

“We have to make sure we’re prepared and ready [against Old Dominion] to do the job we did the first time,” Mitchell said. “We need to take a win home [on Saturday].”

Next up: North Texas travels to take on Old Dominion University at 6 p.m. Saturday.

About Author

Brady Keane

Brady Keane

Brady Keane is the Sports Editor of the North Texas Daily. He previously served as Deputy Sports Editor (Jan. 2017-May 2017) and as a Staff Writer (Aug. 2015-May 2016).

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