North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball struggles against press in loss to Southern Mississippi

Women’s basketball struggles against press in loss to Southern Mississippi

February 25
18:57 2017

The deciding run in Saturday’s game between North Texas and the University of Southern Mississippi came over a five-minute stretch in the second quarter. The Golden Eagles led 15-13 prior to the run and 31-15 after the scoring barrage.

The Mean Green were not able to recover from the run as they fell to the Golden Eagles 70-48 on the road.

“I think we let them rush us which was their plan with the press they were in,” freshman forward Madi Townley said. “And once we did get passed their press we didn’t take of the ball very well, which led to the 16 to two run.”

Active is a conservative word when describing the Southern Miss (20-9, 12-5) defense. The Golden Eagles entered the game averaging 22.3 forced, easily ranking first in Conference USA. Southern Miss constantly hounds defenders as they change from one defense to another on seemingly every defensive possession.

As a result, the Mean Green (11-16, 8-8) coughed up the ball 16 times in the first half and 22 times overall.

When North Texas defeated the Golden Eagles 75-62 earlier in the season, the team committed 18 turnovers but was able to overcome the miscues.

“I think [the game came down to] taking care of the ball,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We did not do a good job of that at all and it hurt us in every single area.”

Mitchell’s three point guards – senior Kelsey Criner, freshman Adrianna Henderson and at times sophomore Terriell Bradley – combined for 16 turnovers despite none of them playing more than  20 minutes.

“We just made bad decisions,” Mitchell said. “I had a tough time finding a point guard that would take care of the ball today.”

The two game trip to Louisiana and Mississippi humbled the once streaking Mean Green. After winning five straight, the Mean Green are now on a two game losing streak.

Now, the task is to learn from the most recent loss to prepare to meet the top team in Conference USA Thursday.

With only one player scoring double-digits in either contest during the road trip, there is plenty that the team can improve on in their return to the Super Pit.

“We’ve [learned] that we can’t get complacent,” Townley said. “We can’t let five wins make us big-headed we have to stay together and stay on point to get these next two wins.”

Next up: North Texas hosts Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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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