North Texas Daily

Women’s basketball unable to handle Simms, Old Dominion

Women’s basketball unable to handle Simms, Old Dominion

March 03
21:33 2016

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

Mean Green women’s basketball was able to hold junior guard Jennie Simms in check during its first matchup against Old Dominion University Feb. 11. But in Thursday night’s rematch between the two teams, Conference USA’s leading scorer exploded for 33 points as the Monarchs  knocked off North Texas, 62-55.

Simms accounted for more than half of the Old Dominion offense and almost single-handedly propelled the Monarchs to a win.

“She shoots it well at her place,” North Texas coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We had to try to make some adjustments as far as that was concerned. We didn’t do a good job of getting her out of her comfort zone.”

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter, junior guard Kelsey Criner began to spark a comeback for North Texas (10-17, 5-12), but had to leave the game after suffering an injury on a hard foul. Criner would make a return later on, hitting a clutch three pointer from Criner cut the lead to four with just one minute remaining. She finished with 10 points and six assists.

With Criner on the bench for a significant stretch, junior guard Terra Ellison took over the offense and scored seven consecutive points for the Mean Green.

“We got aggressive on offense and stayed attacking,” Ellison said of the comeback. “We started to hit shots, and that was the way we were able to shorten the lead up on offense.”

North Texas started the game red hot offensively, going on a 9-0 run behind a strong first quarter from senior forward Acheil Tac. But after jumping out to the big lead with a 20-point first quarter, the Mean Green struggled with foul trouble as Old Dominion climbed out of the early deficit.

Tac played just three minutes in the first half after picking up her second foul, and Ellison was on the bench with two fouls as well.

“It affected the game,” Tac said. “They started attacking, and we started settling for shots. That’s how they came back and took the lead.”

The Mean Green was unable to regain the momentum through the second and third quarters, as Simms dominated the game offensively. Tac finished the game as the team’s scoring leader with 16 points and added nine rebounds, while Ellison added 14.

The loss all but locks in the Mean Green to a game on day one of the C-USA tournament on Tuesday. The team currently sits in 12 place in the standings with just one game remaining in the regular season.

North Texas will look to build some momentum before heading to Birmingham, Alabama for the tournament at 6 p.m. on Saturday when it takes on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“It is an important game,” Mitchell said. “You don’t want to go into the conference tournament on a two game losing streak, but that is a very good team. We just have to execute our game plan a little bit better.”

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