Women’s basketball win streak ends at six after close loss to UTSA

Women’s basketball win streak ends at six after close loss to UTSA

Women’s basketball win streak ends at six after close loss to UTSA
January 14
00:29 2019

After the North Texas Mean Green erased a 17-point UTSA lead late in the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners managed to make crucial free throws down the stretch to win 57-54 at The Super Pit on Saturday afternoon.

The loss for North Texas (10-6, 3-1 Conference USA) ended a six-game winning streak, while UTSA (5-6, 1-2 C-USA) managed to grab their first conference win of the season against their in-state rival.

After a first quarter filled with lead changes, North Texas found themselves up 19-15 after a freshman forward Charlene Shepherd layup. However, the Roadrunners would respond with their longest run of the game, outscoring the Mean Green 13-0 throughout the next five minutes to take a 28-19 lead.

Sophomore forward Marie Benson came into the game as the Roadrunners’ leading scorer, averaging a double-double with 16.6 points per game and 11.3 rebounds. Benson led the way for UTSA during the scoring charge and finished with a game-high 22 points.

“We knew [Benson] was their go-to player,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We didn’t defend her as well as I would’ve liked. I know eight of her points were free throws, but we need to defend her well without fouling.”

North Texas seemed to be rattled by the Roadrunners and had trouble finding an offensive rhythm, finishing the half shooting 7-of-31 (23 percent) from the field and went eleven straight minutes in the second and third quarter without scoring a field goal, which left them going into the break with a 12-point deficit.

North Texas was missing their leading scorer in redshirt sophomore guard Terriell Bradley, who was out with an aggravated foot injury.

“It’s very hard to beat people when we’re not scoring,” Mitchell said. “I wish we could’ve pulled it out, but we have to put the ball in the hole.”

UTSA hit 6-of-8 field goal attempts to start the second half, continuing to increase their lead to 42-25.

The Mean Green would continue to fight back, going on a 14-4 run in the final five minutes of the third quarter to close the UTSA lead to 50-43 heading into the final period.

“It was partly our press in the second half that got us back in it,” Mitchell said. “I wish we could’ve gone to that earlier, but you have to score to press and we weren’t doing that.”

Shepherd nailed a three-pointer from the left wing with 3:34 remaining in the game, which tied her career high in points and tied the game.

“[Shepherd] made a ton of plays and was at the top of the press that got us back into the game,” Mitchell said. “She’s very capable of doing that and I would love for her to get really consistent and show up like that every game. I love the way she stepped up today.”

Senior point guard Brittany Smith sank a free throw for her first point of the game to give North Texas a 51-50 lead, their first lead of the game since the 7:48 mark in the second quarter.

After both teams exchanged possesions, a turnover from redshirt sophomore guard Callie Owens and a bucket from freshman guard Karrington Donald put the Roadrunners up 56-52 with 15 seconds remaining.

Junior center Anisha George responded for the Mean Green with a bucket in the paint to cut the lead to two points. North Texas elected to put Benson on the line, and she made one of the two free throws, giving North Texas a chance to make a three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

The Mean Green missed a low-percentage three-point shot as the buzzer rang, signaling a UTSA win.

Up next, North Texas will travel to Houston to play the Rice Owls on Jan. 19.

Featured Image: Junior Post Anisha George jumps to get the ball at tipoff. The loss against UTSA ended a six game win streak for the Mean Green. Dimaggio Escobedo. 

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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