Women’s basketball wins third game of season

Women’s basketball wins third game of season

February 07
20:55 2015

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green women’s basketball team upset Marshall University Saturday at the Super Pit, beating the Thundering Herd 45-42 in a defensive battle. The win is only the Mean Green’s second in conference play and third overall this season.

“Staying together when stuff doesn’t go right? That’s hard,” head coach Mike Petersen said. “But this group does a phenomenal job of staying together and continuing to listen and continuing to work hard.”

North Texas’ leading scorer and rebounder Briesha Wynn did not play in the game after suffering an ankle injury in Thursday’s contest against Western Kentucky University. The North Texas (3-18, 2-8) offense struggled without its leading scorer by shooting only 31 percent on the game, but the Mean Green defense was able to hold Marshall’s offense to 26 points below its season average.

The defensive efficiency for North Texas began in the first half, where the Mean Green held Marshall to only 32 percent shooting, forcing 12 turnovers in the process. The Thundering Herd also lost leading scorer Leah Scott to foul trouble early in the first half, causing Marshall’s offense to look out of sync. Scott only played seven minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls and finished the game with only four points, despite averaging 14 points per game this season.

“I thought we game-planned good,” Petersen said. “I think we had a good concept on how to guard her, and I thought we stayed with it pretty good. She’s a very good player.”

After taking a 20-18 lead into the half, North Texas and Marshall began to trade blows, but the game never was out of reach for either team through most of the second half. With a two point lead with just under five minutes to go, sophomore guard Terra Ellison drained a three to extend the North Texas lead to five. Ellison finished with nine points off the bench with 66 percent shooting.

Marshall was down five points in the final two minutes and was forced into intentionally fouling the Mean Green, but a handful of players missed one-and-one free throw opportunities to keep the Thundering Herd in the game. Senior guard BreAnna Dawkins and sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter were able to reverse course and make a handful of clutch free throws down the stretch, allowing the Mean Green to stay in front as Marshall made a late game push.

“I think I did a great job,” Dawkins said. “[Kasiney Williams] found me twice, one on an inbound, got a foul at the top of the key. I think I did good, and she did a good job just finding me. And I just knocked down the shots.”

The Thundering Herd had an opportunity to send the game into overtime on the last shot of the game, but the North Texas defense swarmed all shooters as it had all afternoon, forcing a difficult fall-away shot from behind the three point line that ultimately missed and made the final score 45-42.

Junior guard Kasiney Williams led scoring with 12 points in Wynn’s absence and was aggressive throughout the game. She said she is finally getting into a groove with her team.

“I feel more comfortable,” Williams said. “[I have] more experience with the team, because I’m new here.”

The Mean Green will look to make it two in a row when they travel to the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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