Buckner’s dominant night leads women’s basketball past Dustdevils

Buckner’s dominant night leads women’s basketball past Dustdevils

Buckner’s dominant night leads women’s basketball past Dustdevils
November 14
21:40 2017

The Mean Green offense is at its best when junior Terriell Bradley and freshman Lauren Holmes are playing well. That goes without saying.

When Bradley and Holmes were forced to the bench because of foul trouble early in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s game against Texas A&M – International, North Texas needed someone to pick up the slack.

The Mean Green scored just 27 points in the first half but exploded in the final two quarters behind a dominant performance from Micayla Buckner on their way to a 64-38 win.

Buckner took over the game in the third quarter and went on to finish with a career-high 20 points while posting nine rebounds and three blocks.

“It was fun,” Buckner said. “My teammates were on the bench cheering me on. We weren’t scoring as much in the first half. I knew we needed a spark coming in from the first half we had, and somebody had to put the team on their back – I was just owning the paint.”

North Texas capitalized on its opportunities in the second half and outscored the Dustdevils 44-2 in the paint throughout the night. Buckner was the headliner, but freshman Deja Terrell had a strong effort as well finishing with seven points and seven rebounds.

Before Buckner got going in the third quarter, it was junior Grace Goodhart who provided the majority of the offense early on with Bradley and Holmes in foul trouble. Goodhart had a game-high nine points in the first half.

“Two of our biggest scorers were out, and I knew I had to step up,” Goodhart said. “I relied a lot on my team to pick me up and tell me to keep shooting and be aggressive going to the hole – that’s what I tried to do.”

After TAMU – International scored 25 points in the first half, North Texas buckled down defensively and held the Dustdevils to just 13 points after the break.

“I feel like we knew we weren’t doing our best in the first half,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We just came out of halftime with a lot more focus and concentration.”

The Mean Green racked up 17 steals and forced 27 turnovers while holding TAMU – International’s Tantashea Giger to just eight points – well below her season average of more than 19 points per game.

“We had been talking all week about how they don’t really like ball pressure, so that was our game plan,” Goodhart said. “We wanted to speed them up and get them to turn the ball over.”

Next up: North Texas will host Kansas State University at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Super Pit.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Mitchell said. “We’ve been talking about how our opponents are getting better, so we have to make sure that we’re improving so that we bring our A-game on Sunday and get it done.”

Featured Image: Junior Micayla Buckner led the Mean Green with a career-high 20 points in Tuesday’s win over Texas A&M – International. Sara Carpenter

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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