Women’s basketball bows out of C-USA tournament after loss to Western Kentucky
After winning a marathon in round one against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, North Texas women’s basketball was tasked with playing 24 hours later against No. 1 seed Western Kentucky University.
But after falling short in the quarterfinals last season, the Lady Hilltoppers (25-6. 16-2) looked determined to not let history repeat itself, as Western Kentucky sent the Mean Green (12-19, 8-10) home with a 78-51 victory.
“We gave it everything we had yesterday,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “And today I think that we [played well]. Western Kentucky is just better. They have two really great guards and we didn’t control them today.”
Those two great guards are Kendall Noble and Tashia Brown, who combined for 43 points and 16 boards in the Lady Hilltoppers resounding victory. North Texas was out-rebounded 44-28 overall and 19-7 on the offensive glass, constantly giving Western Kentucky second chance opportunities.
“We put them on the free throw line too many times and our rebounding was definitely an issue,” senior guard Candice Adams said. “
As Conference USA’s best free throw shooting team, Western Kentucky shot 22-of-29 from the charity stripe to help build their lead. The Mean Green were also unable to create turnovers or generate pressure, as the Lady Hilltoppers committed just five turnovers.
After yesterday’s barn-burner, however, there was only so much North Texas had left in the tank.
“We want to press and get after it,” Mitchell said. “I feel like at some point fatigue set in with the people that played close to 50 minutes yesterday. Honestly we have no excuses.”
Senior guard Kelsey Criner and sophomore guard Tyara Warren had solid performances, as Criner scored 12 points and dished out six assists, while Warren score 15 on 4-of-8 shooting.
The Mean Green made the quarterfinals for the first time in five years, and will now say goodbye to three of their starting seniors in Adams, Criner and forward Terra Ellison.
“The coaching staff helped me and my teammates grow,” Adams said. “Whether they know it or not, they helped [us] mature.”
Featured image: North Texas sophomore guard Terriell Bradley (23) puts her hands on her knees after being rattled on a play. Colin Mitchell
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