Frigid shooting night leads to home loss for women’s basketball

Frigid shooting night leads to home loss for women’s basketball

Frigid shooting night leads to home loss for women’s basketball
January 05
22:12 2018

Basketball has numerous dynamics to it. Rebounding, passing, defending, leadership, coaching, communication and home court are some of the basics that every game relies on.

But putting the ball in the round basket is the goal of the game and at times that can be a challenge for teams regardless of the talent level.

This was the case Friday night for the Mean Green as they lost to Rice 50-49 after shooting 30 percent in the game.

“We haven’t played against a zone in a while,” freshman guard Lauren Holmes said. “Usually we do pretty well against zones.”

Then head coach Jalie Mitchell interjected.

“I don’t think we’d be having that statement if we made shots,” Mitchell said. “We just didn’t make shots today.”

That is true. The Mean Green (9-5, 0-2) shot about 25 percent from the field before sinking six of their last eight in what was the final push for the win that fell short. At one point, North Texas’ field goal percentage fell as low as 22.7 percent.

The aforementioned push came in the final 5:41 of play when the Mean Green trailed the Owls (11-2, 1-0) 44-32.

North Texas did not allow another field goal and outscored Rice 17-6, with all of the Owls points coming off of free throws, but ultimately it was not enough.

“We were more aggressive to the basket and we didn’t settle for a lot of long shots,” Mitchell said, “We attacked the paint and didn’t just pass it around and let them sit in their zone. It’s a learning lesson for us and what I told them is we have to be like that for 40 minutes instead of 10.”

The comeback was all but complete as the Mean Green held a one point lead with just over two seconds left in regulation. However, on the ensuing inbounds, Rice ran a play to get Erica Ogwumike a post up with a North Texas player fronting her. The inbounder lofted a perfect pass over to her and Ogwumike was fouled on the layup. She sunk both free throws and North Texas’ failed to get a shot off in the one second remaining.

Ogwumike ended the game with nine points and 17 rebounds.

“Tough one,” Mitchell said of the play. “The last play I wish we would have guarded differently, but that is a learning lesson and we’ll push past it. I’m glad we see them again but this is a typical North Texas-Rice game.”

The leaders for the Mean Green during the comeback and during the game were the three players who scored over three points.

Only one player shot over 33 percent for North Texas and that was freshman forward Deja Terrell who shot 6-of-7 from the field for a team-high 14 points.

Holmes and junior guard Terriell Bradley pitched in 11 and 13 respectively despite not having good shooting nights by their standards.

The loss puts the Mean Green in a tough 0-2 hole after playing two of the top Conference USA teams first. Despite having a terrific non-conference season, the team’s new goal is to match Friday’s intensity in the final quarter for the remainder of conference play.

“Yes [the urgency will pick up],” Terrell said. “Just in practice and the way we’re working, we realize we need to pick it up.”

Next up: North Texas returns home to face Old Dominion University on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Featured image: Mean Green Basketball Players Micayla Buckner (34) and Trena Mims (24) Guard Texas A&M International in a game November 14. Madison Gore

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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