Article Originally Published by Preston Rios on North Texas Daily
A conference tournament appearance was locked up for North Texas (12-20, 8-12 Conference USA) in a 68-58 win over Texas-El Paso (15-14, 8-10 C-USA) where senior post Anisha George led the Mean Green in the win on a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“We’re feeling really good,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “This was a great way to finish the regular season and go into next week.”
North Texas came into the matchup needing a win in their home court in the final game of C-USA play to qualify for the conference tournament, where the team dropped their previous game with a 74-63 road loss against Middle Tennessee. The Mean Green had seen the Lady Miners earlier in the season in a 67-63 loss on the road.
The first half saw back and forth action between the two teams as the Lady Miners held a 34-33 lead to close out the second quarter.
The Mean Green shot at 53.8 percent (14-26 FG) and was held to 14.7 percent (1-7 3 FG) in 3-point opportunities. Freshman point guard N’yah Boyd and sophomore forward Charlene Shepherd both led North Texas offensively with seven points each.
Texas-El Paso’s Avery Crouse led the Lady Miners in points at the half with nine, while Michelle Pruitt scored eight points shooting 100 percent (3-3 FG) from the floor.
The North Texas lead remained held in their favor for the rest of the game after a George layup to go up 37-36 in the third quarter at 8:45. Layups by Boyd, Shepherd and George to close out the third-period game gave the Mean Green their biggest lead of the day at seven in a 51-44 contest.
“We had a lot of energy there in the third quarter,” George said. “It was great to get this win in front of our home crowd and end the regular season with a win.”
The Lady Miners were held to 29.6 percent (8-27 FG) shooting in the second half where the Mean Green gave defensive fits to the opposition with four blocks and five steals in the final twenty minutes of play.
Shepherd put up eight points for North Texas in the fourth quarter with three rebounds, including George who also took in three defensive rebounds scoring six points.
Boyd, George and Shepherd combined for 49 points in the win shooting at 59.4 percent (19-32 FG) and leading the offense to their sixth C-USA win.
George’s final home game at North Texas was highlighted by a double-double performance where she scored 17 points, snagged 12 rebounds and had a block.
“She was huge for us today and for all of us since she’s been here,” Shepherd said. “I’m a better player because of her.”
UP NEXT: North Texas will continue to their schedule in the C-USA tournament held in Frisco, Texas, as No. 11 to face No. 6 Charlotte (20-9, 11-7 C-USA) at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Featured Image: Senior post Anisha George high fives freshman Jazion Jackson after she successfully scores a single point hoop during the game against Texas-San Antonio on Feb. 22, 2020. Image by Ryan Cantrell
Source: North Texas Daily