North Texas women’s basketball (4-2, 1-0 Conference USA) started its new year with a win in the first matchup of conference play with a 74-70 win over UAB (5-2, 0-1 C-USA). Senior forward Madison Townley led the way in a double-double performance with 17 points and 18 rebounds against the Blazers.
Despite trailing 37-34 at halftime, North Texas took control offensively in the second half to outscore UAB 40 to 33.
“Nothing should be a surprise to us this season,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I’m really proud of our second half. I thought we fought back and did the things we needed to do and we made sure we managed the game and time in the end. Through all of our mistakes we fought it out.”
The Mean Green came into Tuesday’s matchup following an 82-68 loss to Oklahoma State on Dec. 22 to close out non-conference play. The Blazers’ most recent matchup was an 81-73 win over Abilene Christian on Dec. 18, and their scheduled game on Dec. 22 against Tennessee State was canceled.
North Texas jumped out to a 24-20 lead in the first quarter, where sophomore guards Quincy Noble, Jazion Jackson and N’Yah Boyd combined for 16 points. The trio shot 7-for-17 (41.1 percent) in field goal attempts and 2-for-5 (40 percent) in 3-point attempts.
UAB junior guard Margaret Whitley scored 14 of the Blazers’ 17 points in the second quarter making 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) in field goal attempts and making 3-of-4 (75 percent) in 3-pointers. The Blazers took a 37-34 lead going into halftime.
To begin the second half North Texas jumped on a 14 to 6 run on UAB to go up 48 to 43. Townley racked up eight points and six rebounds in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter Noble scored 12 of North Texas’ 23 points on 3-of-3 field-goal attempts and 3-of-3 in 3-point attempts to finalize the victory.
Noble led the Mean Green offensively with 19 points, Townley led the team in rebounds with 18, Boyd and freshman guard Keira Neal both led in assists with three.
The double-double by Townley tied her season-high in points at 17 and set a season-high in rebounds with 18.
“Confidence in myself has really evolved my playing,” Townley said. “Getting to the boards has always been one of the things I take pride in.”
Whitley led UAB in scoring with 35 points, junior guard LaMiracle Sims led the team pulling in 15 rebounds and freshman guard Kaitlynn Daniels led in assists with four.
The two teams will play again Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. and will finalize the two guaranteed matchups in conference play.
“There’s not a lot to complain about,” Mitchell said. “We fix the things we need to fix and do it all over again tomorrow.”
Featured Image: North Texas guard Quincy Noble slipts four Oklahoma State defenders during a game on Dec. 22, 2020. Image by Zach Del Bello