The North Texas women’s basketball team (7-10, 1-4 Conference USA) dropped their fourth straight conference game at home on Thursday to Southern Mississippi (11-4, 3-1 C-USA) by a final score of 65-57. The Mean Green kept the game competitive down the stretch but could not secure the win in the closing minutes.
“It’s frustrating,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We try to learn more and grow more at practice in these late-game situations, and we clearly have to do more of that.”
Both teams started out the game shooting efficiently from the field with percentages above 50 for both teams in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles slowed down eventually, however, their dominance in the paint gave them a sizable advantage. In the first half, they outscored the Mean Green 26-14 in the painted area.
North Texas ended the first half shooting 50 percent from the field which helped keep them in the game and give them a one-point lead at halftime.
“We didn’t handle the lead well,” Mitchell said. “Our pace and execution slowed down. We did not take care of the ball, and we even got some steals and gave it right back.”
The Mean Green were plagued by their turnovers after giving it up 19 times compared to the Golden Eagles 10. Southern Mississippi did not hesitate to take advantage as they scored 20 points off of North Texas turnovers.
“We made plays on the defensive end but would turn the ball over,” Mitchell said. “We need to value those possessions. Everyone made some type of mistake that cost us the game.”
Both teams continued to trade the lead back-and-forth in the final quarter. In the later stages of the game, North Texas was called for a charge and a block. Both were seen as controversial to the coaching staff for North Texas.
This would lead to a stretch for the Golden Eagles in which they led by six points with two minutes remaining in the game. North Texas struggled to get back in the game with the lack of time remaining.
Freshman guard Randi Thompson led the Mean Green in scoring on the night with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting in 30 minutes of play.
“We’ll get back to work,” Mitchell said. “That never changes. Win or lose we’re going back to work.”
Next up: North Texas will face off against Louisiana Tech (9-6, 1-3 C-USA) at home on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m.
Featured Image: Freshman guard Jazion Jackson looks for an opening to get past the Southern Mississippi defenders on Jan. 16, 2020. Image by Zachary Thomas