After a 68-31 win against Xavier (6-5), the Mean Green (2-2) tied a program record for the fewest points allowed in a game. North Texas established a lead after shooting 46.4 percent (26-for-56) and held Xavier to nine points in the second half.
Head coach Jalie Mitchell attributed tonight’s success to the productiveness of their practice sessions leading up to this game.
“We’ve had three pretty tough and productive days of practice,” Mitchell said. “I thought we shot it well from the field, we moved the ball well, we got the looks we needed and we were very patient. Every single person contributed to this win. I thought we played for 40 minutes and that’s what we have to do to be successful.”
Senior post player Anisha George echoed Mitchell’s reasons regarding their practices and why they were able to have a successful night offensively. Despite not getting the starting nod tonight, she registered a double-double after scoring 15 points (7-for-9), 10 rebounds after playing 22 minutes.
“Well like [Mitchell] said we had three very tough, intense practices,” George said. “We didn’t have a choice but to get out there and get going tonight because we didn’t want another one and we like our off days. We just got to get out there and do what we’re supposed to do and that’s what we plan to do for the rest of the season.”
Freshman forward Destinee McDowell was named the player of the game after nearing a triple-double with 11 points (4-for-8), nine rebounds and eight steals. Through four games the freshman newcomer has tallied 47 points (18-for-32), 16 steals, 31 rebounds and six steals. The second-highest number of steals per player is five—which is currently a three-way tie between freshmen guards N’yah Boyd and Jazion Jackson and redshirt junior forward Madison Townley.
McDowell admitted that these types of games help establish more confidence as the season goes on.
“I don’t know what I’d do without basketball,” McDowell said. “Basketball is me. So [this game] does a lot for me and my confidence.”
The Mean Green went into the half with a 31-22 lead before ultimately allowing Xavier to shoot 3-for-23 from the field in the second half. North Texas relied heavily on their depth in this game as their bench players outscored their own starters 38-30. Mitchell emphasized that their bench and ability to lean on their depth is something that’s critical in order for them to be successful going forward.
“Oh it’s critical,” Mitchell said. “Everybody has to show up every night. Even if the ball isn’t going in the hole, there’s something you can do to contribute to the team. Our high expectations are for every single person one through ten.”
UP NEXT: North Texas (2-2) travels to Bakersfield, California to take on CSU Bakersfield (2-3) on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m CT.
Featured Image: Freshman point guard N’yad Boyd takes the ball down the court during the Mean Green’s game against Xavier on Nov. 20, 2019. Image by Ryan Cantrell