The Mean Green women’s basketball team lost to UT Arlington 68-49 on Friday night. North Texas (1-1) struggled offensively against the Lady Mavericks (2-0). They didn’t have any players score in double figures, though five players scored eight points.
“Nobody put it in the hole enough for us to gain some ground,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said.
North Texas struggled early on in the game—the first quarter saw seven points and no assists from the Mean Green. For the entire first half, they had seven made field goals, one assist and made zero 3-pointers.
“I thought the first half for us…obviously [we] didn’t shoot it well,” Mitchell said. “I thought we got disconnected a little bit offensively because of it.”
The Mean Green had no 3-point field goals in the first half. The team’s first 3-pointer was by junior guard Trena Mims with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Summer Jones followed her up later by hitting two shots from beyond the arc.
Both freshman starting guards Jazion Jackson, who played 38 minutes, and N’Yah Boyd went 1-11 from the field. Mitchell said her freshman players are still trying to adjust to college ball and improve their decision making.
“I think to me, some of it is a matter of them taking the physical nature of the game and getting used to that and learning how to get around that,” Mitchell said. “Whether it’s going up off two feet instead of one, or finishing in an and-one instead of settling for it, getting fouled and going to the free-throw line. To me, it’s just them understanding the importance of those moments.”
Senior post player Anisha George broke her streak of double-doubles during tonight’s game. George had eight points and nine rebounds. Mitchell attributed this to the Lady Mavs’ defense. She said that she needs other players to step up when George has nights like this.
The team also didn’t fare well with its free-throw shooting as they shot 15-27 from the line.
“We’re still not making free throws and that’s a trend for us, unfortunately, a bad one right now,” Mitchell said. “And that’s something we have to fix.
On the other end, North Texas’ defense wasn’t enough to triumph over Texas-Arlington’s offense. The Lady Mavericks outscored North Texas in the paint 40-20. Texas- also won the scoring battle of bench players 44-24. Overall, they shot 40.3% from the field and made nearly double the field goals that North Texas did (27-15).
Mitchell mentioned getting outrebounded as one of the reasons they lacked defensively. Texas-Arlington won the battle of the boards 49-43.
“I think just when things aren’t going our way as a team, we just have to learn how to continue to fight through it,” Mitchell said. “Just hitting some adversity and handling it a lot better than we did and taking advantage of the easy stuff.”
Things looked brighter in the second half for the Mean Green. They put up 23 points in the fourth quarter, the most by either team in any quarter. Their success came too late, and they continued struggling to chip away at Texas-Arlington’s lead. Mitchell said that transition fouls shifted the momentum in Texas- Arlington’s favor, especially when they make their free throws.
North Texas did not have a lead in tonight’s game, despite winning Monday night’s game against Alcorn State 67-31, where they didn’t trail their opponent in the entire game.
“For our team, we’re just inconsistent right now,” Mitchell said. “That’s part of our growth process, is to learn how to as a unit, get more leadership in those times of adversity, get tougher in those times of adversity mentally. Physically, tonight, just not let our disappointing performance at the time affect our outcome of the game.”
Randi Thompson was out tonight from an ankle injury she suffered against Alcorn State on Monday. Mitchell said she expects Thompson to play in the next game against Xavier.
UP NEXT: North Texas’ next game is against Xavier University on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Super Pit.
Featured Image: Freshman, Jazion Jackson defends against UT Arlington guard on Nov. 15, 2019. Image by Zach Thomas