Little Rock, Ar. — North Texas received a strong contribution from a variety of players in its season opener, however, a late lull hindered the Mean Green as they fell 55-44 at Little Rock in the first round of the WNIT.
North Texas, which is made up of nine newcomers, is coming together as a team and at times, Friday, flashed their potential with quick ball movement, 3-point shooting and pressure defense.
The difference in the game was a late run by Little Rock. With the score close, the Mean Green went five minutes without a field goal as the Trojans pulled away.
Senior guard Candice Adams led North Texas (0-1) with nine points. All nine points came on three 3-pointers. Her first 3-pointer was her 100th of her North Texas career. She’s the fifth Mean Green women’s basketball player to reach 100. 2010 graduate Brittney James is next on the list with 112.
In total nine players scored for the Mean Green, a characteristic that was not seen last season.
The Trojans (1-0) top scorer was Sharde’ Collins, who led all scorers with 17 points. The Mean Green did a fine job defending Little Rock as they held them to 17-of-47 shooting. Collins made seven field goals alone.
After not making a 3-pointer in their exhibition victory over Texas Woman’s last weekend, North Texas made five Friday and shot 33 percent from beyond the arc. The Mean Green guards were able to find the post players consistently too. Point guard Kelsey Criner’s six assists were the most by any player. Post player Micayla Buckner was the recipient of many of those assists. Buckner finished with six points on 3-of-5 shooting.
Also adding to the mix were freshmen Hannah Hopkins and Madi Townley who both scored their first collegiate points Friday. Hopkins, who also started, recorded two points on one shot. Townley scored six points on 3-6 shooting and had three rebounds.
Another newcomer, sophomore Grace Goodhart, brought a spark off the bench, as her first basket for North Texas was a 3-pointer. Fellow transfers Tyara Warren and Terriell Bradley chipped in with a combined six points.
Senior Terra Ellison added points and also grabbed nine rebounds, which led the team.
With the loss, North Texas will return to Denton and moves into the consolation bracket of the Preseason WNIT. They’ll find out Saturday who they’re playing.