MeanGreenSports.com – The North Texas women’s basketball team used stifling defense and an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter to take a 65-55 victory against Old Dominion on Sunday afternoon in the Super Pit.
“The team we were today is the team we have been working towards being,” said North Texas head coach Jalie Mitchell. “I think we were very disciplined today. We were very resilient. Our defense was great. For us to hold them to 11 points in the third and fourth quarters was huge.”
The Mean Green forced 26 turnovers and held Jennie Simms, one of the nation’s top shooters, to 14 points to snap a three-game losing streak and record a win against a team that was picked to finish third in Conference USA in the preseason poll.
“I thought our starters did a solid job,” said Mitchell. “I think we had some big-time people step up. Madi (Townley) was huge. She led us in rebounds today and did great things defensively that won’t show up in the stats sheet.”
Starters Terriell Bradley, Kelsey Criner, Tyara Warren and Terra Ellison combined for 58 of the team’s 65 points. Criner held Simms to four points in the fourth quarter, and the Mean Green outrebounded the Lady Monarchs, 16-10, on the offensive boards.
North Texas held brief leads throughout the game but was unable to hold onto a lead until the fourth quarter. The Lady Monarchs led by as many as seven points in the third quarter but made only three field goals and were held without a field goal for over eight minutes in the last quarter.
The Mean Green took advantage of that opportunity to go on a sustained run. Grace Goodhart came off the bench to hit a key 3-pointer, 50-48, with 5:02 left in the game. Simms would tie the game for the seventh time with two free throws, but the visitors were never able to get the lead back.
North Texas sealed the win with an 11-0 run. The run started with two free throws by Bradley to put North Texas ahead by two points, 52-50. North Texas shot only 67 percent from the free-throw line, but went 10-for-10 down the stretch, starting with Bradley’s two free-throws.
Following an ODU turnover, Bradley hit the Mean Green’s fifth 3-pointer of the day to put the lead at five. After another ODU turnover and Criner steal, the Mean Green guard made a fast-break layup to increase the lead 57-50 with 1:36 left on the clock. North Texas made free throws the rest of the way to hold onto the win.
After holding a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Mean Green held the lead in the second period for just over a minute and trailed the entire third quarter.
• The Mean Green takes to the road with games next week against UAB and Middle Tennessee.
Mean Green Quick Hitters
• The Mean Green went with the same lineup for the second straight game.
• The Mean Green defeated Old Dominion for the first time since the 2013-14 season. ODU leads the series 5-2.
• Terriell Bradley tied a career high with 22 points and scored in double-figures for the third straight game.
• Kelsey Criner recorded her sixth game in double-figures with 16 points. She scored 10 points in the first half.
• North Texas outscored its opponent in the first quarter for the second straight game.
• Terra Ellison scored her third consecutive game in double-figures with 10 points and her 25th career double-digit outing. She also pulled down six rebounds.
• Madi Townley had a career-high nine rebounds, which led the team.