DALLAS – North Texas outscored SMU 25-5 in the opening quarter, but the Mean Green were unable to keep the offensive rhythm going in a 73-66 loss to the Mustangs despite Terriell Bradley's
third career 30-point game Wednesday night inside Moody Coliseum.
The Mean Green (2-4, 0-0 C-USA) connected on 10-of-18 from the floor in the first 10 minutes while the Mustangs (5-3, 0-0 American) struggled at 2-of-16 as UNT took a commanding 20-point lead. But North Texas was unable to continue the offensive power while SMU dramatically increased their scoring throughout the remainder of the game.
Bradley, coming off of a career-high 40 points versus North Dakota State Saturday, accounted for nearly half of UNT's points while Anisha George
held her own against a tall Mustang front line by producing 14 points and seven rebounds. Bradley grabbed a team-high eight boards, and Brittany Smith
handed out a game-high five assists.
The Mustangs hauled in 55 rebounds, 15 more than the Mean Green, with 24 of them coming on the offensive end. UNT also fell victim to 10 blocked shots and were outshot at the free throw line, 27-of-34, compared to 10-of-15.
"We didn't evenly match their toughness and didn't make it happen collectively tonight," Head Coach Jalie Mitchell
said. "In theory we are, but we just are not putting it together on the floor."
began the offensive surge for UNT with a jumper from the left baseline 14 seconds into the contest. Grace Goodhart
nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 5-0 lead, and Madison Townley
stretched it to 7-0 on a jumper from the elbow. The Mustangs got their first bucket on a layup before Goodhart found George down low for an 11-2 advantage. Velma Mitchell
hit a pair of threes in the opening quarter with the second coming at the 1:41 mark and extending the UNT lead to 25-5.
George scored twice in the paint for as North Texas maintained a 29-11 lead two minutes into the second quarter. The Mean Green then cooled off and went scoreless for over five minutes while SMU scored 12 straight to pull within 29-23 with 4:16 to play until the half. With just under two minutes to play, Bradley hit a three from the right corner to extend the margin out to 34-25. George again collected a bucket in the paint, and Callie Owens
found the right corner for a 3-pointer with 29 seconds to go to extend the lead up to 39-27. The Mustangs scored the final basket of the half to cut the deficit to 10.
SMU began the second half with seven straight points to close within three four minutes in. Four free throws and a layup handed the Mustangs their first lead of the game at 45-44 with 3:22 on the clock. The teams traded points with SMU clinging to a 51-50 advantage at the end of the third.
A free throw by Bradley with 5:13 left to play had the Mean Green within a point at 58-57, but the Mustangs ran off with a 9-0 run to grab a double-digit lead with two minutes remaining. Two more from the line by Bradley cut the margin to 67-61 with 1:02 on the clock, but the Mean Green were unable to pull any closer.
"We need to continue our game plan for 40 minutes. We just haven't made it there yet," Mitchell said.
The Mean Green are back at home Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest against Missouri State.