DENTON — The North Texas women's basketball team, which had one of the nation's top defenses a season ago, opened its 2018-19 season with another dominating showing on that end.
The Mean Green cruised to a 75-37 exhibition win over Mary Hardin Baylor on Saturday at the Super Pit, holding the Cru to 18 percent shooting (9-of-50) and out rebounding UMHB 61-38.
North Texas forced 22 turnovers on Saturday en route to its 38-point win. They averaged just over 18 a season ago.
"I'm really encouraged by how many people got involved and in the mix today," said head coach Jalie Mitchell
. "We're going to need lots of people stepping up this season in order to accomplish all of our goals."
Offensively on Saturday, four Mean Green scored in double figures, as they were paced by their all-conference senior guard Terriell Bradley
who finished with 17 points and played sparingly in the fourth quarter.
Sophomores Trena Mims
and Madison Townley
finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while newcomer Velma Mitchell
added 10 points all coming in the second-half.
Townley also led the team in rebounds as she fell just one shy of a double-double. Saturday marked her first game back after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.
"Before the game I was a little nervous but excited at the same time," Townley said. "But I felt really good on the court."
Throughout Saturday's game several UNT players stepped up and kept the momentum rolling on the Mean Green's side. North Texas exploded offensively in the third quarter, outscoring Mary Hardin Baylor 24-12 and going on a 11-1 run at one point, including making five consecutive. Bradley was the engine to her team's big quarter by turning defensive stops and turnovers into quick baskets on the offensive end. Bradley finished second on the team with seven rebounds; she led UNT in rebounds a season ago.
was quiet for most of the first half after picking up two very early fouls, but the McLennan College transfer who was an NJCAA All-American found her rhythm in the second half with quick drives to the rim and open shots.
In the fourth quarter, Bradley dished out a no-look pass in transition to a wide-open Mitchell for a three-pointer.
Fellow newcomer Anisha George
, also an NJCAA All-American, dominated the paint in the second half and specifically fourth quarter. The Moberly Area Community College transfer finished with eight points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes of action. George controlled the paint and didn't miss a shot.
Six-foot-two freshman Charlene Shepherd
made an impact early. The basketball and volleyball standout from Killeen, Texas, had a ferocious block in the first quarter and looked nimble as she moved with the ball in the paint.
North Texas begins the regular season on Wednesday Nov. 7 versus Mid-America Christian University at 7 p.m. at the Super Pit.