NEW ORLEANS – Anisha George
collected her third double-double of the season with game-highs of 14 points and 10 rebounds for North Texas as the Mean Green pulled away in the third quarter in a 59-46 win over Xavier University of Louisiana Sunday afternoon inside the Convocation Center.
North Texas (5-5, 0-0 C-USA) outscored the Gold Nuggets (9-4, 0-0 GCAC) 21-12 to open the second half and eventually stretched the lead to 21 in the fourth quarter. Terriell Bradley
posted a dozen points at her homecoming in front of a contingency of family and friends. The Mean Green distributed 19 assists on their 23 field goals, led by a game-high six from Trena Mims
and another four by Brittany Smith
"I thought we figured it out in the third quarter," head coach Jalie Mitchell
said. "We had a couple of big shots, and figured out at halftime what was working for us."
Bradley sank a 3-pointer from the left baseline seconds into the contest and found George underneath a few plays later for an early 7-2 UNT advantage. A runner by Bradley in the paint added another two before the Gold Nuggets closed within 10-9. Callie Owens
ripped down an offensive board with seconds remaining in the first quarter and then hit two free throws to put the Mean Green up 15-11.
A bucket by XULA in the opening minute of the second period handed the home team their first lead of the afternoon at 16-15, and a three on their next possession stretched it to 19-15. Mims reclaimed the lead with a steal and layup at 21-19 to begin a 6-0 Mean Green run. Deja Terrell
made a free throw for a 26-19 edge before Madi Townley hit a baseline jumper with seconds remaining until the half for a 28-21 lead.
UNT began the third quarter on a 12-6 run beginning with a pair of free throws by George and capped by a bucket under the hoop by Bradley for a 40-27 lead at the 4:38 mark. Charlene Shepherd
drove to the basket from the left wing while being fouled and completed the three-point play to protect a double-digit UNT lead with two minutes on the clock. Owens, George, and Shepherd each contributed a field goal to conclude the third leading, 49-33.
"Anisha gives up added size and versatility. Whenever she can step up and play well, we need her," Mitchell said. "Terriell finds a way to get into double figures. She's comfortable out there as a floor leader. Her cheering section brought great energy today."
Owens put down a three from the left wing nine seconds into the final quarter, and a bucket down low from George gave UNT a 54-35 lead. Velma Mitchell
had a three from the right wing at 57-38, and Smith found Shepherd on a fast break for two more with just over three minutes to play for the final Mean Green points in the contest.
"My family is really close, and we take great pride in being from New Orleans," said Bradley. "Our team is now trying to finish out our non-conference schedule and get some wins."
The Mean Green return to Denton to host CSU Bakersfield Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at The Super Pit.