March 3, 2018
HOUSTON -- The defense for the North Texas women's basketball team was there Saturday night at Rice. However, the offense just couldn't make enough plays as UNT lost 47-45 at the Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Mean Green (15-13, 6-10 C-USA) forced Rice into six shot clock violations, 19 turnovers -- while committing a season-low five -- but shot below 30 percent for most of the game and went to the free throw line just one time in second-half.
With three seconds on the clock, UNT's Terriell Bradley had a chance to send the game into overtime, but her floater in the lane in heavy traffic was off to the left.
Saturday was the sixth-time in three years the two schools had met, every game has either gone to overtime or been decided by two points or fewer.
Early in the game, North Texas came out firing compared to the previous three games. UNT pushed the ball in transition, clamped down on defense and built off momentum swings.
Rice (20-8, 10-6 C-USA) managed to maintain a slim lead by making foul shots and keeping North Texas off the glass. The Owls pounded UNT in the rebound category, grabbing 20 more than the Mean Green.
In the second-half, the Owls' go-getter, Erica Ogwumike, brought some life to the struggling Rice offense with rebounds and 3-pointers. Ogwumike single handily pushed their lead to 11 points early the fourth quarter. The guard finished with a game-high 17 points and 15 rebounds.
But once again UNT wasn't out of it.
Transition 3-pointers and steals by the Mean Green closed the gap to as few as one with 49 seconds left in the game. Over the next couple of possessions, the Mean Green attacked the basket but couldn't convert and got no foul calls their way.
With the loss, North Texas has earned the 11-seed in the Conference USA Tournament. They will face Charlotte, the six-seed, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
All-session passes are your best value and allow you to catch all the action of the conference tournament. Fans can buy all-session passes here.
Whether you plan to attend the C-USA Championships or not, please consider making a gift to provide UNT students with a memorable experience cheering on the Mean Green in postseason action. Gifts can be made here.
UNT faculty and staff are encouraged to purchase their first-round tournament tickets here and use the code "NTwomen".
Students are encouraged to be on the look-out on Monday for special ticket offers.