RUSTON, La. – North Texas picked up a victory over Louisiana Tech in Ruston for the first time in program history as Charlene Shepherd
scored eight points during a pivotal 14-0 North Texas run in the fourth quarter as the Mean Green defeated the Lady Techsters, 65-54, Thursday night inside Thomas Assembly Center.
registered a team-high 14 points, while Anisha George
posted 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Shepherd and Grace Goodhart
each added 10 points. The Mean Green (8-5, 1-0 C-USA) outrebounded LA Tech (8-6, 0-1 C-USA) 45-to-33 and dished out 15 assists compared to six by the Lady Techsters.
After scoring 26 points in the first half including a 6-of-12 showing from the free throw line along with a two-point lead, North Texas picked up the offense after halftime by tallying 39 points and knocking down 7-of-8 from the line to build an 18-point lead at the 2:12 mark of the fourth quarter.
"I love the fact that we have people on the bench we can go to that can step up and do what's needed. Everybody is ready, and that's what I love about tonight," head coach Jalie Mitchell
"I'm praying this win a testament to where we are going. It says a lot about this program and the players that have bought in and fight each and every day. I'm excited."
A jumper by Bradley on an inbounds play in the fourth quarter with 6:18 to play ignited the UNT scoring fury with the Mean Green leading 49-45. Bradley then drained a pair from the line before Shepherd hit a 3-pointer from the right side to increase the margin to nine. Trena Mims
connected in the lane, and Shepherd struck again from the outside. A baseline drive from Shepherd and a floater in the paint from Bradley pushed the lead to 63-45.
"I was trying to give my all to my team and give them everything I could," Shepherd said. "We penetrated the middle and had a lot of drive and kicks."
C-USA's leading scorer, Kierra Anthony, scored nine of her 15 fourth quarter points in the last two minutes as the rest of the Lady Techsters went scoreless in the final period. UNT held Anthony to just two points in the first half as the nation's third-leading scorer finished 6-of-17 from the field.
In the first quarter, Bradley made a three to hand North Texas a 12-7 lead, and Shepherd entered the game in the ninth minute and immediately scored off of an inbounds play to put North Texas up, 14-8.
A 9-0 LA Tech run switched the lead over to the home team at 24-21, but five straight UNT free throws passed the advantage back to the Mean Green at 26-24 heading into the second half.
The Lady Techsters snatched the lead back in the opening minutes of the second half at 29-26, but a free throw from Goodhart, a putback by George, and a Bradley three from the left corner had the Mean Green up, 34-31. Free throws by Deja Terrell
extended the lead by a pair, but LA Tech closed within two before Mims sank a jumper to put North Texas ahead, 43-39, heading into the fourth.
The Mean Green travel to Southern Miss for a 4 p.m. contest Saturday.