HATTIESBURG, Miss. – North Texas women's basketball made history for the second consecutive game by defeating Southern Miss, 62-48, for the program's inaugural win in Hattiesburg and their first-ever 2-0 start in Conference USA play as Anisha George
dominated with a career-high 25 points and eight rebounds Saturday inside Reed Green Arena.
It took the Mean Green (9-5, 2-0 C-USA) eight tries to finally win at Southern Miss (8-7, 0-2 C-USA), but an 18-4 run in the third quarter was the key to putting away the Lady Eagles. Southern Miss entered the contest leading the league in turnovers forced at nearly 19 a game, but North Texas pressured the home team into 27 of their own miscues and turned those into 28 points. Only four points were secured off of UNT's 16 turnovers.
joined George in double figures with 11 points by knocking down 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Madison Townley
tallied game-high rebound honors alongside George with eight, and Trena Mims
was the contest's assist leader with four.
The Mean Green held the three leading scorers from Southern Miss to a collective nine points, including zero from the big post presence of Kelsey Jones.
"That was huge," said head coach Jalie Mitchell
. "We talked about it, and our post players did an amazing job. It was big time that we followed the defensive game plan.."
first 3-pointer of the season capped an 11-0 run to put the Mean Green up, 15-4, seven minutes into the game, but the Lady Eagles closed the first quarter with six straight points to pull within 15-10.
A free throw by Bradley stretched the lead to 19-10 two minutes into the second quarter before Southern Miss cut the deficit to four. Velma Mitchell
and George each hit one from the line to go up, 25-19, but three Lady Eagle free throws with .1 seconds remaining slashed the margin to three.
started off the scoring after the half with a three from the right wing and then sent a lob to George underneath for a score and a 30-22 advantage. The UNT backcourt broke free from the Southern Miss pressure which resulted in a layup from George for an 11-point edge midway through the third. North Texas finished the period by outscoring the Lady Eagles, 9-2, for a 43-28 lead.
A putback by Deja Terrell
placed Southern Miss at a 50-31 disadvantage with eight minutes to play, and a no-look pass from Smith to George four minutes later handed the Mean Green their largest lead of the contest at 54-34.
"I had to post hard every time," George said. "The 2-0 start means a lot to us. We have learned to stick together and say positive things in our huddles and encourage."
The Mean Green host their first conference home game of the season Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. against UTEP.