On Thursday night in Miami, Florida, North Texas finally ended their five-game losing streak, defeating Florida International University 92-46.
North Texas not only snapped their season-long streak of five-straight losses, they looked inspired while doing so as they rocked the pink uniforms for the first time all season. Head coach Jalie Mitchell’s team flew out to a 12-0 lead and would go up by as many as 48 in the wire-to-wire victory over the Panthers (6-17, 3-7).
“I think it was just us getting back to us and that was a lot of fun,” Mitchell said. “It was important for us to be able to dominate in this way. It all started with our defense, getting stops and limiting them to one shot possessions. We got back to ourselves defensively.”
While defense jumpstarted the Mean Green, (12-10, 3-7) junior guard Terriell Bradley continued her memorable season with a trio of milestones. In the second quarter of Thursday’s blowout victory, she scored her 1,000th career point. She also scored a career-high 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting and connected on a school-record nine 3-pointers. Making the feat even more impressive, she did so on just 10 attempts.
“It means a lot,” Bradley said of her newest accomplishments. “It’s really cool and a dedication to my hard work.”
Bradley continues to etch her name into numerous columns of the North Texas women’s basketball history books. She also added seven rebounds to go with her historical trifecta.
Efficiency came back to the Mean Green offense in the win. They shot 54 percent from the field, 57 percent from beyond the arc and recorded 27 assists. Ten of those assists came from junior point guard Brittany Smith as she created good looks for her teammates all night.
“It felt really good,” Bradley said of the win. “I think we did a good job starting with intensity. This [win] has given us a lot of momentum going into our next few games so we can get this thing going.”
Junior post Micayla Buckner made 6-of-10 shots for 12 points and grabbed five rebounds, while junior Grace Goodhart returned to the starting lineup and rewarded Mitchell’s faith with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Sophomore guard Adrianna Henderson came off the bench to add 10 points as well.
The win not only begins to right the ship for the Mean Green, but also ties them in conference play with FIU at 3-7. If the season ended today, both teams would make the Conference USA tournament, but if it comes down to a tiebreaker, this win gives North Texas the advantage over the Panthers.
“I was aware of [the tiebreaker],” Mitchell said. “I didn’t share that with the team because I thought the most important thing was us getting back to us and not worrying about the particulars of the standings. I just wanted us to get back to North Texas basketball and I think we did that tonight.”
Next up: North Texas sticks around in the Sunshine State, facing Florida Atlantic University (10-9, 4-4) on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. CT.