Determined Lady Jags Win Close Game Against North Texas

February 5, 2009 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Women's 

The Lady Jags hosted the North Texas Mean Green on Wednesday night after the historic announcement of the first football signing class. Those that stayed around were treated to a great game of basketball in the Mitchell Center.

USA went out to an early 6-4 lead in the first minute plus of the game but UNT went on a 19-2 run over six minutes to jump out into the lead. During that stretch USA went 1 of 8 and had seven of their 10 first half turnovers.

The Jags ratched up their defense and responded with a 15-2 run of their own to narrow the lead to just two points, 23-21, with under nine minutes left in the first half.

The lead would widen to as much as six at points during the rest of the half, but USA would not let the Mean Green get any farther away than that. Then with 4:22 left in the half, down 37-31, the Jaguars would reel off a couple scores to take a small lead at 38-37. However, UNT would drain a 3-pointer just before the half ended. to put UNT back on top.

USA would tie the game up early after halftime but the Mean Green would score six consecutive poitns over one minute to retake the lead and the momentum.

The Jags would stay strong and not allow them to get any farther ahead than six points though. This was the story of the second half, USA refusing to give in but rather keep fighting.

With the game winding down, USA was trailing 69-65 and Shakira Nettles sitting on the bench in foul trouble, Jessica Starling took over. At 3:32 she put USA back into the lead by one by draning a 3-pointer. Then two free-throws later, the Jags would lead by three, 72-69. UNT would tie the game with a long range three with 30 seconds to go. USA would score a basket to lead again but UNT would have an answer with a left-handed layup to tie it once again at 74 with six seconds left.

But a heads-up pass by Brunner to throw the ball over the top and out in front of Morriah Smith lead to her sprinting down the court for a layup and foul with 3.3 seconds left sending the crowd wild. After a time out by UNT, she easily drained the free-throw to put USA out to a 77-74 lead. A time out by USA allowed them to set their defense and UNT’s half court shot missed to preserve the win.

Shakira Nettles scored 20 to lead USA in scoring on 7-15 shooting, going 1-4 from 3-point distance and draining all 5 free-throw attempts. Jessica Starling scored 15 with 7-14 shooting and 1-2 from outside the arc. Morriah Smith rounded out the double digit scoring with 10. Ra’Shawna Sippio ended her double-double streak only scoring 8 points and coming away with 9 rebounds.

Amber Jackson of North Texas lead all players in scoring with 25 on 12-21 shooting and making one of her two free-throw attempts. She also came away with 12 rebounds to give her a double-double. Mansa El scoring 12 as the only other double-digit scorer on the team.

The Lady Jags up their record to 16-7 for the season (7-5 in the Sun Belt) while UNT falls to 7-15 overall (3-8 in the SBC). USA will next travel to Bowling Green Kentucky to face Western Kentucky Hilltoppers for a 2pm tip-off.

GO JAGS!

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