One of the top players in the history of North Texas women’s basketball has been dismissed from the team.
Jasmine Godbolt, a senior who was expected to make her season debut Dec. 18 in a game against UT-Arlington after recovering from a knee injury, is no longer with the program.
“She broke team and athletic department rules,” head coach Mike Petersen said Tuesday. “We have some clear-cut rules that we hold all of our players to.”
Godbolt ranks ninth in school history with 1,080 career points and fifth in career rebounds with 661, in addition to ranking in the top 10 in several other categories despite not playing as a senior.
She would have had a chance to make a run at UNT’s record for career rebounds of 761 set by Amber Jackson from 2005-09.
“Mostly I am disappointed for her,” Petersen said. “I like the team I’m coaching. I’m not worried about who we don’t have. There is no way for me to know what she would have brought.”
Godbolt averaged double figures in scoring in all three of her seasons at UNT, including a team-high 12.3 last season, and led the team in rebounds in each of the last two seasons.
She was a third-team All-Sun Belt selection for the 2011-12 season and was a key player in a time of transition for the Mean Green, which has had three coaches in the last three seasons.
Godbolt was recruited by and played for Shanice Stephens, played one season for Karen Aston before Aston left for Texas and then spent this season going through the rehabilitation process under Petersen.
UNT has turned to a trio of players to fill Godbolt’s void in the post in Alexis Hyder, Braylah Blakely and Sara Stanley.
Hyder has excelled as a freshman and leads UNT in both scoring (12.3) and rebounding (7.1).
Stanley is adding 6.8 points and 6.6 rebounds a game, while Blakely is adding 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds a game for UNT, which is 2-6 after dropping a series of tough nonconference games.
UNT lost to Oklahoma by three points, fell in triple overtime at Alabama and lost by four at SMU.
“There is no adjustment to make,” Petersen said. “The group has played has played well for the most part and made tons of progress. This team is going to be a work in progress. We will be playing our best basketball in February and March, which is what you want to do anyway.”
Holmen to stay as starter
Jacob Holmen hasn’t quite shown the form he did at the end of last season when he went on a tear in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The senior seems to be getting close, though, which is one reason head coach Tony Benford has put Holmen in his starting lineup.
Holmen has started three of UNT’s last four games and is expected to start again when the Mean Green faces Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.
Holmen has replaced Jordan Williams in the lineup.
“Jacob is a consistent shooter,” Benford said. “He is fifth on the team in field-goal percentage and is a threat from the 3-point line. Starting Jacob takes a little pressure off Jordan. He has been pressing a little bit.”
Williams is UNT’s third-leading scorer at 10.6 points a game. Holmen is averaging 6.9 points a game.
Holmen is one of five UNT players who have taken at least 10 3-pointers this season and has the highest shooting percentage among that group at 37.5. Holmen has made nine of his 24 attempts and trails Tony Mitchell by one in terms of the most 3-pointers made on the team.
UNT lost arguably its best overall outside shooter in senior Brandan Walton for the season when he broke his foot in a season-opening loss to Creighton.
Holmen scored in double figures in all three of UNT’s Sun Belt tournament games last season, including 21 points in a semifinal win over Arkansas State.
“Jacob’s one of the guys who can open it up for the rest of our players,” Benford said. “The thing that hurt Jacob early on was he was injured. He is feeling comfortable and likes our system.”
Two make all-region team
Senior forward Michelle Young and junior defender Kelsey Hodges were both named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South Region team recently.
Both were second-team picks.
The duo helped lead UNT to the Sun Belt regular-season and tournament titles before the Mean Green made its third NCAA tournament appearance in program history. UNT (16-5-2) lost to Texas Tech in a first-round game in Lubbock.
“[It was a] well-deserved honor for both Michelle and Kelsey,” UNT head coach John Hedlund said. “Both players had tremendous years and were a big part of our success throughout the season.”
Young scored 10 goals as a senior and finished fifth on UNT’s all-time list with 40.
Hodges anchored UNT’s defense that allowed 22 goals in 23 games and scored seven goals. She has 23 career goals for UNT, a total that ranks 13th in Mean Green history.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .