Women's basketball: UNT flexes depth in blowout of Cameron

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North Texas freshman guard Candice Adams, left, looks to pass against Cameron on Saturday at the Super Pit.

There were times in North Texas’ win over Cameron on Saturday when the lineup the Mean Green had on the floor was unlike anything coach Mike Petersen had envisioned.

BreAnna Dawkins wasn’t out there. Neither was Alexis Hyder, Laura McCoy or Acheil Tac.

UNT had to do some shuffling due to myriad issues — some more permanent than others — and still managed to roll to a 69-41 win over the Aggies at the Super Pit.

The win was just the boost UNT needed as it prepares for its Conference USA opener Wednesday at Middle Tennessee.

UNT (6-7) snapped a two-game losing streak, built a little momentum and got a few of the players it might need to step into larger roles at some point a little experience.

“What depth does is make you less fragile,” Petersen said. “Teams that don’t have depth are one sprained ankle away from really having trouble or one set of foul trouble from being in trouble. We are built to survive that.”

UNT’s performance against the Aggies (8-2) proved Petersen’s point.

Tac was out with a knee contusion, Hyder sat after being hit in the head in practice, while McCoy had the flu. Dawkins is out for the year with a knee injury.

Add it all up and UNT was without four of its five starters from a season-opening win over Missouri-Kansas City.

UNT turned to a host of players who have played sparingly at times this season to fill the void. Senior Ash’Lynne Evans started for the fourth time and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. It was Evans’ second double-double in her past four games.

“It is time to step up,” Evans said. “It’s my last year. I want to do whatever I can to help my team win.”

UNT freshman forward Eboniey Jeter scored a career-high 10 points to go with six rebounds, while senior guard Hannah Christian handed out a career-high six assists.

Christina Caddy led Cameron with 12 points and was the only Aggie to finish in double figures.

Evans, Jeter and Christian made sure UNT would roll against Cameron, which counted the game as an exhibition. The Mean Green jumped out to a 10-2 lead and pushed its advantage to 34-19 at halftime.

“We could have come out with a lot more energy than we did,” UNT freshman point guard Candice Adams said.

Even though UNT saw areas in which it can improve, the Mean Green feels good about the way it is playing.

“We are ready for conference play,” Evans said. “We are coming together as a team.”

UNT expects to have a lot more of its team ready for its conference opener against the Blue Raiders, a traditional power that has advanced to five straight NCAA tournaments and beaten the Mean Green 10 straight times.

“My guess is that everyone will be ready,” Petersen said. “We will play with who is healthy and who practices. I anticipate everyone getting on the plane when we go to Middle Tennessee.”

UNT will head to Tennessee with a little more confidence following a win over Cameron that showed it has more than a few key players beyond its starters it can depend on.

“I am looking forward to that first conference game,” Adams said. “I always look forward to challenges.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870.

 

North Texas 69, Cameron 41

CAMERON (8-2) – Robinson 2-11 0-0 4, Reinke 1-6 0-1 2, Caddy 4-15 4-5 12, Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Herl 0-2 0-0 0, Montgomery 0-1 2-2 2, Stamp 2-7 0-0 6, Kindred 2-7 3-4 7, Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Vallier 0-0 0-0 0, Carter 1-3 1-2 3, Brown 1-6 3-4 5, Zeigler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-62 13-18 41.

NORTH TEXAS (6-7) – Evans 3-9 9-10 15, Wynn 3-5 2-2 9, Peterson 3-7 1-2 10, Adams 1-8 0-0 2, Nelson 1-4 0-0 2, Christian 2-7 1-1 6, Jeter 3-5 4-6 10, Ellison 0-4 0-0 0, Darrington 3-8 1-1 7, Hooker 1-4 0-0 2, Davis 2-2 0-0 6. Totals 22-63 18-22 69.

Halftime – UNT 34-19. 3-point goals – Cameron 2-14 (Robinson 0-1, Caddy 0-1, Harris 0-1, Herl 0-2, Stamp 2-5, Kindred 0-1, Smith 0-2, Brown 0-1), UNT 7-18 (Wynn 1-1, Peterson 3-5, Adams 0-4, Nelson 0-1, Christian 1-3, Hooker 0-2, Davis 2-2). Fouled out – Wynn. Rebounds – Cameron 52 (Carter 9), UNT 43 (Evans 12). Total fouls – Cameron 21, UNT 19. A – 560.


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