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Women's basketball: UNT aims to regain offensive touch in C-USA tourney

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

FRISCO -- North Texas coach Jalie Mitchell says there isn't a whole lot of mystery as far as what the Mean Green need to do today to break out of a late-season funk in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament.

UNT just has to find a way to score more consistently when it faces Charlotte in a 2  p.m. game at The Star in Frisco. The Mean Green (15-13) enter the event as the No. 11 seed after dropping their last three games of the regular season.

Charlotte (14-15) is the No. 6 seed.

UNT's scoring output in a 47-45 loss to Rice in its regular season finale was a season low. The Mean Green's scoring total has dropped in each of its last five games.

"I feel great about the way we are playing," Mitchell said Tuesday. "The big thing for us is making sure we knock down shots. We moved the ball really well today. We have struggled some from the field, but it's not because we are not getting good shots."

UNT got plenty of good shots and knocked a host of them down earlier in the season when they beat Charlotte 73-68. Terriell Bradley scored 22 points and was one of four UNT players in double figures. 

The Mean Green will look for a similar performance in the opening round of the tournament from their star guard, who is averaging 18.8 points. Bradley was named first-team All-C-USA on Monday.

"We lost some games at the end of the year that we shouldn't have, but we are ready to go and know what we can do," Bradley said.

UNT will need to be at its best offensively to keep pace with Charlotte and Laia Raventos, the 49ers' star point guard. Raventos is averaging 14.3 points to lead Charlotte. Fellow guard Amaya Ransom is adding 11.1 points per game.

"Their point guard is a great player, but myself and Trena [Mims] can do the job against her," UNT point guard Brittany Smith said.

UNT knows beating Charlotte again won't be easy, especially if it can't be more consistent offensively.

Bradley was UNT's lone player to finish in double figures in the loss to Rice.

"Having beaten them earlier in the year gives us confidence, but at the same time they are a good team," Mitchell said. "We have to do exactly what we did the first time. We have to move the ball and knock down shots."

UNT believes that if it does that it will have a chance to build on a season that has seen the Mean Green set to finish over .500 for the first time in 12 years.

UNT will look to add a conference tournament win to its list of accomplishments. UNT also won a tournament game last year when it knocked off UAB in double overtime.

"There is no real anxiety," Mitchell said. "We have been here and done this."

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.