The North Texas women will take on Charlotte this afternoon in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament at The Star in Frisco.
The Mean Green are the No. 11 seed in the event after finishing 15-13 in the regular season. Charlotte is 14-15 on the year, but is the No. 6 seed. The 49ers went 10-6 in league play, while UNT struggled a bit and finished 6-10.
UNT lost its last three games of the regular season , largely because they struggled to score. The Mean Green lost their regular season finale 47-45 to Rice. The 45 points UNT scored were a season low.
UNT has actually seen its offensive output decrease in each of its last five games.
Terriell Bradley has played well all year and is averaging 18.8 points per game. She has been remarkably consistent.
The key for UNT is going to be finding someone else to score. Lauren Holmes is averaging 8.9 points per game, while Micayla Buckner is adding 7.3 points per game.
Holmes didn't score in UNT's last game.
UNT has been solid defensively all year long and will look to contain Charlotte and a standout backcourt featuring one of the best point guards in C-USA in Laia Raventos.
Raventos is averaging 14.3 points, 5.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game.
UNT will look to Brittany Smith to stay in front of her. Charlotte has more size than UNT. Keeping the 49ers off the glass will be critical.
UNT beat Charlotte 73-68 in the regular season, despite being pounded 39-28 on the boards. The difference was UNT had four players finish in double figures. Bradley had 22 points. Grace Goodhart got hot and finished with four 3s and 14 points. Trena Mims added 11 points and Micayla Bucker added 10.
UNT will need a similar performance today.
Stay tuned. I will update the blog all day.
Starters for UNT -- Grace Goodhart, Brittany Smith, Micayla Buckner, Trena Mims and Terriell Bradley.
4:10 -- UNT is up 8-6 at the first media timeout of the first half. Micayla Buckner has four points for the Mean Green. UNT has turned it over a couple of times looking to get the ball in to her in the paint.
End of the first quarter -- UNT is up 14-12 at the end of the first quarter. Lauren Holmes hit a pair of 3s in the opening period, including one that gave the Mean Green the lead in the closing seconds of the quarter. Terriell Bradley has taken just two shots and has two points. UNT is holding its own on the boards. It's 6-6.
6:08 -- UNT is on a 9-0 run and has taken a 23-17 lead on Charlotte. The 49ers just called a timeout. Lauren Holmes hit her third 3 of the game to spark UNT's run. Terriell Bradley scored UNT's last two points on a pull-up jumper.
Halftime -- UNT closed the half on a 7-0 run and has taken a 36-25 lead at halftime of its game against Charlotte at the Super Pit. The 49ers were within four before Adrianna Henderson hit a 3 to spark the Mean Green. Terriell Bradley scored the final four points of the half on drives to the basket. Lauren Holmes has 11 points and Terriell Bradley 10 for UNT.
5:39 -- UNT extended its lead to 14 twice early in the third quarter, but Charlotte has scored the last six points to pull within 44-36. Jalie Mitchell just took a timeout. Terriell Bradley has 12 points for UNT.
4:10 -- UNT is still up eight in the third quarter. We have just reached a media timeout. Terriell Bradley has 12 points and Lauren Holmes 11.
1:22 -- UNT's lead is down to four at 46-42. UNT just took a timeout. The Mean Green have struggled to score over the last few minutes.
End of the third quarter -- UNT's lead is down to six at 48-42 as we start the fourth quarter here in Frisco. Micayla Buckner scored UNT's last points of the quarter and has eight. Terriell Bradley still leads the Mean Green with 12.
4:53 -- UNT is up 52-47 in the third quarter and has Terriell Bradley headed to the line for a pair of free throws. UNT was up eight, but Charlotte has scored the last three points at the line. Bradley has 14 points for the Mean Green.
21.5 -- UNT is up 56-52 and has the ball coming out of this timeout.
10.5 -- UNT is up 58-55. TO Charlotte. UNT has missed four free throws down the stretch.
Final -- UNT advances with a 58-55 win over Charlotte.