jalie

North Texas coach Jalie Mitchell coaches from the sideline at the Super Pit in a game last season. UNT rolled past TWU in an exhibition on Sunday.

North Texas coach Jalie Mitchell knew what she had in Anisha George heading into the Mean Green’s annual crosstown exhibition game against TWU on Sunday.

What the Mean Green had in terms of talent on the perimeter was another matter.

UNT is going to depend on a whole lot of young players as it looks to build on a breakout season that included an appearance in the final of the Women’s Basketball Invitational last year. Those players showed signs they could be ready for the limelight in a 95-43 win over the Pioneers, the Mean Green’s Division II neighbors.

N’Yah Boyd scored 17 points in a debut of sorts for the former Mesquite Horn standout, while junior college transfer Summer Jones added nine points in her first appearance with the Mean Green.

George dominated inside on her way to scoring a game-high 26 points, while veteran forward Charlene Shepherd came off the bench to score 12.

“I was proud of how we played together and with having 19 assists while forcing 25 turnovers,” Mitchell said. “I love the fact that we can get a few people in double figures and that everyone contributed rebounding.

“It was a good exhibition. We got what we needed to out of it and saw where we are.”

Time is quickly running out on UNT before its season opener on Thursday at home against Mid-America Christian.

Sunday’s exhibition made Mitchell and her newcomers in the backcourt a whole lot more comfortable with where they are with the season looming.

“I’m OK with how I played,” Boyd said. “I could have played better, but I got my feet wet in my first game. I was comfortable out there. My teammates had my back. I’m ready to carry a significant role.’

UNT already knows what it has in George, a senior who averaged 10.2 points per game last year while also earning a spot on the Conference USA All-Defensive team. George will have an opportunity to fill a bigger role on the offensive end this season and appeared ready for that challenge against TWU.

“My goal is just to improve, get better and help the team,” George said. “I’m starting way ahead of where I was last year. I’m more in shape and consistent.”

George helped UNT dominate from the opening tip. She hit all but one of her eight shots from the floor in the first half, scored 15 points and helped the Mean Green jump out to a 46-17 halftime led.

TWU never recovered in what coach Beth Jillson is hoping will be a learning experience for her team heading into its season opener against Champion Christian College on Saturday.

Freshman guard Sadie Moyer scored 13 points in her debut to lead the Pioneers.

“I’m disappointed in the way we played, but at the same time I have a lot of belief in this team,” Jillson said. “We will bounce back. This is something we can grow from.”

TEXAS WOMAN’S — Woods 4-6 0-0 8, Archer 3-8 1-2 7, Wilkerson 1-5 2-2 5, Woods 0-12 0-0 0, Moody 1-8 3-10 5, Obineke 1-5 0-0 2, Moyer 3-8 6-6 13, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Daily 1-1 1-2 3, Silvaggio 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Bell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-55 13-22 43.

NORTH TEXAS — Townley 2-3 3-3 7, George 11-12 4-7 26, Jones 3-9 2-2 9, Boyd 5-15 2-6 17, Jackson 1-5 0-4 2, Mims 3-5 0-0 7, Shepherd 2-5 6-11 12, McDowell 2-5 1-1 6, Terrell 3-4 3-4 9.

TWU 10 7 14 12 — 43 North Texas 27 19 31 18 — 95

Three-point goals — TWU 2-14 (Wilkerson 1-2, Woods 0-3, Moody 0-4, Moyer 1-4, Bell 0-1) UNT 10-26 (Jones 1-6, Boyd 5-10, Jackson 0-2, Mims 1-2, Shepherd 2-3, McDowell 1-2, Terrell 0-1) Fouled out — Archer, McDowell Rebounds — TWU 34 (Moody 8) UNT 49 (Terrell 9) Assists — TWU 8 (Woods 2) UNT 19 (Jackson 5) Total fouls — TWU 27, UNT 22. A — 478.

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

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