NORFOLK, Va. — A 25-point third quarter and a career-high 19 points from Jazion Jackson were not enough for the Mean Green to overcome a 71-66 loss to Old Dominion on Saturday at Chartway Arena.
Jackson’s efficient offensive performance resulted in 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. Anisha George, who fouled out with over a minute left in the game, finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. The senior was one point short of her seventh double-double this season.
“I thought we showed a lot of fight tonight,” coach Jalie Mitchell said. “It’s hard to come into this arena and beat a team that has won 11 games in a row on their home court. We were just a few plays away from making that happen.”
Things looked bleak for UNT as they jogged into halftime facing a 14-point deficit. However, the Mean Green (9-16, 3-10 C-USA) came out firing after the break and put together an efficient third quarter that saw them outscore Old Dominion 25-13. UNT shot 56.3% from the field during the third frame.
Leading the third-quarter surge was freshman Randi Thompson, who scored all nine of her points in the third period to cut the Monarch lead to 54-52 heading into the final 10 minutes.
“I thought we did a great job of defending in the third quarter,” Mitchell said. “Offensively, we were finally figuring out how to drive the lane and create open looks for ourselves near the basket.”
Old Dominion (22-3, 12-1 C-USA), which jumped into the lead of the Conference USA standings after beating Rice on Thursday, began the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run that put the Monarchs up by eight. The Mean Green would try to respond and even cut the lead down to six points on four different occasions throughout the remaining seven minutes, but several clutch inside shots from the Monarchs propelled them past UNT.
Summer Jones drilled three 3-pointers to finish with nine points, the most she has scored since a 17-point outing at UTEP on Jan. 25.
The Mean Green also showed a major improvement in their free-throw shooting Saturday. North Texas made 11 of its 14 free throws against Old Dominion just one week removed from going 0-for-8 in a loss to UAB.
UNT will close out its stretch of playing the top six teams in C-USA during the past seven games when they travel to Houston on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tilt with Rice.