BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The UNT women’s basketball team had its moments of promise on Tuesday night against CSU Bakersfield, but every time the Mean Green seemed to be clawing their way back into the game in the second half, the ‘Runners would kill a rally en route to a 61-52 win over the Mean Green.
UNT (2-3, 0-0 C-USA) started the game 0-for-7 from the field and then shot 54.5% in the second quarter to build a six-point lead after a 10-0 run, but from that point on, the ‘Runners (3-2, 0-0 WAC) had the advantage.
“We weren’t hitting (shots) and they hit a couple of timely baskets,” coach Jalie Mitchell said. “They didn’t have anyone go off but they had people make timely baskets. We’re trying to press and get the ball back and they get an open shot. We just have to continue to learn and grow, and we’re not there yet.”
Despite UNT’s hot-shooting second quarter, the Mean Green still shot just 36.2% to the ‘Runners’ 40.9% shooting clip.
The Mean Green were led by freshman Destinee McDowell, who made her first collegiate start and had her first double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman point guard Jazion Jackson scored a game-high 12 points, and Callie Owens and Anisha George each chipped in eight points.
George, who entered the game averaging 14.3 points per game to go with 15 rebounds, only played 2:26 in the first half with two points and two boards before finishing the game with eight points and eight rebounds while playing in foul trouble and picking up her fourth with more than six minutes to play.
For the game, UNT shot just 17.6% from beyond the arc and 46.7% from the foul line.
“Yeah, we know we’re a team that has struggled when we haven’t shot it well,” Mitchell said. “We did not shoot it well from anywhere tonight. That’s constantly something we’re trying to get past. That’s some adversity we have to figure out to get over a lot better than we’re doing.”
UNT will now travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, to play in the Rainbow Wahine Showdown, beginning Friday against host Hawaii at 9 p.m., before playing Texas on Saturday at 4 p.m., and wrapping up play Sunday against NC State at 4 p.m.
Freshman forward Destinee McDowell (Fort Worth, Texas), who entered the game averaging 11.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, drew her first collegiate start and scored 10 points while pulling down 12 boards.
Freshman guard Randi Thompson (Plano, Texas) drew her second start of the year after missing the previous two games with an injury.