Quincy Noble has set simple goals for himself since moving to North Texas ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Noble spent a year in New Mexico and never found a comfort zone away from her hometown of McKinney. Since then, UNT has become a safe haven for the high school student, who last week took another step towards becoming one of the best in program history when she became just the 15th UNT basketball player to score 1,000 career points.
“Coming in, I just wanted to find myself and be the best version of myself,” Noble said. “It came with it. When I saw that I was going to this, I wanted to do it. It came when I was here and being the best version of myself.”
The goal is for Noble to continue the pursuit on Wednesday, when both the UNT men’s and women’s teams are in key Conference USA games.
Noble and the UNT women will host Western Kentucky at 6:30 pm at the Super Pit, while the UNT men will face the Hilltoppers at 8:00 pm at Bowling Green.
Playing the Super Pit for the first time as a 1000 point scorer will be a special moment for Noble. She is the first UNT player to reach the mark since Terriell Bradley in 2019.
“North Texas has been my home since I got here,” Noble said. “McKinney is 40 minutes away so I can go and see my family. This feeling of being in Texas was really good for me. I was surrounded by great coaches and teammates who helped me a lot.”
UNT (3-9, 0-2 Conference USA) relied on Noble for what was a tough season. Mean Green lost starting forward Jaylen Mallard before the first match to injury and continue to struggle to keep the roster.
Forward Tommish Lampkin and defensemen Kendall McGruder and Maddie Cleary are battling injuries and may be out this week.
“It’s been a tough year for us in terms of injuries getting worse rather than better,” said UNT coach Jali Mitchell. “Now we go through a lot as a team. We’re trying to get better, stay motivated, hungry and keep fighting.”
The challenges facing UNT have made Noble’s contribution all the more important. She averages 18.1 points per game and is the only Mean Green player to average double figures.
UNT needs Noble to be at her best when she takes on WKU (4-7, 1-1 C-USA).
Cibolo Steel’s sophomore forward Jaylene Foster leads the Hilltoppers with an average of 10.6 points per game. UNT’s game against WKU represents a key opportunity for Mean Green to turn their season around after seven consecutive road games.
UNT will depend a lot on their newly minted 1000 points scorer to take the lead.
“Quincy has been a constant presence and we need her to be,” Mitchell said. “We started with two rookie point guards and nine new players. It was difficult to create the necessary chemistry when we keep losing people.”
UNT Men Go on a Difficult Journey
Tylor Perry doesn’t have the longest history among UNT players when it comes to WKU.
The senior guard is spending his second season at Mean Green. That’s enough to give him an idea of what UNT (11-3, 2-1) will face when he takes on the Hilltoppers at EA Diddle Arena.
WKU (8-5) lost each of their first two games in the C-USA game and four in a row overall. The Hilltoppers are approaching the point where they need to quickly change the season.
“Every time we play a Western, whether we’re 0-10 or they’re 0-10, it’s going to be a fight,” Perry said. “They are well trained, they have a good point guard in Divion McKnight and a good forward in Jamarion Sharp. They will be ready. We will try to do our best.”
McKnight is averaging 16.2 points per game, while Sharp, a 7-foot-5 center, has 57 blocks a year.
“They can score in every position and have the most potential in every position in our league,” said UNT coach Grant McCasland. “You can’t go in there thinking, ‘It’s just two guys.’ These two guys are key to their roster, but they have a lot of depth and talent.”
Perry is averaging 17.6 points per game to lead UNT, who will end one of the toughest trips in C-USA when he heads to Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
“Every time you go to play teams with a tradition of both of those programs, it’s tough,” McCasland said. “Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee have home court advantages. To win this league, you need to steal a few away games.”
UNT will try to do just that this week.