photo courtesy of Rick Yeatts
NT Women's Hoops Claws Its Way To First Win
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - North Texas women's hoops (1-4) found the win column for the first time in the Petersen era after a chaotic double-overtime war with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (4-3) winning by a score of 72-71.
The Mean Green overcame a 19-point deficit to force overtime for the second time this season, but this time, Petersen's crew came out on top in the consolation game of the New Mexico tournament.
The game did not begin smoothly for the Mean Green. At the 11:30 mark, North Texas trailed 20-5 after a 3-point onslaught by St. Bonaventure (6-8 from range including 4 of 5 from junior Ahsley Zahn).
North Texas misfired early hitting only 3 of 21 through the first 16 minutes of the contest. Multiple missed layups hindered the Mean Green's attack throughout the first half.
Despite the offensive trouble, North Texas finished the first half strong with an Alexis Hyder buzzer beater in the lane to close out the first half. North Texas was able to cut the Bonnie lead to 12 at 30-18.
The second half began with each team trading buckets for the first seven minutes. Three balls by junior Laura McCoy and freshman BreAnna Dawkins helped the Mean Green keep pace with the continual ranged assault of St. Bonaventure.
At the three minute mark, Desiree "Dez" Nelson knocked down a corner three followed by a Dawkins drive and score to cut the Bonnie lead to two at 52-50 in front of a raucous New Mexico crowd that was awaing their own contest with Georgia.
Following another Bonnie score, McCoy took a no-hesitation deep trey from the Lobos' logo to make it a one point game at 54-53, St. Bonaventure.
The Bonnies fought back for a tough layup to retake the lead briefly before Hyder got fouled. She knocked down the first one to tie it up once more at 56-56 before missing the second.
After a blown play by St. Bonaventure, McCoy took another logo-deep three ball, but it rimmed out by a hair forcing the game into overtime.
The bonus period began with Stanley free throws after she was hacked underneath on a cut. The Bonnies turned it over leading to a fast break for Dez, who found Dawkins underneath for another fouled shot attempt. She put in both her attempts from the charity stripe to push the Mean Green lead to 60-56.
The Mean Green turned the ball over on its next attack leading to another Bonnie point off of free throws.
Dez answered for the Mean Green with a tough 3-pointer from the wing pushing the lead back to four at 63-59.
St. Bonaventure came back on the attack forcing a Dawkins foul, her fifth and final of the contest. Despite the foul, the Bonnies knocked down only one, keeping the North Texas lead at three before freshman Alexis Hyder put in another layup on a hard drive.
After the Bonnies got back to the line on an over the back by North Texas, they knocked down both putting the game back to a three-point contest with 37 seconds remaining. Following an ensuing North Texas missed shot, the Bonnies flew back down the court as the final seconds counted down. St. Bonaventure guard CeCe Dixon hit a fadewaway 3-pointer with 1.4 remaining on the clock to push it to double overtime.
The second overtime began with a quick St. Bonaventure basket. North Texas retailiated with a Christian hook shot to tie it up once again. The Mean Green got a stop and found Stanley at the base line for her signature jumper to go up two.
With one minute remaining, Hyder worked her way back into the lane and scored to push the lead to four for North Texas.
St. Bonaventure refused to go quietly as Dixon fought her way back into the paint to force a foul. She would drop both shots to set up a North Texas offensive possession with 32 seconds remaining and a two-point lead, 71-69.
On the inbound, the Bonnies quickly fouled Christian putting her at the line. She split the free throws to form another three-point lead. Dixon flew right back into the lane on the opposite lane drawing another foul and two more shots, both makes.
In an attempt to trap the Mean Green, St. Bonaventure allowed Dez to break free behind the press and drive to the basket where she was hard fouled. She would miss both, and Dixon would fly back down the court as the final seconds ticked off the clock. She found room to drive and threw up an off-target jumper. Time expired as the Mean Green grabbed the board, and North Texas found its first win of the season.
The Mean Green looks to keep up the winning against Arizona on Nov. 28 in the Super Pit in Denton, Texas.