North Texas Women Fall On 25-Foot Buzzer-Beater, 58-56
Mean Green Rallies And Takes Lead Late Before UTSA Heroics
Jan. 18, 2014
DENTON, TX - North Texas battled back from an 18-point deficit and got a three-point field goal from Laura McCoy with six seconds to play to take the lead over UTSA, only to see the Roadrunners hit a desperation three-point shot off the backboard at the buzzer for a 58-56 win.
"The kid banks in a 25-footer with Hyder all over her," North Texas coach Mike Petersen said after the heart-breaking loss Saturday at the Super Pit. "She just made a good shot."
Trailing by double figures much of the game, North Texas (7-10, 1-3 in C-USA play) rallied behind Alexis Hyder, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds. It very much a hard-nosed comeback, constructed of defense, a massive advantage in offensive rebounds (14-5), and determined work to get shots in the paint that exhausted the Roadrunners.
But UTSA (11-6, 2-2), trailing 51-48 with 4:48 left, slowed the game in the final three minutes, milking the clock, working for good shots and re-taking the lead in the final minute. Turnovers on two-straight North Texas possessions then allowed the Roadrunners to take a 55-51 lead with 37 seconds to play.
A Hyder basket with 31 seconds left followed by free-throw misses by UTSA set up the final drama. Coming out of a timeout with 13 seconds left, McCoy got open and drained a three with six seconds to left for a 56-55 lead. UTSA inbounded the ball and raced across midcourt, where the Roadrunners' Miki Turner stopped and threw up the one-handed game-winner at the buzzer.
"It's our job to make them go our way," Petersen said. "Right now we're not making them go our way."
North Texas needed the comeback after UTSA took control of the game early, hitting two of its first three attempts from three-point range in a harbinger of the half to come. The Roadrunners continued to shoot over the Mean Green zone defense, connecting on six of nine attempts during a 23-4 run that turned a 5-3 North Texas lead into a 26-9 UTSA advantage. For the half, UTSA shot 63.6 percent beyond the arc.
North Texas, however, got a stop here, a turnover there, four free throws from Ash'Lynne Evan and a pair of layups from Alexis Hyder to scrape together a 13-3 run and cut the lead to eight at 36-28. But the Mean Green missed opportunities to make further inroads on the UTSA lead, slowed by 10 first-half turnovers, and went to intermission trailing, 36-26.
"We didn't have a very good sense of urgency in the first half," Petersen said.
But the Mean Green quickly drew within six in the second half on back-to-back offensive rebounds and put backs by Hyder and Briesha Wynn, then pulled within three on a three-pointer by McCoy and a bucket in the paint from Hyder, 42-39. North Texas took the lead at 44-43 with nine minutes left, and was up 51-48 with 4:48 remaining.
Hyder had her first double-double of the season and 11th of her career Saturday.
UTSA hit 7-of-11 first-half three-point field-goal attempts, a scorching 63.6 percentage. It was the best three-point shooting percentage in the first half by any North Texas opponent this season.
Inside the three-point arc, however, North Texas held UTSA to just four of 11 shooting, just 36.3 percent./p>
Hannah Christian had two three-pointers in the first half, matching her single-game high for the year.
North Texas embarks on a two-game road trip to Florida, where the Mean Green will play Florida International on Jan.22 at 5 p.m., followed by Florida Atlantic on Jan. 25 at 4 p.m. The next home game is Jan. 29 against Tulsa.