Feb. 1, 2014
NT-UAB Box Score
DENTON, TX - The North Texas women have absorbed some heart-breaking losses this season, but the Mean Green finally made the big plays down the stretch to seize control one of those nailbiters Saturday afternoon.
Clinging to a one-point lead, North Texas got clutch plays from Briesha Wynn, Janis Peterson, Candice Adams and Acheil Tac in the final 90 seconds to take a 66-58 win from UAB at the Super Pit.
With North Texas leading, 59-58, Wynn, who led all scorers with 19 points, drilled a three-point field goal from the corner with 1:22 to play to give North Texas a four-point advantage. Moments later, Petersen stole the ball from the Blazers and raced down court for a layup, and the Mean Green then closed out the victory with free throws from Adams and Wynn and a shot block by Tac that extinguished UAB's final comeback hopes.
"Down the stretch, we made some plays," North Texas coach Mike Petersen said. "You have to make shots to win basketball games, and tonight we made some shots, and we had some big steals and big rebounds."
North Texas (9-12, 3-5 in Conference USA) also got a big performance from Alexis Hyder, who was the focus of much of UAB's defensive pressure all afternoon. Hyder had 12 points and seven rebounds, and it was her three-point play with five minutes to play that broke a 54-54 tie and ignited the Mean Green's final push.
After struggling defensively three days ago in a loss to Tulsa, North Texas turned up the pressure on UAB (11-9, 3-4) and held the Blazers to just five field goals in their first 19 attempts. The Blazers kept the game close by pulling down 12 offensive rebounds in the first half and double-teaming Mean Green leading scorer Hyder, forcing North Texas to look elsewhere for points.
The Mean Green compensated with a balanced scoring attack, led by eight points from freshman Candice Adams, and by hitting more than 50 percent of its shots to open a seven-point lead, which it carried into the final two minutes of the half. UAB, however, nursed its shooting up to 37 percent by intermission, and got a 6-1 run to cut the margin to two.
North Texas struggled to find its offensive rhythm to open the second half, shooting 25 percent through the first eight minutes and briefly losing the lead. But the Mean Green hit five of its next six shots, including five points from Laura McCoy to regain the lead and six points from Wynn to open the biggest lead of the game at 50-41 with nine minutes to play.
North Texas hit its 100th three-point field goal of the season when Janis Peterson hit a three late in the first half. North Texas made five threes in the game.
The Mean Green entered Saturday's game with nine games left in the regular season. "We've got a nine-game season to finish strong," Petersen said. "We're 1-0."
North Texas has had five two-game losing streaks this season, but has won the next game every time.
North Texas travels to Louisiana for a meeting with Tulane on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m.