Feb. 5, 2014
NEW ORLEANS, La. - After perhaps the best first half of the season the North Texas women's basketball let an 18-point halftime lead slip away and Tulane grabbed a one-point victory 56-55 at Devlin Fieldhouse.
With North Texas leading by two points, 55-53, freshman Leslie Vorpahl stepped to the free throw line with 7.1 seconds left for Tulane.
She made the first free throw, but missed the second, however Adesuwa Ebomwonyi kept the ball alive, Vorphal then tapped it over to Tiffany Dale for a layup with 4.4 seconds to play giving Tulane a 56-55 lead. The Mean Green's last second shot for the win came after the buzzer sounded.
"They are all hard losses, but we have to learn to grow up and learn to close games out and that comes with maturity," said head coach Mike Petersen. "We just shot ourselves in the foot too many times in the second half and give them credit. They came out with the intensity we had in the first half and things just changed and we couldn't answer."
The tale of two halves saw North Texas go from shooting 63 percent in the first half to just 23 percent in the second half as they were outscored 35-16 in the second half after leading 39-21 at the break. North Texas broke open a close game early in the first half as they roared ahead of Tulane with a 26-6 run to take a 33-13 lead with 3:38 left.
The Mean Green stayed in a zone defensively in the first half daring Tulane from behind the arc and the Green Wave couldn't respond going 2-for-13. The Green Wave finished the game 2-for-25 from the 3-point line. Acheil Tac and Briesha Wynn fueled the North Texas lead, as they both ended with double-doubles on the night. Tac tied her career-high with 14 rebounds to go along with 15 points while Wynn had 12 points and 10 boards.
Tulane slowly began chipping away at the North Texas lead in the second half as the Mean Green went scoreless for the first 6:21 of the half. Tulane trimmed the NT lead down to six at 44-38 with eight minutes to play, but a basket by Candice Adams and a 3-pointer by Laura McCoy stretched the lead back to 11 at 49-38.
The Green Wave responded again, this time with a 13-5 run capped off by a Courtnie Latham layup with 1:23 to play making it 54-51. Dale had a basket with 33 seconds to cut the Mean Green lead down to a point at 54-53, before Adams made one of two free throws for NT with 25 seconds.
North Texas returns to action on Saturday afternoon as they host Old Dominion at 2 p.m. from the Super Pit.