Feb. 15, 2014
GREENVILLE, N.C. - A feisty North Texas team pushed the nation's second longest home winning streak to the brink, but East Carolina (21-3, 9-2) was able to outlast the Mean Green for a 56-49 win at Williams Arena.
The Mean Green held the Pirates to their second lowest offensive output of the season, but ECU extended their home winning to 26 straight games. North Texas (10-14, 4-7) had a chance to tie the game, down 52-49 with 30 seconds left. The Mean Green found a wide-open Laura McCoy for a 3-pointer and the tie, but the shot came up short. ECU made four straight free throws in the final seconds to put the game away.
"I thought we gave a great effort tonight and kept battling all night," said head coach Mike Petersen. "We had a chance late in the game with Laura, but we have to find a way to make some more plays down there stretch."
North Texas took a three-point lead into the break, holding the Pirates to just 22 points on 25 percent shooting. The Mean Green extended the lead by five points, 37-32, on two free throws from Alexis Hyder with 14 minutes to play. The tide turned however against North Texas and Hyder 30 seconds later.
Battling for a loose ball, Hyder tried to keep the possession and throw the ball off an ECU player, but instead hit the defender in the chin with the ball and was whistled for a technical foul. Momentum shifted as the Pirates reeled off eight more points and capped a 10-0 run on a basket from Jada Payne to make it 42-37. ECU never trailed again in the game.
North Texas mounted one final comeback, down 48-41 with six minutes left. Hyder made four straight free throws to cut the lead down three. Hyder a second time made it a three point lead at 52-49 with 45 seconds to play with a basket.
The Mean Green forced a turnover on ECU with 32 seconds left setting up the final chance for McCoy. Hyder finished the game with 18 points and eight rebounds Payne made four straight free throws and finished the game with 24 points.
North Texas returns home to face UTEP at the Super Pit on Wednesday February 19.