North Texas Rallies From 18 Down But Falls In OT, 84-79
Mean Green See 10-Point Lead Slip Away In Closing Minutes To SMU
Dec. 21, 2013
DENTON, TX - The North Texas women stormed back from an 18-point first half deficit to take a 10-point lead over cross-Metroplex rival SMU, only to see that lead evaporate in the closing moments before suffering a heart-breaking 84-79 loss in overtime Saturday at the Super Pit.
"That was a great game, and I'm very proud of the effort," North Texas coach Mike Petersen said. "I'm disappointed we didn't win, but this team will fight and will compete. As we mature, this team is going to win a lot of games."
Janis Peterson had another big game for North Texas, scoring a team-high 23 points, and Achiel Tac added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Alexis Hyder led a strong effort from the Mean Green bench with 16 points and eight boards, and Hannah Christian and Laura McCoy also added key baskets off the bench.
The game stayed even through the first eight minutes, but the Mean Green went cold from the field while SMU heated up over the next eight minutes. The Ponies out-scored North Texas 24-7, opening a 36-18 lead. At that point, SMU was shooting 55 percent from the floor while the Mean Green shooting dropped to 22 percent.
But the Mean Green finished the half strong, going on a 10-1 run to close the gap to 37-28 at halftime. The North Texas surge continued into the second half. Peterson hit a pair of early three-pointers, then drew a foul on a deep shot and converted all three free throws to bring the Mean Green within 43-39 just three minutes into the half. After the gap briefly grew to 7, the Mean Green went on a 13-1 run, a streak fueled by three-pointers by Peterson and Christian, to go up 61-56.
The North Texas lead grew to 10 at 67-57 with 4:35 to play before SMU staged its own comeback, led by the game's top scorer, Keena Mays, who had 32 points and hit a driving layup to tie the game at 71-71 with 29.4 seconds to play. A final shot at the buzzer from the Mean Green's Alexis Hyder was agonizingly close but slid off the rim, sending the game to overtime.
SMU took the lead early in OT and never relinquished it, getting a pair of three pointers to open enough breathing room to hold off a frantic final rally by North Texas.
North Texas came into Saturday's game with an 0-4 record when trailing at halftime.
While SMU was building its 18-point lead in the first half, North Texas was victimized by repeated back-door cuts for easy Pony layups. But during the Mean Green's rally, North Texas cut off the lane and SMU's shooting percentage dropped by 56 percent in the first half to 36 percent by the end of the regulation.
After scoring a season-high six points against Denver, Hannah Christian topped that with seven points against SMU, including a three-point basket in the second half that gave North Texas the lead at 56-55.
This was the Mean Green's second overtime game of the year. North Texas lost to Grand Canyon, 67-65, on Nov. 26.
The North Texas bench scored 39 of the team's 79 points. "This is a team with depth," North Texas coach Mike Peterson said.
North Texas has eight days off before hosting Missouri State on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Super Pit.