HUNTSVILLE, Texas (01/03/09) Yari Escalera scored a career-high points 17 points, including eight in the second half, but it was not enough Saturday evening as the Mean Green women’s basketball team dropped their fourth consecutive game, losing 79-72 at Sam Houston State.
With North Texas trailing 50-48, Escalera scored eight straight points, including a three-pointer and running jumper, to give North Texas a 53-50 lead with 12:48 left in the game.
The Mean Green (5-9, 1-2) looked to be in control leading 58-52 with 10 minutes left but the Bearkats went on a 27-14 run from that point on and sank their free throws down the stretch to secure the win. Five players scored in double-digits for the Bearkats, including a team-high 14 points from Ray Alexander and Britni Martin.
North Texas now leads the all-times series 21-11. They had won the previous four meetings with Sam Houston State.
The Mean Green shot only 39 percent from the field and only 5-of-18 from three-point territory. Aside from Escalera, North Texas also received solid performances from Amber Jackson (17 points) and Mimi Goodman (eight points).
The first 20 minutes proved to be a fast-paced roller coaster as both teams went on significant runs. North Texas came out of the gates strong by pushing the pace and took a 17-5 lead four minutes in.
However, Sam Houston State (3-10) made a run of their own and captured a 24-22 lead on a layup by Lucy Livingston with 10:40 left in the first half. During that stretch the Bearkats also connected on 4-of-6 from three-point land, two of which were from Britni Martin. Sam Houston State had shot only 24 percent from beyond the arc all season.
North Texas ended the half on a 14-6, spearheaded by Amber Jackson. The senior forward scored seven of her 10 first half points during that critical stretch to give the Mean Green a 43-39 lead at halftime.
The Mean Green will look to get back in the winning column Wednesday, Jan. 7 at UALR. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.