LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The showdown for the top spot in the Sun Belt West Division was a classic battle that saw the North Texas (5-10, 4-2) women's basketball team outlast UALR to pick up a 68-65 win at the Jack Stephens Center. The win vaults the Mean Green to a 4-2 record and sole possession of first place in the West Division.
The loss at home for UALR is only the 10th in Jack Stephens Center history in Sun Belt Conference action and just the second time that North Texas has won in the arena.
"We didn't start the second half with same intensity as the first, but we found a way to get that energy back and it came from a lot of people," said head coach Mike Petersen. "We got a lot of great contributions from a lot of different people tonight and I'm very proud of our effort."
UALR (11-4, 4-3) erased a 14-point deficit at the half and tied the game up at 47-47 midway through the second half. The Trojans took their first lead of the game and surged to a 55-50 win with 5:10 left in the game.
That's when North Texas answered back powered by freshman Loryn Goodwin and Alexis Hyder. Goodwin scored five straight points to tie the game at 55-55. A Goodwin 3-pointer made it 61-55 and the run was capped at 14-0 on a 3-pointer from Desiree Nelson with under two minutes to play to make it 64-55.
North Texas iced the game at the free throw line to pick up their third straight win. Laura McCoy led North Texas with a career-high 23 points and his six 3-pointers in the game. McCoy's also became just the fourth play 100 career 3-pointers as she now has 103 for her career. The six 3-pointers are second time in school history she has hit six 3-pointers in a game and it is tied for the second most in school history.
The Mean Green raced out to early 17-11 lead on UALR as McCoy knocked two early 3-pointers. North Texas kept pouring it on with a 10-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Loryn Goodwin to make it 29-13 late in the first half. The Mean Green led by 14 at the break 31-17.
North Texas returns to action at home on Saturday night as they host the South Alabama Jaguars at 5 p.m.