MIAMI – Thanks to last minute heroics and monster games from Alexis Hyder and Loryn Goodwin, the North Texas women’s basketball team gritted out a 70-68 win over FIU on Thursday night.
Hyder poured in a game-high 20-points, and hit the go-ahead bucket with 25 seconds remaining that extended the North Texas (7-10, 6-2 Sun Belt) win streak to five games – the program’s longest since 2007-08. Goodwin wasn’t far behind with 19 points and four steals.
FIU (10-7, 4-4 SBC) outshot the Mean Green, 46.0 percent to 37.5, but the NT defense forced 15 steals and turned them into 24 game-changing points.
With 2:25 on the clock, BreAnna Dawkins tied the game with a left-handed “And-1” drive to the bucket. Her free throw made it 64-64. Braylah Blakely hit a layup on NT’s next trip down the floor to tie the game once again, and then came up with the steal of the game on FIU’s ensuing possession.
That’s when Hyder hit the go-ahead layup with 25.2 on the clock, and sealed the game moments later with a pair of free throws.
Both teams started cold with 1-of-9 shooting from the floor before the Golden Panthers heated up. FIU reeled off a 12-1 run that saw them lead by as much as nine in the opening frame.
Goodwin, who scored 13 points in the first half, was the catalyst to the Mean Green comeback. The freshman banked in a 3-pointer from the right of the key, and followed it up with a fast-break layup to cut the FIU edge to 31-28 with a minute remaining in the half.
Sara Stanley made it a two-point game on NT’s next possession, but the Golden Panthers hit a jumper at the buzzer to go into the halftime break with a 34-30 edge.
It only took Goodwin three minutes into the second half to complete the NT comeback with a 3-pointer from the right corner that made it 42-40 in favor of the Mean Green.
North Texas heads across town to Boca Raton, Fla., to face Florida Atlantic on Saturday night. Tipoff from FAU Arena is slated for 2 p.m.