DENTON (1/23/03) -- New Orleans withstood a last-second scramble by North Texas in overtime and escaped with a 74-72 win over the Lady Eagles in a Sun Belt Conference game at the Super Pit on Thursday night.
North Texas (7-9, 2-3) had a chance to pull out a win with four seconds left on overtime after Jamie Armstrong got the Lady Eagles to within two points after hitting the first two of three free throws after being fouled on a three-point field goal attempt. After Armstrong missed the third free throw, the Lady Eagles' Vilma Grismanauskaite got the rebound and passed back out to Armstrong near the top of the key. Armstrong got a final shot off above the top of the key at the buzzer, but it bounced off to give UNO the win.
It was New Orleans' (7-10, 4-2) first win over the Lady Eagles in the last five games that the two teams have played. The last time the Privateers defeated North Texas was during the 2000-01 season. It was also North Texas' first overtime game this season and first since the 1998-99 season.
"We fought back after being down 10 early, that's a positive," said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. "But we have to understand that we could have been up by 10. We have to learn how to finish games. We didn't execute very well."
After North Texas erased a 12-point New Orleans lead midway through the opening half and battled to a 37-36 lead over the Privateers by halftime, the game remained close the rest of the way. Neither team led by more than four points in the second half and the score was tied 10 times during the period.
It was Armstrong who send the game into overtime after hitting one of two free throw attempts to tie the score at 59-59 at the end of regulation. A lay-up by Kim Blanton, who registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Eagles, gave North Texas the early lead in overtime.
North Texas last regained the lead in overtime when a pair of free throws by Grismanauskaite gave the Lady Eagles a 67-66 edge with 2:19 left in OT. But UNO came right back on its next possession to score on a lay-up and never let go of the lead from that point.
It was Blanton's third double-double performance of the season. She was joined in double figures by Angel Lewis with 16 points and Grismanauskaite with 14.
A two-game home stand by the Lady Eagles continues on Saturday at the Super Pit when North Texas hosts South Alabama at 7:00 p.m.