DENTON, Texas (1/28/09) Amber Jackson scored a career-high 30 points however it was not enough to hold off Troy, who won 80-78 in an overtime heartbreaker Wednesday evening at The Super Pit.
After forcing an extra period, North Texas had an opportunity to send the game into a second overtime, however Mansa El’s made layup at the buzzer came a half a second too late.
The Mean Green has now lost the last two meetings against Troy and leads the overall series 7-2. Jackson, who was battling cramps throughout the night, played 35 minutes and finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds. It was her 11th double-double of the season.
North Texas (7-13, 3-6) trailed by as much as 11 points with 5:13 left in regulation, however the Mean Green slowly chipped into the lead and used some late-game heroics to force overtime.
Trailing 69-65, Jo Hall missed a one-and-one free throw but Yari Escalera tracked down the rebound and nailed a three-pointer deep in the left corner to make it 69-68 with 33 seconds remaining. After Troy made one free throw, Jackson hit the game-tying shot with seven seconds left to complete the comeback. Troy would have one last chance to win the game but North Texas did not allow Kylie Morrissy a shot opportunity as time expired.
North Texas jumped on Troy early by taking a 7-0 lead and expanded that margin to 25-12 with 7:40 left in the first half. At that point the Mean Green had forced 10 turnovers and capitalized by turning those into 11 points.
However, everything changed from that point on for Troy. For the remainder of the half the Trojans turned the ball over only once and went on a 27-9 run in the final seven minutes to take a 39-34 lead into halftime.
Tenia Manuel, who had scored 10 points all season, scored 10 points in the first half by going 5-of-5 from the field in only eight minutes of action. She finished with a career-high 16 points.
The Mean Green will try to get back in the win column Saturday, Jan. 31 when they travel to Western Kentucky. Tipoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.