LAS CRUCES, N.M. (2/3/05) - True freshman Erica Howard notched her second straight double-double to lead the North Texas women’s basketball to its third straight win, 46-43, over New Mexico State on Wednesday night at the Pan American Center.
The win keeps North Texas atop the Sun Belt Conference West Division with a 6-2 record.
“This was really a big win for us tonight,” said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. “We had a lot of pressure on us coming in here tonight and I thought that we were able to respond down the stretch”.
Leading 44-43 with 12 seconds remaining, Erika Bobo hit one-of-two free throws when Howard came down with the offensive rebound and was fouled. Howard made one-of-two free throws to extend the North Texas lead to 46-43 with eight seconds remaining.
New Mexico State had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but a 3-pointer by Monique Bribiescas fell short and the Mean Green escaped with its first win in Las Cruces since 2000.
Howard ended the night with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
“She’s (Howard) playing with so much pressure on her and she just keeps coming through for us each time,” Slinker said. “This is a nice start to the road trip and we got the sweep that we were looking for”.
The game was a defensive struggle throughout as both teams shot less than 25 percent from the floor for the game.
New Mexico State held a one-point lead at the break 19-18, but North Texas opened the second half with a 12-6 run to take a 30-25 lead with 14:52 remaining. North Texas did not relinquish the lead the remainder of the night.
Erika Bobo joined Howard in double figures for the night with a team-high 13 points. North Texas has now swept the series with New Mexico State for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
North Texas will continue its three-game road trip on Saturday with a visit to Louisiana-Lafayette.