Last Second Basket Lifts USA Past North Texas

MOBILE, Ala. (2/4/09) Morriah Smith scored with 3.3 seconds left to lift South Alabama (16-7, 7-5) to a last second win over North Texas 77-74 from the Mitchell Center.  Mean Green (7-15, 3-8) freshman Mansa El tied the game at 74-74 with six seconds left but Smith scored a 3-point play on a run-out after the basket by El.  Smith made the free throw and the last second shot by Brittney James at the buzzer fell short.

“This was a tough was because it was a back and forth game and they just made a few more plays down the stretch,” said coach Shanice Stephens. “We are going to get one these this year but I was pleased with the way that we continued to battled throughout the entire game”.

Senior Amber Jackson recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 25 points and 12 rebounds. She has tied Empress Drane as the all-time leading rebounder in North Texas history with 716. Jackson fueled an early first half run with eight points as the Mean Green raced out to an early 23-8 lead with 12:38 left in the first half.

South Alabama responded with a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to cut the North Texas lead to 23-21. The Mean Green held a two-point lead at the break at 40-38. The second half went back-and-forth but the Mean Green held the lead for most of the half.

South Alabama took its first lead of the second half at 70-69 when Jessica Starling hit a 3-pointer with 3:00 left.  Smith added two free throws to make it 72-69 with under two minutes to play. El hit a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 72-72 with 29 seconds left.

Starling came back and scored with 14 seconds left to make it 74-72 Jaguars before El scored again to tie the score at 74-74.

North Texas is back at home on Saturday night as they host Louisiana-Lafayette at 5 p.m.



North Texas Mean Green