DENTON (2/6/03) -- The Lady Eagles let a three-point halftime lead slip away in the opening minute of the second half as Middle Tennessee went on to post a 70-56 win over North Texas in a Sun Belt Conference women's basketball game Thursday night.
The Blue Raiders (12-10, 5-4) out-scored the Lady Eagles (8-12, 3-6) by a 14-2 margin in the opening four and a half minutes of the second half to grab the lead. From there, MTSU never let North Texas get any closer than five points and eventually built as much as a 17-point advantage (59-42) with 5:49 remaining.
The Lady Eagles got a game-high 21 points from junior forward Kim Blanton, but she was the only North Texas player in double figures. The Lady Eagles connected on just 33 percent of their field goals (23 of 69) and struggled just as much at the free throw line, where they hit just six of 16 for 37 percent.
Middle Tennessee shot 44 percent from the floor (22 of 49) and hit 86 percent at the free throw line, connecting on 19 of 22 tries.
Blanton was good on eight of 13 field goals and shot 5 of 10 at the free throw line. She was also one of four Lady Eagles with four rebounds. Senior forward Angel Lewis led North Texas on the boards with eight rebounds.
After trailing for much of the first half, North Texas battled back to tie the game at 14-14 on a lay-up by Erika Bobo with 8:06 left. Two minutes later the Lady Eagles took their first lead in the game on a three-pointer by Heather Trout.
North Texas posted its largest lead at the 1:36 mark by going up nine points (27-18) following a driving lay-up by Blanton. The Lady Eagles led at halftime, 27-24.
North Texas continues Sun Belt Conference action on Saturday when the Lady Eagles play at Western Kentucky at 7:00 p.m.