LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (2/09/08) Despite a stellar shooting performance from Yari Escalera, the Mean Green women’s basketball team couldn’t keep up with UALR, falling 70-65 in a back-and-forth slugfest at the Jack Stephens Center.
Escalera led three Mean Green (11-13, 6-6) players in doubled figures, but UALR’s (17-6, 9-3) Nikya Hughes and Anshel Cooper combined for 42 points to down North Texas.
Escalera and the Mean Green were electric from downtown. NT knocked down a season-best six 3-pointers, including a career-high five from Escalera in a 15-point performance.
Brittney James and Erica Howard also poured in 15 points versus the Trojans. NT combined to shoot 50.9 percent from the floor.
James made it a two point game with just over 30 seconds remaining, but a couple of free throws extended the UALR lead to four. James had another look at a three-pointer with 15 seconds left, but her shot was turned aside by the Trojan defense.
The Trojans ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed per game, but the Mean Green offense didn’t miss a beat early in the opening frame. Yari Escalara connected on an early 3-pointer to launch North Texas to an early 9-2 advantage.
Hughes was the only thing going for the Trojans early. The senior posted all of UALR’s first seven points as the rest of the team went 0-8 from the field over the opening seven minutes.
NT hit 57.1 percent from the floor in the first half, but a late UALR run sent the Mean Green into the break with a slim 29-28 lead.
North Texas returns to action on Thursday at the Super Pit versus Denver.