Denton (2/23/02) The North Texas women’s basketball team (19-7, 12-3) won it’s 14th straight game at the Super Pit and claimed sole possession of the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division title Thursday night with a 62-46 win over South Alabama (17-10, 7-8).
A tough fought first half ended with North Texas leading by just three, 30-27, and South Alabama quickly notched the score at 30-30 to start the second half. That was the last time South Alabama would be even with North Texas, however, as the Lady Eagles were able to put together a 9-0 run at that point and give themselves some breathing room with 16:33 left in the game. South Alabama never got closer than seven points the rest of the game and North Texas held a double-digit advantage over the final 14:44.
With Denver (14-12, 10-4) playing its final regular-season game tomorrow, the Lady Eagles victory will leave them at least one game ahead of the Pioneers in the West Division’s final standings. For the third time in the last four seasons, North Texas has claimed a divisional title. The Lady Eagles won back-to-back Eastern Division championships as members of the Big West Conference in 1999 and 2000.
The Lady Eagles senior class (Yogi Broussard, Karen Lee, Jalie Mitchell, Rosalyn Reades, Shannan Stephenson, Nicole Thomas) piled up an impressive 42-4 home record over the last four seasons.
Three players scored in double figures to lead North Texas. Mitchell scored a team-high 14 points and was followed by Stephenson with 13 and Angel Lewis with a season-high 12. Lewis also pulled down a season-best eight rebounds.
Although North Texas shot just 37 percent from the floor, South Alabama could only manage a .242 shooting percentage. The Lady Eagles struggled from the free throw line, hitting 7-of-18 free throws. South Alabama nailed 5-of-5 free throws and hit four three-point shots in the first half to keep the game close through the first 20 minutes of action. The Lady Eagles outrebounded the Jaguars 52-43.