DENTON (3/1/03) -- North Texas shot a season-best 54 percent from the floor and displayed aggressive play on the defensive end to upset New Mexico State, 87-67, in both teams' final regular season game Saturday night at the Super Pit.
The Lady Eagles (11-15, 6-9), battling for the No. 4 seed in the West Division heading into next week's Sun Belt Conference Tournament, upended the West-leading Aggies (16-11, 10-5) by connecting on 33 of 61 field goals and hitting 18 of 21 free throws. North Texas also out-rebounded NMSU by a 39-29 margin while forcing the Aggies into 20 turnovers.
Jamie Armstrong led four Lady Eagles in double figures with a career-high 19 points off the bench. Kim Blanton added 18 while Erika Bobo had 17 and Heather Trout ended with 15. Armstrong also led North Texas in its rebounding domination with a team-leading nine boards, also a career high for her.
"This is very encouraging," said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. "We wanted to finish with a strong showing. I think we got that both offensively and defensively tonight. Games like this can be a real confidence booster for us going into the conference tournament."
The Lady Eagles will head into the Sun Belt tournament, which begins Thursday at host school Western Kentucky, as either the No. 4 or 5 seed from the West Division. Their position hinges on other conference results from Saturday night and league tie-breakers.
North Texas shot 44 percent (12 of 27) and was perfect at the free throw line (9-9) in the first half to stake a 33-27 halftime lead over the Aggies. Then in the second half, the Lady Eagles played even better, shooting 61 percent (21 of 34), hitting three-of-five three-pointers and connecting on nine of 13 free throws.
NMSU junior guard Sinnamonn Garrett paced the Aggies with 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting.