Denton (11/9/01) - Three North Texas players reached double-figures scoring to lead the Lady Eagles basketball team to a 78-59 victory over Abilene Christian in its final exhibition game of the season.
Shannan Stephenson (6-0; Sr.; F; Winchester, Tenn.) paced the North Texas offensive attack with 21 points, while Nicole Thomas (5-8; Sr.; G; Dallas, Tex.) tacked on 13 and Heather Trout (5-10; So.; G; Denver City, Tex.) scored 10. Kim Blanton and Stephenson each had seven rebounds to lead the Lady Eagles on the boards. Playing the post position for ACU, Melanie Carter scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
The Lady Eagles got off to a sluggish start and found themselves down 14-20 midway through the first half. However, they battled back to take a 23-22 advantage off a Matalya McBath (5-5; Fr.; G; Denton, Tex.) lay-up with 6:04 left in the first half and didn’t give the lead away the rest of the game. North Texas took a 36-30 lead into halftime and extended it to 18 points (55-37) with just over 14 minutes left in the game. ACU got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
"We talked about how we needed to take over the game at halftime," said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. "We really challenged our post players to do the same thing to them that they were doing to us. We are pleased that we shut down (Melanie) Carter because she scored 37 points in their first exhibition game."
The Lady Eagles scored 27 points off 27 ACU turnovers and ran the floor well with 19 fast-break points. North Texas shot 40 percent from the floor, while ACU connected on 34 percent of its shots.
"I thought we ran the floor well pretty well," said Slinker. "Shannan Stephenson made a big impact tonight and Nicole Thomas was very solid for us."
All 13 North Texas players saw action in the game and six players scored at least five points.
The Lady Eagles open their regular season next weekend at the University of Nevada Tournament. North Texas will square off against #14 Baylor on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. and then face Memphis or Nevada on Nov. 17 at 7 or 9 p.m.