SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (11/23/01) The North Texas women’s basketball team (3-1) overcame a one-point halftime deficit to defeat UT-San Antonio (0-2) 64-57 on Friday night in the Lady Eagles first game at the UT-San Antonio Classic.
UTSA led North Texas 28-27 at the half and that score was indicative of how the second half went. Although the Lady Eagles led for most of the final 20 minutes, they never took more than a five-point lead until the closing seconds. North Texas took a 31-30 advantage 40 seconds into the second half and never trailed the remainder of the game.
“I didn’t think we played well offensively tonight, and we didn’t attack very well tonight either,” said North Texas head coach Tina Slinker. “We were on the road tonight against a great turnaround team in UTSA and sometimes these are the toughest the games.”
With just 55 seconds left to play and ahead by only two points (57-55), senior guard Rosalyn Reades took control of the game for the Lady Eagles. After being fouled on a drive to the basket, Reades converted both free throws and made it a two-possessions game for UTSA. On the Roadrunners next trip down the floor, she forced a UTSA turnover that set up two Karen Lee free throws, giving the Lady Eagles a 61-55 advantage with just 37 seconds left in the game. UTSA pulled back within four with 23 seconds on the clock, but got no closer.
While North Texas connected on 70 percent of its free throws for the entire game, it hit 12 of 14 (80 percent) over the final two minutes. The Lady Eagles last 12 points all came off free throws.
“I wanted to be aggressive at the end of the game and luckily I was able to make my free throws,” said Reades. “We have always been a decent free throw shooting team and although we struggled at times tonight, I think that we really composed ourselves and were able to connect under a pressure situation.”
The Lady Eagles had a sluggish start, not scoring their first field goal until four minutes into the game. Despite falling behind 1-8 and struggling early, North Texas came back to take a 14-13 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the first half and held the advantage until the seven-minute mark.
Nicole Thomas (Sr.; G; Dallas, Tex.) led North Texas with 14 points, while Jalie Mitchell tacked on 13 to the Lady Eagles cause. Shannan Stephenson (Sr.; G; Winchester, Tenn.) had a team-best three rebounds.
“I definitely think this was a breakout game for me because of the way I’ve been struggling the past few games,” said Thomas. “I wanted to step up tonight and fortunately I was able to hit some shots.”
For the third time in the Lady Eagles first four games, it scored more points in the second half than the first. They put up 37 second-half points in comparison to their 27 for the opening 20 minutes.
The Lady Eagles will play No. 3 Oklahoma Saturday at 6 p.m. in their final game at the UTSA Classic.