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Women's basketball: UNT rallies past TWU in exhibition

Profile image for UNT and TWU sports information
UNT and TWU sports information

With two minutes left and North Texas up by one, Mean Green freshman Lauren Holmes grabbed a defensive rebound, hit a transition 3-pointer and stole the inbound pass.

Those eight seconds marked a small sample of what Holmes brought in UNT's 69-66 come-from-behind exhibition win over TWU at the Super Pit on Saturday.

The guard finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. She was in the face of Pioneer players all game and led her team with four steals. She sealed the victory with free throws in the final seconds.

North Texas led for 37 seconds early in the game and didn't take another lead until 2:59 left in the third when Holmes nailed one of her four 3-pointers.

"I thought I could have played better," said Holmes, who finished 8-of-12 from the field.

UNT redshirt junior Terriell Bradley had nine points and eight rebounds, and sophomore forward Jada Poland had eight points and nine rebounds.

TWU outscored UNT in two quarters and had three Pioneers score in double digits.

TWU's KJ Stastny scored a team-high 12 points, Bri'Anna Gray had 11 and Grace Mitchell added 10. Mitchell grabbed seven rebounds and Alexis Nezianya corralled six.

TWU was 21-of-51 (41 percent) from the floor compared with UNT at 22-of-63 (40 percent). The Mean Green outrebounded the Pioneers 49-35.

The Pioneers led by as many as five in the fourth and were up 63-62 on a score by Nezianya in the paint with 3:13 to play. A layup and 3 by UNT put the Mean Green up by four with just under two minutes remaining before Stastny drilled a 3 to make it a one-point game with 15 seconds left.

The Mean Green pulled ahead 19-18 in the second period before Kara Mitchell took the lead back with a steal and two free throws. Gray drained a 3 and took a no-look pass from Stastny in the lane for a 27-24 TWU advantage at the 5:53 mark.

A layup by Gray and free throws by Nezianya and Grace Mitchell handed TWU a 46-40 edge with 3:44 to play in the third, but a 7-0 UNT run gave the Division I team a 47-46 advantage.

"It was a competitive game," TWU coach Beth Jillson said. "I'm proud of our relentless effort, energy and toughness for 40 minutes."

The Pioneers begin the season at the TexAnn Tip-Off Classic in Stephenville by facing St. Mary's at noon Friday and Western State at noon Saturday.

North Texas hosts Mid-America Christian in its opener at 3 p.m. Friday.