ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — North Texas found the win column for the first time in the Mike Petersen era Saturday, winning a chaotic double-overtime battle with St. Bonaventure 72-71.
The Mean Green overcame a 19-point deficit to force overtime for the second time this season, and Petersen’s crew came out on top in the consolation game of the New Mexico tournament.
At the 11:30 mark of the first half, North Texas (1-4) trailed 20-5 after a 3-point onslaught by St. Bonaventure, which was 6-of-8 from long range, including a 4-of-5 showing by Ashley Zahn.
North Texas hit only three of 21 shots through the first 16 minutes of the game. Missed layups hindered the Mean Green throughout the first half.
Despite the offensive troubles, North Texas finished the first half strong. Alexis Hyder hit a buzzer beater in the lane to cut the Bonnies’ lead to 30-18.
The Mean Green began to settle into the pace of the game and used a zone defense to pester the Bonnies (4-3). UNT stayed within reach thanks to 3-pointers by Laura McCoy and BreAnna Dawkins.
McCoy and Hannah Christian kept pushing the ball inside, leading to open looks and easy layups for the Mean Green, which trailed 45-38 with nine minutes remaining in the second half.
With three minutes left, Desiree Nelson knocked down a 3 from the corner. Dawkins scored to cut the Bonnie lead 52-50.
McCoy hit a deep trey to make it 54-53 St. Bonaventure.
After another zone stop by the Mean Green, McCoy found Sara Stanley underneath for a layup to give the Mean Green its first lead of the game.
The Bonnies fought back for a tough layup to retake the lead briefly before Hyder got fouled. She knocked down the first free throw to tie the game at 56 before missing the second.
St. Bonaventure forward Doris Ortega came down with the rebound but committed a traveling violation, giving North Texas the ball back with 12 seconds remaining.
McCoy took another deep 3, but it rolled off the rim and the game went into overtime.
In the first overtime, Nelson hit a tough 3-pointer from the wing to give UNT a 63-59 lead. St. Bonaventure came back on the attack, and Dawkins fouled out.
UNT led 65-62 with 37 seconds remaining in the extra period. The Bonnies grabbed a defensive rebound, and CeCe Dixon hit a fadewaway 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining to send the game into double overtime.
With one minute remaining in the second extra frame, Hyder worked her way into the lane and scored to push UNT’s lead to 71-67.
Dixon hit two free throws, setting up a North Texas possession with 32 seconds remaining and the Mean Green holding a two-point lead.
The Bonnies quickly fouled Christian. She hit one of two free throws, and Dixon answered with two free throws for the Bonnies, making the UNT lead 72-71.
St. Bonaventure allowed Nelson to drive to the basket and she was fouled. She missed both free throws, and Dixon got the ball in the final seconds.
Dixon drove toward the basket and threw up an off-target jumper as time expired.