LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The showdown for the top spot in the Sun Belt West Division was a classic battle that saw North Texas outlast Arkansas-Little Rock on Wednesday to pick up a 68-65 win.
The win vaulted the Mean Green into sole possession of first place in the West.
The loss was only the 10th for UALR (11-4, 4-3 Sun Belt) in Sun Belt action at the Jack Stephens Center. Two of those losses have come to UNT (5-10, 4-2).
“We didn’t start the second half with same intensity as the first, but we found a way to get that energy back and it came from a lot of people,” UNT coach Mike Petersen said.
UALR erased a 31-17 halftime deficit and tied the game at 47 midway through the second half. The Trojans took their first lead and went up 55-50 with 5:10 left.
That’s when UNT answered behind Loryn Goodwin and Alexis Hyder. Goodwin scored five straight points to tie the game at 55. A Goodwin 3-pointer made it 61-55, and the 14-0 run was capped by a 3-pointer from Desiree Nelson to make it 64-55 with less than two minutes to play.
UNT iced the game at the free throw line to pick up its third straight win.
Laura McCoy led UNT with a career-high 23 points and hit six 3-pointers. She became the fourth UNT player with 100 career 3-pointers, as she now has 103.
The Mean Green raced out to an early 17-11 lead as McCoy hit two treys. Goodwin capped a 10-0 run with a 3 to make it 29-13.
UNT will host South Alabama at 5 p.m. Saturday.