Loryn Goodwin hasn’t been around all that long as a member of the North Texas women’s basketball team. The freshman has played in 25 games and started 14.
She already has a chance to make history today when the Mean Green takes on Troy in the opening half of a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader at 5 p.m. at Trojan Arena.
Goodwin has been on a tear over UNT’s last two games, hitting seven 3-pointers in each — a run that has her on the verge of breaking the school record for 3’s in a season.
Goodwin has hit 59 treys, leaving her just two short of the school record of 61 set by Jill Medlock in the 2003-04 season.
None of those 3’s was bigger than the shot Goodwin hit from the wing in the closing seconds Thursday that helped give UNT a 76-75 win over Louisiana-Monroe, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Goodwin said she didn’t think twice about taking the shot, even though she could have driven to the basket for a closer shot to tie the game instead of taking the 3.
“I didn’t think about it,” Goodwin said. “A 2 would have just tied the game. I wanted to win it right there. I like the pressure and not knowing what is going to happen next.”
The win helped UNT stay in the thick of the race for the Sun Belt West Division title. The Mean Green (10-15, 9-7 SBC) is one game behind Arkansas State (10-6) and half a game behind Arkansas-Little Rock (9-6) in the division.
A game against Troy (5-19, 2-13) will offer the Mean Green a chance to close in on the division leaders, as it is a matchup against a team at the bottom of the Sun Belt standings. The Trojans upset Sun Belt power Middle Tennessee 74-70 in overtime last week but turned around and were hammered by Florida International 56-39 on Thursday.
Junior guard Joanna Harden leads Troy with an average of 14.4 points per game.
Freshman forward Alexis Hyder is averaging 13.6 points while Goodwin is adding 13.5 points an outing for UNT.
The UNT men (9-18, 4-12) are on the opposite end of the spectrum from Goodwin when it comes to momentum after losing six of their last seven games.
UNT appeared as if it had a chance to get something going late in the year after it beat Florida International to snap a five-game losing streak Saturday, especially with a game against ULM up next.
The Warhawks had lost nine straight and had won just three games on the season heading into their game against the Mean Green. UNT also had plenty of motivation to exact a little revenge on ULM after the Warhawks knocked off UNT earlier in the year.
UNT appeared to be well on its way to winning consecutive games for the first time since December when it grabbed a 15-point lead in the second half. UNT struggled the rest of the way and suffered a stunning 85-73 loss after being outscored 48-21 in the final 16:41.
Roger Franklin and Jordan Williams each scored 22 points for UNT. Both had just seven in the second half, when ULM shot 63.3 percent (19-for-30) from the floor and quickly turned the game around.
“I give them credit, but I am really disappointed with the way we performed in the second half,” UNT men’s coach Tony Benford said. “We talked about finishing and playing 40 minutes of basketball. We played 20 minutes tonight.”
UNT will face what could be a highly motivated Troy team tonight, when longtime head coach Don Maestri will try to pick up the 500th win of his career. Maestri can become just the 22nd active coach to reach the milestone.
Senior guard Emil Jones leads Troy with an average of 11.8 points per game. Williams is averaging 13.7 points and Tony Mitchell 13.5, respectively, for UNT.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.