A furious rally by North Texas came up just short as the Mean Green fell to Missouri State 85-79 on Sunday afternoon at the Super Pit.
The Mean Green (5-7) lost its second straight game, while the Lady Bears (5-6) won their fourth straight and first on the road this season.
Janis Peterson completed a three-point play to cut Missouri State’s lead to 80-78 with 27 seconds left in the game. The Mean Green then was forced to foul, and the visitors made five of six from the line to hold on for the win.
Peterson’s three-point play capped a 29-15 run by UNT in the game’s final 12 minutes. The trio of Peterson, Acheil Tac and Candice Adams combined to score 20 of the Mean Green’s 29 points in the run. Tac led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, including 15 in the second half.
Down 10 at halftime, UNT dug itself into a bigger hole by allowing the Lady Bears to start the second half with a 15-6 run for a 50-31 lead at the 15:16 mark.
Tac led the Mean Green on a 12-5 run to cut Missouri State’s lead to 55-43. Tac scored nine of UNT’s first 18 points of the second half. Peterson capped the run with her third 3-pointer of the game. She finished with 21 points.
The Lady Bears, however, went up by 17 before the Mean Green used the inside play of Tac and 3-pointers to engineer a 23-8 run. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Desiree Nelson and Adams cut Missouri State’s lead to 70-64 with 4:08 left. A second 3-pointer by Adams brought the Mean Green to within 74-71 with 2:33 remaining.
But the Lady Bears scored 11 of the last 19 points of the game to seal the win. Nine of those points were from the free throw line, where they finished 30-of-40 while UNT was just 11-of-19.
Next up for UNT is a home game against Cameron at 5 p.m. Saturday.