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Women's basketball: UNT beats Wildcats by 14 points

Profile image for By Steve Gamel / For the Denton Record-Chronicle
By Steve Gamel / For the Denton Record-Chronicle

In the grand scheme of things, two games isn’t a long losing streak. But for North Texas, it seemed like an eternity.

Saturday’s 64-50 win at the Super Pit over previously unbeaten Abilene Christian (4-1) was the team’s first since beating Missouri-Kansas City in the season opener Nov. 9. UNT had a late rally fall short against Texas A&M two days later before capping a subsequent nine-day layoff with a five-point loss to Houston on Thursday.

UNT’s schedule picks up now, though. The latest win kicked off the Hospitality Hill Challenge. UNT is the host team and is slated to play Bethune-Cookman at 5 p.m. today. UNT will wrap up the four-team event against Grand Canyon at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“I think it [losing] is harder when you could’ve had a better shot at getting wins,” UNT’s Alexis Hyder said. “Had it been a tough loss — we lose by one but played our rear ends off — that would be different. But we didn’t play to our potential and it hurt more. I thought tonight we came out with a lot more effort.”

Hyder, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, was one of three to score in double figures for UNT. Briesha Wynn led the team with 15 points and Laura McCoy added 12, including a 2-for-3 clip from 3-point range.

Their performance stymied an otherwise historic night for Abilene Christian, which played its first Division I game in 20 years. ACU has been going through the process of moving from Division II to the Division I Southland Conference and looked intent on making a statement against the Mean Green.

Suzzy Dimba led the Wildcats with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Alexis Mason chipped in with 10 points.

UNT was helping ACU’s cause as it racked up 17 turnovers and missed eight layups in the first half. But a 7-2 run in the closing minutes of the half gave UNT a 29-26 lead at the break.

“At halftime, I was amazed we were ahead. ... That’s 25 empty possessions,” UNT coach Mike Petersen said. “But the thing I was happy with was we played super hard for extended periods of time. Once we started hitting some of those easy shots, our lead extended. I thought we also defended well. They [ACU] are a very good offensive team. We got into them hard enough that they were sped up and missed some shots.”

UNT outscored the Wildcats 35-24 in the second half and for the game held a commanding advantage from the free throw line. UNT was 15-of-21 from the line while Abilene Christian finished 8-of-15.

Hyder scored five points as part of a 7-3 run that gave UNT a seven-point lead to start the second half. McCoy’s second 3-pointer with 13:04 left put UNT ahead 39-31, which at that point was the largest lead for either team.

ACU eventually cut the lead to six, but North Texas finished on a 14-6 run.



North Texas 64, Abilene Christian 50

NORTH TEXAS (2-2) — Wynn 6-12 3-4 15, Tac 2-4 2-2 6, Hyder 6-8 2-4 14, Adams 2-4 1-1 5, Nelson 1-6 1-2 4, Christian 0-1 0-0 0, McCoy 4-6, 2-2 12, Jeter 0-0 0-0 0, Peterson 0-0 0-0 0, Ellison 0-0 0-0 0, Darrington 1-6 2-2 4, Dawkins 1-3 2-4 4.

ABILENE CHRISTIAN (4-1) — L Dimba 1-8 0-0 2, Shelstead 1-6 2-2 5, West 2-11 1-2 6, Mason 4-9 1-2 10, Marquez 1-9 2-2 4, Elkins 1-1 0-2 3, Jenkins 2-5 1-2 6, S Dimba 6-12 1-3 14, Jolivet 0-0 0-0 0.

Halftime — UNT 29-22 . 3-point goals — UNT 3-9 (McCoy 2-3, Nelson 1-3, Adams 0-2, Wynn 0-1), ACU 6-31 (Shelstead 1-2, West 1-9, Mason 1-4, Marquez 0-4, Elkins 1-1, Jenkins 1-2, S Dimba 1-5, L Dimba 0-4). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — UNT 46 (Tac 14), ACU 30 (S Dimba 10). Assists — UNT 11 (Wynn 3, McCoy 3), ACU 7 (Marquez 4). Total fouls — UNT 18, ACU 19