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Women's basketball: Mean Green finishes strong to defeat UAB

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

The look on Alexis Hyder’s face said it all as she picked herself up off the floor of the Super Pit late in Saturday’s Conference USA tilt against UAB.

The sophomore forward, who was huge in the paint for North Texas all day, played the better part of the previous 12 minutes with four fouls against her — constantly finding ways to keep herself, and the team, in the game. But with 3:11 left, Hyder picked up her fifth foul and, with a look of frustration on her face, was forced to leave the game as UNT tried to hold on to a five-point lead.

To its credit, the Mean Green repayed Hyder’s determination with some of its own to secure a 66-58 win.

“I was frustrated because I knew I shouldn’t have fouled, but there was urgency because that was their 3-point shooter,” said Hyder, who on the play lunged forward and tripped up UAB guard Chelsee Black. “I felt like the refs were on me early and I knew it was not acceptable to foul out with 12 minutes left, so I tried to play smart. It was frustrating, but the team came through.”

Hyder finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists, but she had to play a bit more careful after picking up her fourth foul with 14:39 left. Despite Hyder eventually fouling out, UNT (9-12, 3-5 C-USA) held the Blazers (11-9, 3-4) scoreless over the final 1:52 and closed the game on a 7-0 run.

The key for UNT was balanced scoring. Briesha Wynn led all scorers with 19 points while Laura McCoy, Candice Adams and Acheil Tac each chipped in with nine points. Janice Peterson finished with eight points.

“The team did a very good job, and down the stretch what we did was we got some extra stops,” UNT coach Mike Petersen said. “I thought we grinded better in the second half, particularly down the stretch. We haven’t always finished the way we’ve needed to in games, but perhaps this is the game where we get over the hump.”

Wynn kicked off UNT’s final surge with a 3-pointer and Peterson quickly followed with a steal and layup to extend what was a one-point North Texas lead to 64-58 with 1:03 left.

UAB had plenty of chances to steal momentum early on, but North Texas — which came in riding a two-game losing streak — seemed to always have an answer. After falling behind 33-31 in the opening stages of the second half, the Mean Green rattled off a 9-2 run. The Blazers again cut the deficit to one point, but UNT answered with a 10-2 surge for a 50-41 lead with 9:34 remaining.

Brittany Winborne pulled UAB to within one point with 1:52 left, but that was the last time the Blazers scored.

“Our focus was better and all five players were on the same page in our huddles,” Wynn said. “When our offense broke down, in the past we would jack up a shot. This time we kept our focus and did a good job.”


North Texas 66, UAB 58

NORTH TEXAS (9-12, 3-5 C-USA) – Wynn 5-7 8-10 19, Hyder 5-12 2-3 12, McCoy 3-8 1-2 9, Peterson 3-11, 0-0 8, Adams 4-7 1-2 9, Christian 0-0 0-0 0, Tac 4-7 1-2 9, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 13-19 66.

UAB (11-8, 3-3 C-USA) – Anderson 3-5 0-0 6, Chapman 6-17 2-4 14, Webb 0-1 0-0 0, Black 3-11 0-0 9, Grimes 3-8 1-1 7, Burroughs 1-4 0-0 3, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Winborne 3-3 2-2 8, Newman 3-11 1-2 9. Totals 23-62 6-9 58.

Halftime – UNT 31-29. Three-point goals -- UNT 5-14 (Wynn 1-2, McCoy 2-6, Peterson 2-5, Adams 0-1), UAB 6-21 (Chapman 0-1, Black 3-7, Grimes 0-2, Burroughs 1-4, Williams 0-1, Newman 2-6). Fouled out -- UNT (Hyder). Rebounds -- UNT 38 (Hyder 7), UAB 35 (Chapman 11). Assists -- UNT 10 (Hyder 3, McCoy 3, Adams 2, Christian 2), UAB 9 (Anderson 1, Chapman 1, Black 3, Grimes 1, Burroughs 2, Newman 1). Total fouls -- UNT 14, UAB 16. Attendance: 513.