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Women's basketball: Masters of their Dominion

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

UNT scores inside, outside in victory over Lady Monarchs

When North Texas hit four consecutive 3-pointers in the first six minutes of Saturday’s Conference USA game against Old Dominion, Mean Green coach Mike Petersen found himself questioning how he should react.

On one hand, Petersen was thrilled with the spree, which helped push UNT out to a seven-point lead. He also was reluctant to see so much activity from long distance because he felt that victory hinged on how well the team played closer to the net.

The Mean Green did plenty of that, too, while cruising to a 68-52 win at the Super Pit.

“I was incredibly happy and unbelievably terrified,” Petersen said of the early 3s. “We have good shooters, we do, but our offensive efficiencies run through these two [Briesha Wynn and Alexis Hyder] and [Acheil] Tac. I was worried we would forget where our bread is buttered, but we didn’t.”

UNT (11-13, 4-6 C-USA) had four players score in double figures and as a team shot a season-best 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Old Dominion (11-13, 4-6) was held to its second-lowest point total in conference play. The Lady Monarchs scored 49 in a Jan. 25 loss to Middle Tennessee.

Wynn finished with 17 points and was 3-for-3 from long distance. Hyder poured in a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Hannah Christian and Laura McCoy scored 13 and 11 points, respectively. It was a balanced effort as UNT shot 46.3 percent from the field.

“If we can get four players in double figures every game, there’s no doubt we will win,” Wynn said. “We knew what we needed to go do out there, and we went out and did it. We did a good job of keeping our focus.”

UNT was due for a breakout game. The team was coming off a 66-58 win over UAB on Feb. 1 and a heartbreaking 56-55 loss to Tulane on Wednesday, when it squandered a two-point lead with 7.1 seconds left. A win at Tulane would have given the Mean Green its first winning streak in conference play.

Old Dominion wasn’t supposed to be such an easy out, though. Chelisa Painter and Tiffany Minor each scored 15 points and Galaisha Goodhope added 10, but the Lady Monarchs only shot 30.5 percent from the field. They were 9-of-22 from the free throw line, compared with UNT’s 11-of-17 effort.

Old Dominion junior forward Shae Kelley came in averaging a double-double with 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds, but she was held to six points and 14 rebounds.

“What the team did to stop Shae Kelley was phenomenal,” Petersen said. “They made her look average.”

North Texas wasted little time jumping on the Lady Monarchs. After falling into a 5-0 hole, the Mean Green went on a 14-0 run — highlighted by its 3-point shooting. McCoy hit back-to-back 3s before Desiree Nelson and Wynn added two more for a 12-5 lead. Nelson capped the surge with a short jumper.

Old Dominion had a 7-2 run to close the first half but trailed by seven. UNT extended that lead to 15 with a 17-9 run to open the second half. The Lady Monarchs closed the gap to 11 points three times after that but never threatened.

“It’s really good — we finished,” Petersen said. “That’s what you have to do. There was no lapse in focus today.”


North Texas 68, Old Dominion 52

NORTH TEXAS (10-13, 4-6 C-USA) – Wynn 7-10 0-1 17, Tac 0-4 0-0 0, McCoy 3-9, 3-4 11, Adams 0-3 0-0 0, Nelson 4-8 0-1 9, Christian 4-8 4-6 13, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Peterson 1-1 1-2 3, Hyder 6-11 3-3 15. Totals 25-54 11-17 68.

OLD DOMINION (11-13, 4-6 C-USA) – Kelley 2-10 2-4 6, Painter 6-8 3-5 15, Minor 5-15 0-2 15, Gardner 1-5 0-0 3, Goodhope 3-10 3-7 10, Brandao 0-2 0-0 0, Allison 1-4 0-2 2, Younger 0-3 1-2 1, Oigbokie 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-59 9-22 52.

Halftime – UNT 33-26. Three-point goals -- UNT 7-15 (Wynn 3-3, McCoy 2-6, Adams 0-1, Nelson 1-2, Christian 1-3), ODU 7-30 (Minor 5-14, Gardner 1-3, Goodhope 1-7, Allison 0-3, Younger 0-3). Fouled out: None. Rebounds -- UNT 41 (Hyder 12), ODU 39 (Kelley 14). Assists -- UNT 10 (Wynn 2, McCoy 2, Adams 3, Nelson 1, Christian 2), ODU 10 (Kelley 2, Minor 1, Goodhope 6, Younger 1). Total fouls -- UNT 20, ODU 17. Attendance: 578.