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Women's basketball: Lady Techsters eliminate Mean Green

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Staff and wire reports

EL PASO — Louisiana Tech jumped all over North Texas in the opening moments of a first-round game at the Conference USA tournament on Tuesday night.

UNT never quite found a way to recover and fell 77-59 at Memorial Gym, ending the Mean Green’s first season as a member of C-USA.

Louisiana Tech scored the game’s first six points, led by as many as 21 and cruised into the second round, where the Lady Techsters will face Charlotte at 6 p.m. today.

“They really did a good job of dictating the game from the very beginning and had us on our heels on both ends from,” UNT coach Mike Petersen said. “Usually our energy is pretty good, but it wasn’t great at the start of the game and went in and out. Then they started hitting shots and we didn’t do enough to convince them to not make shots.”

Hannah Christian scored career-high 15 points and Briesha Wynn added 14 for UNT (12-18). The Mean Green entered the tournament as the No. 11 seed and was looking to avenge a late-season loss to Louisiana Tech, the No. 14 seed.

Chrisstasia Walter scored 18 points to lead five players who finished in double figures for Louisiana Tech (11-19).

UNT struggled offensively and shot just 31 percent (22-for-71) from the field and made just four of its 31 3-point attempts.

“We had a lot of good looks early that didn’t go in,” Petersen said. “Basketball is a make-miss game. When you miss, that is a problem.”

It was a big problem for UNT, which found itself facing a Louisiana Tech zone that was packed into the lane.

“At some point you are going to have to score in transition and beat the zone back or make a couple of jump shots,” Petersen said.

UNT’s key shooters couldn’t get anything to fall. Janis Peterson went 1-for-8 from beyond the arc, while Laura McCoy missed all five of her 3-point attempts.

Christian helped make up for some of UNT’s struggles with one of the best performances of her career.

“I just wanted to win,” Christian said. “I didn’t realize how much I shot until now when I looked at the stat sheet. I guess I could have made a couple more.”

UNT pulled to within 12-10 after its slow start on a free throw from Alexis Hyder but went into halftime down 36-29.

Louisiana Tech quickly pushed its lead to double figures and led by as many as 21 while gradually pulling away from UNT, which experienced an up-and-down year.

The Mean Green upset UTEP, which finished third in the C-USA standings and is 23-6 entering the conference tournament, and competed well against some of the league’s top teams.

Several chances for other key wins slipped away. A loss in the opening round of the conference tournament was another key setback for the Mean Green.

“Overall, it’s one of those years where we made progress, but our record isn’t going to show it,” Petersen said. “It ended really disappointingly. This is not the effort and performance we wanted, but for the most part, this group competed very well and played very well against good teams. We just didn’t close games.

“This group will have most of its main parts back and learned a lot.”


Louisiana Tech 77, North Texas 59

LOUISIANA TECH (11-19) — Frazier 3-10 4-6 10, Langston 1-2 0-0 2, Jackson 5-9 1-1 13, Shelton 3-5 4-4 13, Walter 5-11 8-9 18, Vucinic 0-2 0-0 0, Jefferson 0-2 0-0 0, Andrews 0-0 0-1 0, Perry 4-9 5-7 15, Chenevert 0-0 0-4 0, Moten 1-1 0-0 2, Hall 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 24-55 22-32 77.

NORTH TEXAS (12-18) — Wynn 6-13 2-2 14, Hyder 3-8 2-4 8, McCoy 0-5 0-0 0, Peterson 2-11 2-2 7, Nelson 1-8 3-4 5, Christian 6-18 0-0 15, Evans 2-2 1-1 5, Jeter 0-1 0-0 0, Ellison 1-2 0-0 2, Darrington 1-3 1-2 3, Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-71 11-15 59.

Halftime — Louisiana Tech 36-29. Three-point goals — Louisiana Tech 7-16 (Frazier 0-2, Jackson 2-4, Shelton 3-4, Walter 0-2, Perry 2-4). UNT 4-31 (Wynn 0-4, Hyder 0-1, McCoy 0-5, Peterson 1-8, Nelson 0-1, Christian 3-12). Fouled out — Hyder, Nelson. Rebounds — Louisiana Tech 48 (Walter 11), UNT 41 (Wynn 9). Assists — Louisiana Tech 11 (Walter 11), UNT 8 (Christian 4). Total fouls — Louisiana Tech 18, UNT 25. A – NA.