DENTON, Texas -
It is not always how fast you start but how strong you finish.
The Trojans outscored the Mean Green 4-0 in the final 1:30
of the first half and 7-0 in the final three minutes of the game as UALR (13-7,
6-6 Sun Belt) edged North Texas (7-13, 6-5 SBC) Saturday at the Super Pit in
Trailing 48-45 with three minutes left, UALR junior Taylor Ford went to work. After North Texas
hit a pair from the line for the three-point advantage, Ford hit a triple on a
pass from sophomore Ka'Nesheia Cobbins with
the shot clock winding down to tie the game with 2:35 left. UALR forced a stop
and a jumper from the right elbow by Ford gave UALR the lead. Both teams
exchanged a possession with North Texas forcing a shot clock violation with
16.2 seconds left. BreAnna Dawkins missed with five ticks on the clock and sophomore
Taylor Gault picked up the rebound and
went coast-to-coast to put UALR up 52-48 with 0.9 left. A desperate heave by
the home team fell way short as the Trojans claimed the hard-fought road
UALR also used a strong end of the first half to take
momentum into the locker room. Down nine with one minute left, Clark hit a
jumper from Cobbins to bring the visitors within seven. After a defensive
stand, Cobbins found freshman Jakeisha Wells to bring UALR within 26-21 at the break.
The Trojans shot 43.8 percent (21-48) for the game, holding
the Mean Green to 36.7 percent (18-49). However, the big difference from the Jan.
9 was from three-point range. After shooting 52.6 percent (10-19) from downtown
in Little Rock, North Texas could not get going and only made 2-15 (13.3
percent) from range. However, The Mean Green answered back with 17 points off
of 17 UALR turnovers.
Individually, UALR junior Hannah Fohne led all scorers with 13 points on 6-10 shooting from
the field. She and freshman Shanity James led the team with six boards. Ford reached double-digits with 10
points, scoring half in the final three minutes of the game.
Alexis Hyder led the Mean Green with 11 points and eight
boards. Laura McCoy, who recorded 23 on 6-7 shooting from downtown the first
meeting, was held to four points on 1-5 shooting from range.
North Texas scored the first bucket of the game before James
quickly tied it up on a mid-range, baseline jumper. She then split from the
line to give UALR its only lead of the first half.
Up 6-5 with less than 16 minutes left in the first half,
North Texas went on its own 7-0 run over the next six minutes to open an
eight-point lead. Hyder hit a pair from the line and Sara Stanley hit a lay-up
as the Mean Green doubled-up the Trojans through the first seven minutes of the
game. Hyder hit a layup and Loryn Goodwin split from the line as NT took a 13-5
edge with 10:48 left in the first half. UALR trailed by as much as nine before
the four unanswered before the break brought the Trojans within 26-21.
UALR started quick in the second half, but North Texas had
an answer to push the lead back up to eight. After both teams traded baskets to
begin the half, Fohne hit a mid-range off a pass from Cobbins before Ford made
a theft and hit a sophomore Kiera Clark hustling down the court for the fastbreak layup. UALR forced a miss and hit Fohne on an in-bounds play as UALR took a 29-28
lead with 18 minutes left in the game.
With North Texas holding a slim 32-31 advantage, it looked
like it exerted control of the game with another 7-0 run. Dawkins hit a jumper
before McCoy hit her only triple of the game. Dawkins capped the spurt as NT
UALR had the last laugh, tightening up the defense and
out-scoring the home team 21-9 over the final 11:57. Down 41-33, Gault scored
her first points of the game to cut it to three. She started with a fastbreak
jumper, followed by a theft and the ensuing layup. She split from the line and
cut it to 41-38 with 8:22 left. North Texas held the advantage over the next
five minutes, but it was a 7-0 run by UALR to finish the game that gave the
Trojans the critical road conference victory.
UALR steps out of conference on Wednesday (Jan. 30) when it
hosts Louisiana Tech for the annual "WBCA Think Pink game." Tip-off is
scheduled for 7 p.m.