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Women’s basketball falls after an early lead
Ryne Gannoe / Senior Staff Writer
Though the Mean Green stormed out to a 13-point lead early in the first half, the offense stagnated while Middle Tennessee State University capitalized, ultimately finishing off UNT 60-47.
The Sun Belt Conference East Division leading Blue Raiders (14-5, 9-1) took the lead for the first time three minutes into the second half and held on until the final buzzer.
“The past couple games we’ve been playing like that,” freshman guard Loryn Goodwin said. “We come out on fire and start out on top. It’s just that we have to keep that up the whole game.”
Middle Tennessee snagged 12 more rebounds than UNT, including a 14-rebound performance by senior forward Ebony Rowe. The Mean Green (7-12, 6-3) allowed 21 offensive rebounds, which MTSU converted into 16 second-chance points. Rowe also finished the night with 22 points.
Only four MTSU players contributed points, including a game-leading 23 points by senior guard Kortni Jones.
Goodwin kept pace with the other leading scorers, scoring 21 points for UNT. Junior guard Laura McCoy was the only Mean Green player in double figures with 10.
Head coach Mike Petersen said the team losing its composure on offense was his fault as the coach.
“I thought they did a very good job of disrupting us offensively and I don’t think we handled it well at all,” Petersen said. “For the first time all season I think we came apart offensively.”
UNT’s offense only scored 17 points and averaged 18.5 percent shooting in the second half, less than half of the Mean Green’s first half percentage.
McCoy said the team needs to refocus in practice and prepare themselves mentally.
“When we were going stretches without scoring, we definitely got frustrated and we need to work on that too,” she said.
Looking ahead to Little Rock
Next, UNT faces the University of Arkansas-Little Rock at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Super Pit. This will be the teams’ second meeting this season.
The first meeting with UALR (12-7, 5-6) ended with a 68-65 Mean Green victory and put UNT into first place in the SBC West Division. The Mean Green is trying to avoid its third three-game losing streak of the season.