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Women’s basketball closes regular season with win
Tim Cato / Senior Staff Writer
The Mean Green women’s basketball will head to Hot Springs, Ark. on the heels of a win after closing out the regular season against Arkansas State University 53-51 on Wednesday.
Freshman forward Alexis Hyder’s 20 points and 18 rebounds led the way for UNT (11-18, 10-10), good for her eighth double-double of the year. It tied her with former player Jasmine Godbolt for the most double-doubles for a player in her freshman season in school history.
“I was trying to help our team end the losing at home,” Hyder said. “It had got out of hand. We were trying to get this win to feel good about ourselves going into the tournament.”
The victory over ASU (15-13, 12-7) broke a three-game losing streak and a five-game home losing streak and gave UNT 10 wins in conference for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
“We passed some mile posts today,” head coach Mike Petersen said. “Not the ones we had in mind when the season started, not the ones we had in mind three weeks ago when we were first in the division. Clearly, they’re not the ones we want, but they’re steps in the right direction.”
Celebrating her final home game, senior forward Sara Stanley grabbed seven rebounds and scored nine points, none more important that a three-pointer to tie the game at 43 in the middle of the second half. It was the third three-pointer she had hit the entire season.
“The three she hit was pretty big,” Petersen said. “I thought she played really well. I know early she was probably a little over-amped. She shot one of those balls and she had not caught it yet. But when she settled down, she gave us great post defense and rebounded well.”
The win was particularly important as the Mean Green prepares to head to Hot Springs next Friday for the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
“It definitely gave us a confidence boost,” junior guard Laura McCoy said. “We have more momentum going into the tournament.”
To win the tournament, the Mean Green will have to take four straight games against conference opponents. Petersen has full confidence in his team’s capability of winning it all.
“I always think we’ll win, I really do,” Petersen said. “The best team in our league is Middle [Tennessee State University], and we played them at their place in December and with 34 seconds left we were up one [point]. If we play well, bring them.”