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Arizona overcomes 17-point deficit, defeats women’s basketball team
Joshua Friemel / Sports Editor
In the first game of the women’s and men’s double header Wednesday night, the Mean Green women’s basketball team fell 71-66 to Arizona after giving up a season-high 54 points in the second half.
UNT (1-5) went into the half with a 34-17 lead, and head coach Mike Petersen said he talked with the team at halftime about how it would have to not stay complacent with the lead.
But Arizona (4-2) came out in the second half and “shoved that ball right down our throats,” Petersen said.
“We didn’t rebound the ball, we didn’t contest shots, we had bad transition defense and didn’t get back,” he said, talking about UNT’s performance in the second half. “It wasn’t just one thing. It was a buffet out there. There’s a lot of stuff to pick from.”
Last night’s game was the first time since 1988 and the second time in school history that a Pac-12 school had come to play in the Super Pit. Junior guard Laura McCoy has faced and lost to Arizona twice in her career, with the most recent loss coming last year in Arizona.
“The loss is a bummer for this team, and it’s a bummer for the younger girls,” she said. “I don’t think they quite understand how big of a win that would have been.”
In the first half, the Mean Green scored 21 points off 13 Arizona turnovers. However, in the second half, UNT only scored three points off turnovers while allowing 15 points off its own 23 turnovers.
Petersen went on to say that he likes his team, but that its youth is no longer an excuse for close losses at this point of the season. On the roster, the team has seven underclassmen.
“Mature teams and mature competitors don’t ride the rollercoaster, and we rode that rollercoaster tonight,” he said. “Tonight, we rode it too long going down. The ride up was fun, but the ride down wants to make you throw up.”
In the five losses this season, the team has now lost four of those games by five points or less.
Freshman forward Loryn Goodwin, who had a team-high 16 points to go along with six steals, said the team needs to keep its poise in late game situations when the game is close.
“I think playing scared is a part of it, too,” she said. “Somebody has to step up and compete. This is basketball. We’re supposed to compete all the time, from the start of the game to the end.”
Goodwin went on to say that once the team “gets past being tired, that’s when we’ll start winning games.”
The Mean Green will play next against its first conference opponent of the season in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Super Pit.