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Hyder’s late basket pushes Mean Green over FIU
Tim Cato / Senior Staff Writer
The game went down to the wire, but the UNT women’s basketball team extended its win streak to five games Thursday night with a 70-68 defeat of Florida International University.
Two of the Mean Green’s freshmen, forward Alexis Hyder and guard Loryn Goodwin, shined for the Mean Green (7-10, 6-2). Hyder hit a layup to take the lead with 25.2 seconds left in the game, recording 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks on the night.
“We really needed this win, and also for the next game coming up,” Goodwin said. “We are showing more maturity and poise. We’re stepping up more. We’re growing up. Alexis and I know we have to step up.”
Head coach Mike Petersen said he saw growth in the whole team, not only in the two freshmen.
“Our team’s maturing over the course of time, which is good because frankly, some teams never do that,” he said. “I think it’s a pretty good indication that we’ve kind of figured out how to keep playing and fighting.”
UNT’s defense agitated the Panthers (10-7, 4-4) all night, forcing 15 steals while often utilizing the aggressive full-court press defense, which the coaches introduced this season. Goodwin tallied four steals to go with 19 points and six rebounds.
The Mean Green defense also limited FIU junior guard Jerica Coley to 15 points on 33% shooting. Coming into the game, she was averaging 23.8 point a game, good for third best in the NCAA.
The Mean Green will be put to the test again on Saturday against another Sun Belt Conference opponent, Florida Atlantic University (9-7, 6-2). FAU was perfect against conference teams until losing consecutive games last weekend.
“Florida Atlantic plays a little bit like us,” Petersen said. “They want to go up and down. They want to dictate tempo. We’ll have to go on the road and play really well.”
Junior guard Laura McCoy said she feels the team has a lot of confidence from its winning stretch, but knows the Owls will be yet another challenge.
“FAU pressures for the whole game so we’re going to have to care of that,” she said.
The game tips off at 2 p.m. on Saturday from the FAU Arena in Boca Raton, Fla.