North Texas Daily

Petersen finds first win at New Mexico tournament

Petersen finds first win at New Mexico tournament

November 26
22:32 2012

Ryne Gannoe / Senior Staff Writer

The Mean Green women’s basketball team earned its first win under head coach Mike Petersen on Sunday. The 72-71 double-overtime win came in the team’s second game of the New Mexico tournament versus St. Bonaventure (3-3).

UNT (1-4) fought its way back from a 19-point deficit in the first half. The Mean Green then had the ball with 13 seconds left in regulation in a tie game, but junior guard Laura McCoy missed her shot, sending the game into overtime.

The team only made 25.9 percent of its 27 first half shots. In the second half, UNT would increase its accuracy by almost double, making 15 of 28 shots.

“We don’t give in,” Petersen said. “We’re 0-4 and down 19 in the first half away from home. Man, there’s a lot of people that would be ordering the post game meal and get out of there. This group just didn’t. They just kept playing and kept grinding.”

Freshman forward Alexis Hyder, who leads the Mean Green in rebounding and blocks, scored a team-high 15 points. She also made all six shots from the floor while down nine rebounds. Hyder said the first win helps develop team chemistry.

“Coming back from 19, I think it’s creating more of a bond because we know how to fight together,“ she said. “We did not want to live New Mexico without a win.”

Even though the team started the season on a four-game losing streak, Petersen said he’s happy with how his team has been playing. UNT has only lost one game by more than five points.

“I wasn’t disappointed in our team at all in our first four games at all,” Petersen said. “I was disappointed for them. The four teams we’ve lost to have a combined win-loss record of 18-3.”

While Sunday’s win was the high point of the season so far, Saturday’s loss to the University of New Mexico (5-1) was the low. UNT trailed by only four at the half, but lost 81-59. New Mexico redshirt junior Deeva Vaughn scored 23 points against the Mean Green. Lobos senior Jourdan Erskine grabbed 18 rebounds compared to UNT’s total of 27 boards.

New Mexico’s head coach Yvonne Sanchez said Erskine is recovering from the flu and an ankle injury, but that she obviously didn’t need excuses.

“She is an absolute monster,” Sanchez said. “It was a career-high for her. I don’t know of anyone else that has gotten 18 rebounds but that makes a huge impact, because outrebounding them 50-27 was really big, and most of that was in the second half.”

Next, the Mean Green face the University of Arizona (4-2) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at home in the Super Pit. This is the first time in two weeks UNT will play at home.

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