Jan 30, 2013 11:44 PM by UL Sports Information

Mean Green Build off First Half Finish inVictory Over Cajuns

LAFAYETTE - North Texas scored the final nine points of the first half to break a tied contest, carried that momentum over into the start of the second half and the end result was a 64-46 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns women's basketball team here Wednesday evening at Earl K. Long Gym.

The Mean Green (8-13, 7-5 Sun Belt) used the nine-point spurt before intermission to take a 26-17 lead into the locker room. The visitors added another six unanswered in the first two minutes of the second half to create a comfortable margin, 33-17.

Boosted by a trio of three-pointers from Brandi Schambough, the Ragin' Cajuns (7-14, 1-11 Sun Belt) found an offensive spark and outscored NT 19-9 to cut the deficit to 42-36 with 9:32 remaining.

Schambough's third triple brought UL within single digits at 42-34, then Robbie Brown collected a steal and a layup at the 9:32 mark to drop the Mean Green's lead, which once was 16 points, down to six.

North Texas responded with a three-point play from Alexis Hyder at 9:05 to extend the lead to 45-36, then turned up the pressure on defense to turn away the hopes of a Cajuns comeback.

Louisiana had trouble with the North Texas full court press, turning the ball over four times and went a six-minute stretch after a Kia Wilridge basket at 8:31 without a point. During that time frame, the Mean Green used a 12-1 run to open a 20-point edge, 59-39.

The Cajuns were led by Ashley Benjamin's 10 points - the lone player on the team in double digits. By contrast, the Mean Green saw three players reach double digits led by a game-high 14 points from Hyder.

North Texas shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) in the second half in continuing to build upon its halftime lead and ended the night at 46.2 percent (24-of-52). Louisiana was unable to find a rhythm shooting the ball, finishing the night at 29 percent (18-of-62).

NT snapped a four-game losing streak at Earl K. Long Gym and completed the season sweep of UL (won 71-59 in Denton on Dec. 1).

The Ragin' Cajuns return to action on Saturday, Feb. 2 in Troy, Ala., facing the Trojans at 5:15 p.m. in Trojan Arena. The contest is the first half of a doubleheader with the Cajuns-Trojans men's teams.

The Cajuns and Mean Green swapped scores for the first four minutes of the contest and sat deadlocked at 6-all at the 15:37 mark.

An offensive lull hit both squads for the next six minutes, the Cajuns missing nine straight field goals and the Mean Green seven straight.

Desiree Nelson scored a basket at 8:51, the first field goal by either team since 15:37, to break the scoreless play and NT led 8-6. Jasmin Mills answered a minute later for UL with a jumper in the right wing at 7:45.

Nelson hit the game's first triple at 7:34 then a three-point play by Hannah Christian at 6:52 fueled a 6-2 Mean Green run that opened a 14-10 edge for the visitors.

Louisiana rallied from a five-point deficit, 17-12, to pull even in the three-minute mark. Keke Veal hit a trey from the left elbow at 3:55 and collected a steal and a layup after the media timeout to cap off a five-point spurt that drew the Cajuns even at 17-17.

The Cajuns were held scoreless the remainder of the opening stanza and the Mean Green rolled off nine unanswered points to gain breathing room heading into the break.


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