Tough loss for the UNT women

North Texas freshman guard Loryn Goodwin (35) takes off after picking up a steal in a loss to Florida Atlantic on Wednesda at the Super Pit. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

The UNT women’s basketball team has put itself in a loss than desirable position with a tough 73-60 loss to Florida Atlantic on Wednesday.

UNT is holding out hope that it can make a late run at the Sun Belt West Division title and a bye in the first round of the conference tournament and did itself no favors by blowing a 14-point first-half lead against the Owls, who had been going down the tubes in spectacular fashion over the last few weeks.

FAU had lost seven of its last eight since beating UNT earlier in the year and was just behind the Mean Green in the pecking order in the overall Sun Belt standings heading into tonight’s game. It seemed like that is where FAU would stay after UNT ran out to a 26-12 lead.

That is when the game blew up on UNT.

FAU went on a couple of key runs and turned the game around.

The Owls shot the lights out in the second half. FAU scored 49 points after the break, when the Owls went 8-for-13 from 3.

Alexis Hyder had a good night, posting a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds, but the Mean Green couldn’t keep up after halftime, when FAU outscored UNT 49-29.

UNT and FAU are now both 9-9 in Sun Belt play and in tie for sixth in the Sun Belt standings, but the Owls swept the season series. The top five teams get byes in the conference tournament. UNT was also two games behind both Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock in the loss column heading into the night. The two Arkansas schools are UNT’s main competition in the Sun Belt West Division race.

The road won’t get any easier the rest of the way for UNT, which had games left at South Alabama, which has a winning record, and at home against Arkansas State, which came into the night leading the SBC West.

UNT could have done a lot tonight to help its cause only to let the opportunity slip away.

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