NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College women’s basketball team dropped its third straight Saturday afternoon, falling to North Texas, 66-55. The Gaels hit Just 1-for-15 from beyond the arc while the Mean Green converted on 40% of their outside shots and 47.9% from the floor overall.
North Texas started the game hitting its first six shots, opening up a 15-8 lead come the first media time out. Senior Karynda DuPree picked up an early second foul in the first quarter, leading to an eventual 12-2 run in favor of the Mean Green.
After the first quarter, North Texas held a 19-14 lead. The Mean Green extended its lead to 26-16 three minutes into the second quarter, forcing a Maroon & Gold time out. The Gaels closed the half well to bring themselves within eight at halftime. Sophomore Alexis Lewis and DuPree combined for 18 of Iona’s 24 first half points.
The Gaels opened up the second half on a quick 6-2 run, bringing the deficit to within four points. North Texas didn’t score its first second half bucket until over four minutes had passed. Not faltering after the score, a quick assist from freshman Tori Lesko to Lewis on the block forced the Mean Green to take a timeout with its leading having dwindled to 34-30.
Both teams went on a scoring drought midway through the third after the break in play. Senior Marina Lizarazu broke the scoreless streak with a steal and fast break layup to bring the Gaels within three. The Mean Green answered with an old-fashioned three-point play and three-point bucket bring its lead back to eight. North Texas ended the third period with a 44-36 advantage.
Gaels offensive fluidity took a hit in the fourth quarter while North Texas continued to plug along. Up by eight, the Mean Green went on a 7-0 run over a two-minute stretch to give themselves a game-high 15-point cushion with 5:15 to go.
Over the last three minutes, the Maroon & Gold made a couple late pushes to get within eight points. The comeback attempts were stopped by a back-breaking North Texas three with 39 seconds remaining.
Lewis scored a career-high 24 points in the loss. She broke her previous career-high of 22 set last year against the Mean Green in the Hynes Center. Lizarazu finished with 15 points, four assists and three steals. She also committed a season-high seven turnovers.
DuPree put home 11 points, her second straight double-digit scoring effort. Lesko had a career-high four steals and two assists.
Iona committed 20 turnovers, leading to 17 points of turnovers for North Texas. The Mean Green held the edge in points in the paint, 30-28, and fast break points, 9-6. The Gaels shot a season worst 6.7% from beyond the arc, and 50% from the free throw line.
The all-time series between North Texas and Iona is now tied, 1-1. The Gaels record is now 2-3.
The Maroon & Gold concludes its three-game road swing on Wednesday, Nov. 30 against VCU. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM.