McCoy shoots North Texas to 50-42 win over WKU

Brad Stephens

Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles had the three-point shooting of North Texas guard Laura McCoy circled in WKU’s scouting report.

McCoy came into Wednesday’s game against Cowles’ WKU squad shooting 69 percent of her shots from behind 3-point line.

She used the trey to kill the Lady Toppers Wednesday night, scoring 18 points on six threes in a Mean Green 50-42 win in the Super Pit in Denton, Texas.

The loss was the eighth for WKU (5-11, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) in eight road games in 2011-2012.

Cowles told WKU’s Big Red Radio Network after the game that her team’s defense of McCoy was “undisciplined.”

“We cannot allow one young lady to shoot the three like that,” Cowles said. “That’s what got us beat tonight.”

Many of the perimeter shots hit by McCoy were uncontested, most notably her sixth and final made three-pointer at the 4:38 mark, which put North Texas up 44-38.

“We stepped away from her to help on scheme-side drive, which is not in our defensive scheme,” Cowles said. “Then with the shot clock going down, instead of pressuring her when she gave up her dribble, we took two steps away from her with our hands down by our side and gave her her sixth wide open 3.

“That right there will get us beat every time we step onto the floor.”

Senior forward Keshia Mosley pulled the Lady Toppers within four on their next possession with a jumper, but that was as close as WKU got the remainder of the game.

Mean Green forward Jasmine Godbolt, North Texas’ leading scorer coming into Wednesday, scored four of her 16 points in the closing stages to put the Lady Toppers away, 50-42.

WKU struggled offensively in the Super Pit, going just 2-of-12 from the 3-point line and 6-of-13 at the free throw line.

But Cowles still said the difference in the game was her team’s inability to cover McCoy.

“She’s only shooting about 26 percent on the season, but when you look at what percentage of her shots are threes, 69 percent of them are,” Cowles said. “So that right there tells you she can shoot it and they have faith in her and they allow her to shoot it.

“We knew all that and we were extremely undisciplined with one kid.”

McCoy hit four of her three-pointers in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Her fourth put North Texas up 21-5 with 8:54 to play in the first half.

But the Mean Green went ice cold near the end of the half and were shut out for the last 5:36 before halftime.

WKU took advantage of North Texas’ drought and finished the half on a 9-0 run.

The run included two layups by freshman guard Alexis Govan and a 3 from sophomore guard Ellen Sholtes to cut the deficit to 23-17 at half.

The Lady Toppers carried the momentum into the second half, taking the lead one two separate occasions (27-26 and 35-34).

But Godbolt and McCoy had the answer each time for North Texas.

The pair combined for 34 points on Wednesday night.

No other Mean Green player had more than six points.

Mosley led the Lady Toppers with eight points. Meanwhile senior center Jasmine Johnson, freshman forward Chastity Gooch and Sholtes all tallied six points apiece.

With the loss Wednesday, WKU saw its first two-game winning streak of the season coming to an end.

The Lady Toppers will next play at 4:30 p.m. Sunday against Denver.

While there, they will try to win their first road game of the season, a feat they didn’t accomplish Wednesday in large part to the shooting of Laura McCoy.

Said Cowles: “I’m not so sure we didn’t deserve to get beat with how undisciplined we were with that one kid.”