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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA tops Seattle on Thursday night for fourth consecutive win

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 01/25/2013
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SAN ANTONIO — Senior Whitney Wright led three Roadrunners in double figures with 12 points to help UTSA down Seattle, 65-55, on Thursday night at the Convocation Center. The win extended the Roadrunners’ winning streak to four games and it was the first Western Athletic Conference defeat for the league-leading Redhawks.

Junior Miki Turner came off the bench to register 11 points and four assists, while freshman Mannasha Bell finished with a season-high 10 points for UTSA (11-8, 5-3 WAC).

The Roadrunners shot 39.7 percent for the contest, including 48 percent in the second half. The UTSA defense did its part by forcing 26 turnovers, which the Birds converted into 23 points and the squad scored 28 points in the paint.

Meanwhile, Kacie Sowell netted a game-high 18 points for the Redhawks (10-7, 7-1 WAC), who saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end. Daidra Brown went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line en route to 16 points, while Sylvia Shephard finished with 10.

UTSA led 7-6 after trading points in the early minutes before going on a 13-0 run that gave it the lead for good.

Turner started the stretch with a long jumper and followed a Kamra King free throw with a 3-pointer for a 13-6 lead. The advantage continued when sophomore Ashley Spaletta, who finished with eight points to go along with a career-high five steals and four assists, connected on a triple and back-to-back buckets from Wright.

When the dust settled, the Roadrunners owned a 20-6 advantage and provided Seattle with its largest deficit in conference play.

However, the Redhawks responded by scoring 11 of the game’s next 14 points to trim the margin to 23-17 with 4:54 to go in the half. Seattle pulled to within six two more times before the end of the frame, but a short Wright jumper gave UTSA a 31-23 halftime lead.

Three consecutive buckets by the Roadrunners to start the second half pushed the advantage back to 37-23, but the Redhawks quickly cut the deficit in half with a 7-0 run.

Brown’s layup with 10:53 to play trimmed the UTSA lead to 43-38 before the Roadrunners scored nine of the next 10 points.

Senior Cori Cooper’s free throw started the spurt and it was followed by another Spaletta 3-pointer. Spaletta then found freshman Niaga Mitchell-Cole inside for a basket before senior Simone Young’s trifecta made it 52-39.

Seattle got no closer than 10 the rest of the way.

With UTSA holding an 11-point advantage, Turner drove to the basket for a layup and Spaletta grabbed an offensive rebound and scored for the Roadrunners largest lead of the night, 60-45, with 4:26 to play.

The Birds got 21 of their 34 second-half points from the bench, led by six from Turner. Cooper, Mitchell-Cole and Spaletta each finished with five points in the frame.

UTSA will host Idaho (8-11, 5-3 WAC) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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