Second-half rally propels Idaho past Roadrunners on Thursday, 65-53
MOSCOW, Idaho — Idaho broke a 39-39 tie late in the second half with an 11-2 run that propelled the Vandals to a 65-53 victory against UTSA on Thursday night at Cowan Spectrum.
Ashley Spaletta led the Roadrunners (14-12, 8-7 WAC), who shot 27.1 percent in the contest, with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists off the bench. Kamra King added nine points and UTSA got seven apiece from Miki Turner and Whitney York.
Meanwhile, Alyssa Charlston netted a game-high 22 points for the Vandals (13-14, 8-7 WAC).
York hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 39 with 6:28 to play before Idaho went on its run.
Christina Salvatore started the spurt with a 3-pointer and Charlston scored on a layup and jumper for a 46-39 edge.
Lyndi Thorman slowed the momentum briefly with an offensive rebound and layup, but Ali Forde scored twice inside for a 50-41 advantage. A bucket by King was followed by a freebie from Forde and a Connie Ballestero layup that pushed the advantage to 53-43 and the Vandals led by double digits the rest of the way.
UTSA started fast and never trailed in the first half.
Whitney Wright got the offense going with a pair of jumpers, from 12 and 17 feet, and a pair of King free throws quickly gave the visitors a 6-0 lead.
However, the Vandals rallied with three inside baskets from Charlston, Forde and Salvatore to tie the score.
The Roadrunners responded with nine consecutive points for a 15-6 lead only to see Idaho match the run and again tie the game.
King ignited the UTSA run with a jumper that was followed by an Spaletta 3-pointer, which was the Roadrunners’ only make from long distance in the half. The Magnolia, Ark., native then converted a steal into a fast-break layup and Niaga Mitchell-Cole capped the spurt with a layup.
Spaletta broke the 15-all tie with a layup that started an 11-2 stretch. UTSA scored three more buckets inside during the run, which gave the Roadrunners a 26-17 lead with 2:28 to play before halftime.
However, Idaho scored the final seven points of the stanza to pull to within two, 26-24, at the break.
The Vandals took their first lead, 31-30, on Krissy Karr’s 3-pointer with 15:27 to play.
UTSA will be back in action at 9 p.m. (CT) on Saturday when it faces league-leading Seattle (16-9, 13-3 WAC).