Roadrunners down Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday night, 52-40
SAN ANTONIO — Senior Simone Young scored all 13 of her points in the second half to help UTSA improve to 3-0 for the first time since the start of the 2007-08 season with a 52-40 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday night at the Convocation Center.
It is the second 3-0 mark to start a campaign under 13th-year head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair and the sixth overall in program history.
Young went 4-for-6 from the field and hit her lone 3-point attempt in the final 20 minutes to go along with a perfect 4-for-4 performance from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, seniors Cori Cooper and Lyndi Thorman and freshman Niaga Mitchell-Cole each contributed eight points.
Janae Blount paced the Islanders (0-3) with 10 points.
After trading baskets in the early going, UTSA got field goals from four different players during an 11-2 run that gave it a 14-6 lead.
Cooper started the spurt with an offensive rebound and layup before King hit a trey and junior Miki Turner connected inside. Following a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi basket, Cooper and freshman Mannasha Bell capped the stretch with back-to-back baskets.
Minutes later, Mitchell-Cole scored all eight of her points to fuel a 12-0 run that gave the Roadrunners their largest lead of the frame.
The San Antonio native hit a jumper and a pair of 3-pointers that was sandwiched around a two baskets by Thorman.
In all, UTSA made 11 of its first 22 shots and the advantage grew to 26-9 with 5:16 to go in the half.
However, the Islanders defense stiffened and Thorman’s basket proved to be the Birds' last before halftime.
Two free throws by Marquesha Anderson-Sparks started a 10-0 run over the final 4:48 of the stanza and that brought Texas A&M-Corpus Christi within seven (26-19) at intermission.
Both defenses dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half and Alisa Roberts’ layup with 11:50 to go cut the deficit to seven, 32-25.
However, that was as close as the Islanders got the rest of the night, as UTSA scored nine consecutive points for a 16-point cushion.
Young hit all four of her free throws, while Bell added a freebie and Thorman and sophomore Kamra King had baskets during the spurt.
The Birds matched their largest lead of the game twice in the final seven minutes, including a 52-35 advantage on Young’s 3-pointer with 2:42 to play.
UTSA shot 40.4 percent from the floor and held its opponent to under 30 percent (27.3) for the third consecutive game. The Birds also scored 29 points off 20 Islanders turnovers and held a 31-12 advantage in the paint.
The Roadrunners will be back in action on Sunday at Wichita State (1-1). Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.