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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Seattle holds off UTSA on Saturday night, 56-54

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 03/06/2013
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SEATTLE, Wash. — Ashley Ward’s layup with one-tenth of a second to play broke a 54-all tie and gave Seattle a 56-54 victory against UTSA on Saturday night.

Niaga Mitchell-Cole came off the bench to record the first double-double of her career with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Roadrunners (14-13, 8-8 WAC). Meanwhile, Ashley Spaletta and Miki Turner added 11 points each.

UTSA shot 33.9 percent for the contest, including a 40-percent clip in the second half, and outscored Seattle in the paint, 26-18.

Slyvia Shephard paced the Redhawks (17-9, 14-3) with 14 points before fouling out and Brenda Adhiambo added 10.

Seattle finished the game shooting 42.1 percent from the floor and held a 38-32 rebounding edge.

Trailing by two with 17 seconds left, Whitney York found Cori Cooper open for a layup to pull even.

However, the Redhawks crossed half court and called timeout with three-and-a-half seconds to go. After inbounding the ball, Ward took a quick pass from Kacie Sowell before driving in for the game-winning score.

UTSA erased a seven-point deficit midway through the second half with a 13-2 run to take its first lead, 36-32, with 11:33 to play.

Mannasha Bell got the run started with a layup before York hit a pair of free throws. Following a basket by Shephard, Spaletta connected from behind the arc and then tied the game at 32 with an offensive rebound and bucket.

The Roadrunners took their first lead of the contest with 12:32 remaining when Simone Young dished to Whitney Wright for a layup inside. Wright followed with another basket inside, this time from Kamra King, for UTSA’s largest lead of the game.

A pair of Maggie McCarthy free throws with 6:02 left gave Seattle a 40-39 advantage and it did not trail again.

The home squad’s lead ballooned to six with 3:59 to go, but Mitchell-Cole hit another three and a Spaletta free throw pulled UTSA to within two before Mitchell-Cole tied it with a steal and layup.

However, McCarthy hit a 3-pointer of her own and the Redhawks held a 52-47 lead with 1:11 to play.

UTSA struggled in the early minutes of the game, as it connected on just one of its first nine shots during Seattle's opening 14-0 run. The Roadrunners turned it over seven times during that stretch, while the Redhawks shot 63.6 percent (7-of-11), including two makes from behind the arc.

The Roadrunners turned up the defense, which helped fuel a 10-2 stretch that pulled the Roadrunners to within a half dozen at 16-10. Seattle went 0-for-6 from the field and committed four turnovers during that time.

Spaletta started the run with the first of three consecutive baskets for UTSA in the paint. King and Mitchell-Cole sandwiched inside buckets around a York free throw York and Mitchell-Cole capped the spurt with a 3-pointer from the corner.

UTSA's defense remained stout for the rest of the half, as the Redhawks managed just one field goal in the final 12-plus minutes.

The Roadrunners pulled to within two, 20-18, on York’s first 3-pointer of the season before Shephard ended a 10-minute, 27-second field-goal drought for Seattle with a layup.

A Ward free throw provided the final point of the half and the Redhawks took a 23-18 lead into the locker room.

UTSA will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, when it hosts San Jose State (11-16, 8-8 WAC) at the Convocation Center.

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