King basket with six seconds left sends Roadrunners to second consecutive victory
RUSTON, La. — Kamra King scored a game-high 16 points including an offensive rebound and basket with three seconds left that lifted UTSA to a 51-50 win at Louisiana Tech on Saturday night in front of 2,338 fans at Thomas Assembly Center.
The Roadrunners, who won their third consecutive road game for the first time since the 2008-09 season, improved to 9-8 overall and 3-3 in Western Athletic Conference play.
UTSA got nine points from sophomore Ashley Spaletta and freshman Mannasha Bell, who added eight rebounds and a pair of steals to her season-high point total.
The Birds shot 36 percent for the contest and limited the Lady Techsters (7-8, 3-2 WAC) to 19 percent in the first half en route to handing them their second home loss of the campaign.
The Lady Techsters were led by Whitney Frazier and Jelena Vucinic, who both scored nine points.
A steal and layup by Kanedria Andrews with 39 seconds to play gave Louisiana Tech a 50-49 advantage. After a UTSA turnover, the Roadrunners got the ball back on the alternating possession after tying up Kelia Shelton with 17 seconds on the clock.
Senior Whitney York’s jumper with six seconds left was off the mark, but classmate Whitney Wright tipped the loose ball to King. The Norman, Okla., native quickly went to the basket and banked in the game-winner.
The Lady Techsters had one final shot, but Lulu Perry’s desperation heave at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim and the Roadrunners left the court with a 3-1 record in conference road games.
The Birds outscored Louisiana Tech 9-4 to start the second half and saw their six-point halftime lead increase to 11 (33-22) with 17:37 to go on one of Spaletta’s three 3-pointers.
However, eight consecutive points from the Lady Techsters made it 33-30 and a Shelton triple with 9:38 left capped a 9-0 run that gave Louisiana Tech its first lead since early in the first half.
Neither team had more than a three-point lead during the final 11 minutes.
Louisiana Tech opened the game with a layup before Louisiana native Jermini Malone’s 3-pointer gave UTSA its first lead. Trailing 6-5, the Roadrunners scored eight consecutive points to start a 12-3 run that gave the visitors a 17-9 advantage.
Junior Miki Turner drove into the lane for a bucket inside that was followed by three consecutive points from Bell. King pushed the advantage to seven with one of her two 3-pointers on the night only to see the Lady Techsters claw to within four at the free-throw line.
However, Bell responded with a layup and jumper for the Birds’ largest lead of the half.
Louisiana Tech continued to cut into the deficit at the charity stripe and a pair of freebies pulled the home squad within two, 17-15, but senior Jalisa Montgomery scored back-to-back baskets to help UTSA to a 24-18 lead.
The Roadrunners held their opponent to less than 20 points in a half for the 13th time this year and was able to outscore Louisiana Tech 14-4 in the paint during the opening stanza.
UTSA will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 19, when it travels to I-35 rival Texas State (7-9, 1-5). Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. at Strahan Coliseum.