Roadrunners rally for 74-65 triumph against I-35 rival Texas State on Saturday
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, but a 21-2 run sandwiched around halftime gave the Roadrunners a 74-65 victory against I-35 rival Texas State on Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
Simone Young and Whitney Wright each scored 14 points for UTSA (14-11, 8-6 WAC), which recorded their biggest comeback since a Jan. 28, 2009, win at Texas State in which the Birds also trailed by 17 points. Kamra King added with 13 points and a half dozen assists.
Wright added five rebounds and three blocks to set the school’s all time swats record. The Springer, Okla., native came into the contest tied with Alysse Davis atop the charts and she now has 101 career blocks.
UTSA shot 50.9 percent (28-of-55) for the game, including a 57.7 (15-of-26) percent clip in the second half. The Birds held a 42-30 edge in the paint and got 32 points from their bench.
Meanwhile, Diamond Ford paced the Bobcats (9-15, 3-11) with a game-high 20 points.
Texas State shot 56.1 percent overall, including 77.3 percent (17-of-22) in the opening half, but it cooled to just 31.6 percent after intermission.
The Bobcats started the contest on fire, connecting on each of their first eight attempts from the floor and followed their first misses with four consecutive makes for a 28-14 lead.
Later in the half, a Lyndi Thorman layup cut the deficit to 35-23 before Ayriel Anderson hit a 3-pointer and Ashley Ezeh scored inside for a 40-23 advantage with 2:16 to go.
However, UTSA held Texas State scoreless the rest of the half and started its decisive run with 10 consecutive points to trim the halftime deficit to 40-33.
Miki Turner ignited the stretch with a triple and Young added a jumper and another long-ball to trim the Bobcats’ lead to single digits.
Niaga Mitchell-Cole then followed with a pair of freebies for the seven-point margin at the break.
UTSA kept the offense rolling in the second half and started the period with a 3-pointer from King and Whitney York’s steal and fast break layup made it 40-38.
Ford slowed the rally momentarily with a pair of free throws, but the Birds scored the next six points to take their first lead of the contest. King capped the spurt with a trey for a 44-42 advantage and UTSA did not trail the rest of the way.
The Bobcats tied the score twice, including at 46-all, but the Roadrunners scored nine of the next 11 for a 55-48 lead.
Ashley Spaletta’s 3-pointer with 6:41 to play pushed the advantage to double-digits, 63-51, and the lead dipped below 10 just twice in the final 1:30.
UTSA now will take a 12-day break and not be back in action again until Thursday, Feb. 28, when it faces Idaho.