SAN ANTONIO — McKenzie Adams scored a career-high 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting Wednesday evening to help UTSA come back from a nine-point first half deficit and claim its first Conference USA victory against Charlotte, 61-60, at the Convocation Center.
The C-USA Volleyball Player of the Year scored 10 points in each half in only her sixth game of basketball since her junior year of high school. Miki Turner joined Adams in double figures with 10 while Kamra King and Mannasha Bell each tallied eight.
Ny Hammonds and Gabby Taylor led the way for Charlotte with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Entering the game on a two-game skid, the Roadrunners fell behind early as the Niners controlled the ball at the outset building a 19-10 lead at the 9:20 mark of the opening half capped by Hillary Sigmon’s 3-pointer.
Following a timeout UTSA exploded for one its most productive spurts of the season with a 14-3 run to regain the lead, 24-22, with 5:37 left in the half. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Ashley Spaletta and Niaga Mitchell-Cole ignited the run and were followed by two buckets each from Adams and Bell.
Charlotte regained some of its lost momentum over the final four minutes of the half to take a 30-28 lead into halftime.
The two teams traded baskets out of the break until the Birds broke open a 34-34 game with a 10-0 run getting four points each from Adams and King. Mitchell-Cole extended the Roadrunners lead to a game-high 11 points, 52-41, a couple minutes later converting a layup off a nice feed from Mathilde Hergott.
Facing a double-digit deficit, Charlotte answered with a 12-0 blitz to regain the lead, 53-52, on Hammonds layup with 5:42 left in the contest.
That’s when UTSA leaned on its two very different seniors. Turner, a 5-7 point guard and returning leader got things started with an easy right-handed finish at the rim to give UTSA the lead back. Then it was Adams turn, the 6-3 forward and volleyball standout breaking out on the basketball hardwood for the first time, breaking up a 57-all tie with a jumper to give the Roadrunners the lead for good.
Charlotte had one final attempt to win the game but Hammonds left-handed scoop went in-and-out with two-seconds remaining and Spaletta snatched the rebound to finish off the Roadrunners first C-USA victory.
UTSA will travel to North Texas (7-9, 1-2 C-USA) on Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest.