Old Dominion holds off UTSA on Wednesday night, 79-74
EL PASO — Miki Turner scored a game-high 22 points, but seventh-seeded Old Dominion held No. 15 seed UTSA to just a point over the final four minutes to slip past the Roadrunners, 79-74, on Wednesday night in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament at Memorial Gym.
Turner hit eight shots and added seven rebounds and three assists for the Roadrunners (14-17), who saw four players score in double figures.
One of those players was Kamra King, who finished with 12 points to become the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 points for her career. Tesha Smith also added a dozen, while Ashley Spaletta hit three 3-pointers en route to 10 points.
UTSA shot 40.6 percent from the floor and 76 percent (19-of-25) from the free-throw line.
Meanwhile, Shae Kelley led the Lady Monarchs (16-14) with 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Becca Allison added 14 and Galaisha Goodhope chipped in with 10.
Old Dominion, who now will face No. 2 seed Southern Mississippi on Thursday night in the quarterfinals, held a slim 42-40 edge on the glass and shot 43.3 percent for the game.
Trailing by three at halftime, UTSA stormed out of the gate with a 19-8 run to grab a 56-48 lead.
McKenzie Adams and Turner had back-to-back buckets to regain the lead for the Birds, who got baskets from six different players during the stretch. Spaletta’s third 3-pointer of the night capped the spurt, but Old Dominion would not go away.
The Lady Monarchs rattled off an 11-1 run of their own for a 59-57 lead and did not trail again the rest of the way.
The Roadrunners tied the score four times over the final 11 minutes, but they could not pull ahead for the second upset in as many nights.
Turner’s jumper with 4:05 to play tied the score at 73 and proved to be the last basket for UTSA, which managed just a Mannasha Bell free throw the rest of the way.
In the first half, UTSA got a boost at the free-throw line where it went 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) to stay with Old Dominion, which hit four 3-pointers and shot 51.6 percent from the field.
Both squads started the contest hot and the Lady Monarchs grabbed an 11-8 advantage by hitting four of their first seven attempts. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners opened with four makes in six attempts before going cold.
During that time, ODU jumped out to a 16-9 lead before UTSA rattled off a 10-2 run for its only lead of the period.
Smith started the spurt with a pair of free throws and added a basket inside after a jumper by Turner. The Birds then closed the run with four consecutive freebies from Turner and King for a 19-18 lead.
However, the lead was short lived, as the Lady Monarchs scored seven consecutive points as part of a 15-4 run en route to their largest lead of the stanza at 33-23.
Spaletta got the Roadrunners back in the game with back-to-back treys, the second of which came after being fouled and resulted in a four-point play. The Birds got as close as a basket down the stretch, but Old Dominion held a 40-37 cushion at halftime.