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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA outlasts Nicholls in double overtime, 73-63

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 02/21/2011
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA women’s basketball team relinquished a double-digit lead in the second half before outscoring Nicholls 11-1 in the second overtime to take a 73-63 victory on Saturday at the Convocation Center.

Senior Amber Gregg led four players in double figures with a game-high 22 points, a dozen of which came in the extra sessions. Fellow senior Ashleigh Franklin (13 points, 15 rebounds) and sophomore Lyndi Thorman (12 points, 10 rebounds) logged double-doubles for the Roadrunners (12-13, 8-4 SLC), who won their first double-overtime contest since 2007.

Ricshanda Bickham scored 17 points to lead the Colonels (8-17, 3-9 SLC).

UTSA scored 12 of the game's first 14 points by pounding the ball inside, as Thorman connected on four of her first five shots. The Roadrunners scored 14 of their first 19 points in the paint.

Nicholls began to chip away at the deficit and pulled within three (19-16) on Cassie Hearon’s jumper.

That would be as close as the Colonels would get in the half, as UTSA scored the next seven points to regain a double-digit advantage. Inside baskets by junior Ashley Gardner and Franklin, along with a 3-pointer from sophomore Jermini Malone, made it 26-16 with three minutes to play in the frame.

A running jumper by Gregg gave the Roadrunners their largest lead of the frame, 30-19, before an inside basket and buzzer-beating 3-pointer from KK Babin made it 30-24 at the break.

UTSA shot 53.8 percent from the floor while holding Nicholls to 28.6 percent and it outscored the Colonels 22-10 in the paint. However, Nicholls scored 10 points on 11 Roadrunners turnovers to keep pace.

UTSA led throughout the second half and held a their largest advantage of the afternoon, 50-38, with four minutes to play.

That's when the Colonels made a late charge and took their only lead of the game when Bickham’s layup made it 54-53 with 20 seconds remaining. The basket capped a 16-3 run that was aided by three turnovers by the Roadrunners.

That set the stage for the dramatic final possession of regulation that saw four offensive rebounds before Gardner drew a foul with less than a second on the clock. After missing the first free throw, she calmly sank the second to send UTSA into its first overtime game of the season.

The Roadrunners never trailed the rest of the way and took a five-point advantage on a pair of Gardner free throws with 3:37 to play in the first overtime. Nicholls once again stormed back and it tied the game on two Hearon freebies.

Each squad had a chance to win the contest in the final 30 seconds but neither could convert.

Babin’s free throw with two minutes remaining provided the only offense for the Colonels, while Gregg scored nine of UTSA’s 11 points to secure the hard-earned, 10-point victory.

Franklin tied a career high by playing all 50 minutes while Bickham and Babin each went the distance for Nicholls.

The Roadrunners are back in action on Wednesday when it takes on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-22, 0-11 SLC) at 7 p.m.

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