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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA rally falls short at Southeastern Louisiana, 64-63

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HAMMOND, La. — UTSA used a 9-1 run to turn a seven-point deficit to a one-point lead with less than a minute to play, but Aja Gibson’s layup with 35 seconds left gave Southeastern Louisiana a 64-63 victory on Wednesday night at University Center.

Sophomore Judy Jones led the Roadrunners (7-15, 3-6 SLC) with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while senior Ashley Gardner nearly had a double-double of her own with 10 points and nine boards.

Kelli Jenkins paced four Lady Lions in double figures with a game-high 16 points.

UTSA led by as many as six in the early minutes of the second half before finding itself down by seven late.

Coming out of the final media timeout with 3:29 to play and trailing 61-54, freshman Kamra King started the run with a steal that led to a jumper by junior Cori Cooper. Jones added three free throws before Gardner’s jumper made it 62-61 with two-and-a-half minutes to play.

King briefly gave the Roadrunners a one-point lead with a layup before Gibson’s basket regained the Southeastern Louisiana (8-14, 3-6 SLC) advantage.

The Roadrunners had one final chance with 1.4 seconds to play, but Cooper’s 12-footer in the lane bounced off the back iron.

The squads traded baskets in the opening six minutes that saw the score tied four times. Coming off the bench for the first time this season, junior Whitney Wright scored four consecutive buckets to fuel a 10-2 run that gave UTSA an 18-10 lead with 9:41 on the clock.

Trailing 20-12, the Lady Lions reeled off an 11-0 stretch for a three-point advantage. Southeastern pushed the lead to five, 27-22, before a jumper by junior Lyndi Thorman and 3-pointer from fellow junior Simone Young knotted the score at 27 at halftime.

The game featured nine ties and nine lead changes. After being outrebounded in the first half, the Roadrunners finished the contest with a 48-35 edge on the glass.

UTSA will be back in action at 6 p.m. on Saturday when it will face Stephen F. Austin (15-7, 5-4 SLC) in Nacogdoches. The Roadrunners defeated the Ladyjacks, 50-46, on Jan. 14 in the Alamo City.

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