SAN ANTONIO — UTSA used a 14-3 run midway through the second half to pull away for a 72-58 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday night to give Roadrunners head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair her 200th victory with the program.
Already the school’s all-time winningest coach, Rippetoe-Blair improved her overall record to 307-200, while her mark at UTSA moved to 200-156. The win also snapped the Roadrunners’ seven-game losing streak, as they improved to 8-18 overall and 4-9 in Southland Conference play.
“I thought we played extremely well in the second half,” said Rippetoe-Blair, who is in her 12th season with the program. “Any time you knock down shots against a zone defense, you have a good chance. We knocked them out of the zone in the first half, but they went back to it more in the second half. Ashley Gardner did a good job of knocking down shots against that zone.”
Junior Cori Cooper led four Roadrunners in double figures with a game-high 17 points. Freshman Kamra King chipped in 16, while senior Ashley Gardner netted 15. Sophomore Judy Jones added 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.
“Cori had a great night,” Rippetoe-Blair said. “We gave her the ball with good opportunities to put it in the basket. Cori brings a lot of energy to this team. She is an emotional player who leaves it all on the floor.”
Myeisha Myles led the Islanders (8-18, 4-9 SLC) with 13 points.
The score was tied three times early in the second half and UTSA led by just three, 50-47, with 10 minutes to play before their 14-3 spurt.
Gardner hit three consecutive 3-pointers, which were followed by a trey from King for a 62-49 advantage. The Roadrunners' lead never dipped below 10 from there and another King 3-pointer gave UTSA a 15-point edge with two-and-a-half minutes remaining.
The Roadrunners’ defense did its part in the second half by holding Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to just 32.1 percent shooting from the floor and forcing 11 turnovers. UTSA turned those 11 miscues to 14 points and finished the contest with 22 off 19 turnovers.
The Roadrunners jumped out to an early 10-2 lead that included eight points in the paint. Gardner started the run with a layup, which was followed by inside baskets from Cooper and King.
However, the Islanders began to heat up from the field and outscored UTSA 32-23 the rest of the half. Their advantage grew to as much as nine before UTSA countered with a 14-4 stretch to regain the lead, 33-32, just before the end of the period. Three more baskets in the paint along with King’s second 3-pointer put the Roadrunners up before a pair of free throws from Jessica Jammer gave AMCC a one-point halftime advantage.
UTSA returns to action on Saturday when it travels to San Marcos to take on I-35 rival Texas State (15-11, 7-6 SLC) in a 2 p.m. contest.