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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA picks up fifth consecutive victory in Holiday Classic opener

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 12/28/2013
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA women’s basketball extended its season-high winning streak to five games Saturday with a 79-68 victory over North Dakota State on the opening day of the UTSA Holiday Classic in the Convocation Center.

Kamra King led the Roadrunners (7-4) in scoring for the seventh time this season with 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Miki Turner added 14 and Niaga Mitchell-Cole pitched in 10.

Kahla Becken had a team-high 16 points for North Dakota State (3-9).

The Roadrunners started fast in the opening half converting eight of their first 10 field goal attempts to build an 18-11 lead. King and Dwanisha Tate each tallied six points in the opening surge. All 10 field goal attempts came from inside the 3-point arc.

Mitchell-Cole’s 3-pointer from the left wing extended the Roadrunners lead to double digits, 29-18, at the 6:42 mark of the half.

After the Bison whittled the UTSA lead down to 34-27, King answered with another trey from the left corner pushing the Roadrunners advantage back to double digits, 37-27.

UTSA took a 42-29 lead into the halftime break with King scoring a game-high 13 first half points. The Roadrunners went 17-for-30 (57%) from the field and held a 24-4 edge in points in the paint.

Miki Turner converted a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the Birds first possession of the second half to stretch the UTSA lead to 45-29, but a subsequent 16-7 run from North Dakota State pulled the Bison to within seven, 52-45, on Miki Stephenson’s 3-pointer at the 13:25 mark.

Ashley Spaletta had the answer on this occasion netting six points in a 10-3 Roadrunners scoring run to stake a 14-point advantage for UTSA, 62-48.

However, North Dakota State continued to break down the deficit with seven straight points as part of an 11-2 run capped by Alisa Brown’s jumper with 7:10 remaining to pull within five.

The Bison would cut the Roadrunners lead to five three more times but would get no closer as King buried her third 3-pointer of the game with 3:08 left and hit six free throws in the final minute to secure the Roadrunners longest winning streak since the 2010-11 season.

The Roadrunners will conclude play in the UTSA Holiday Classic on Sunday with a 2 p.m. first tip with former WAC foe New Mexico State (3-9).

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