Roadrunners blow past William & Mary in Thanksgiving Classic finale, 76-50
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA shot a season-high 55.8 percent, including 61.9 percent in the second half, to defeat William & Mary, 76-50, and claim the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic title on Sunday evening at the Convocation Center.
The Roadrunners, who improved to 5-1 on the season, went 24-for-43 from the field to record their best shooting performance since a 58.7 percent (27-for-46) effort against Sam Houston State on Jan. 29, 2011.
Sophomore Kamra King led all scorers with 18 points and was named to the all-tournament team, while seniors Lyndi Thorman and Whitney Wright added 11 points each. Thorman joined King on the all-tournament team after she went 4-for-4 from the field and added a pair of rebounds.
Meanwhile, Taylor Hilton paced the Tribe (2-4) with 13 points, eight of which came at the free-throw line.
Jaclyn McKenna put William & Mary on the board first with a layup to give the visitors their only lead of the game, 2-0.
Wright answered with the first of her four baskets and the teams went on to produce four ties, including a 12-12 score with 11:17 left in the half.
A pair of free throws by freshman Akunna Elonu started a 10-0 run that gave the Roadrunners the lead for good. Thorman followed with her first 3-pointer of the season and a pair of jumpers that were sandwiched around another Elonu freebie to give the Birds a 22-12 advantage.
William & Mary scored the next five points before sophomore Ashley Spaletta hit back-to-back 3-pointers to reclaim the double-digit advantage, 28-17.
However, the Tribe again threatened with an 8-0 spurt that was cut short by a basket from senior Cori Cooper and UTSA outscored William & Mary 9-3 over the final four minutes of the half for a 37-28 lead at halftime.
The Roadrunners lead ballooned to 23 with a 16-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half.
Senior Jalisa Montgomery scored inside for two of UTSA's 24 points in the paint to start the run. King then added a pair of 3-pointers, while Wright collected four points in the stretch.
During that time, the Tribe went 0-for-4 with a pair of turnovers and the lead would not dip below 16 points the rest of the way.
The UTSA defense did its part by holding William & Mary to just four baskets in the final 20 minutes. The Tribe shot just 14.3 percent and relied on 14 free throws for their 22 points.
A 3-pointer by Jenny Menz and two free throws from Cori Cooper put the finishing touches on the 76-50 victory.
In addition to their 24 points in the paint, the Roadrunners scored 21 points off of 15 William & Mary turnovers and held a 36-24 advantage on the glass.
UTSA will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when it faces Houston (2-4) at Hofheinz Pavilion.
UTSA Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team
Janine Aldridge, William & Mary
Taylor Hilton, William & Mary
Kamra King, UTSA
Nicole Olszewski, Austin Peay
Lyndi Thorman, UTSA