Entering Saturday afternoon’s contest, the UTSA women’s basketball team was coming off two consecutive losses to Conference USA (C-USA) opponents Florida Atlantic (FAU) and Louisiana Tech.
The previous game, a loss to Louisiana Tech, was a heartbreaker. The Roadrunners lost three of their starters to foul trouble and were scoreless in overtime, losing 72-82.
In spite of the tough loss, the Roadrunners would defeat the Southern Mississippi Eagles 47-41 on Saturday, marking their first win in four meetings against the Eagles.
Senior forward Mathilde Hergott led all scorers with 13 points (5-8, 1-2, 13 pts), forced two turnovers and recorded two rebounds. Sophomore guard Crystal Chidomere went 5-for-11 from the field for a total of 10 points.
Redshirt sophomore forward Jayla King led the Southern Mississippi scorers with 10 points (5-10 FG) and 6 rebounds. Junior guard Tajanay Veiga would finish with 9 points (3-8 FG) and 7 rebounds.
One of the keys to the Roadrunners’ victory was their cohesive defensive play. Constantly disrupting the Eagles’ passing lanes, they totaled 21 turnovers and scored 21 of their 47 points off turnovers.
”Depending on the team we play, it’s kind of hard to shoot the gaps…so it’s kind of hard on the rotations, but we’re pretty good at it,” Hergott commented. “We know that when we in play in the zone, we get a lot of stops.”
Another key factor for the Roadrunners was the shooting from reserve Sophomore Guard Carlie Heineman, who finished the game with 9 points as she went 3-for-6 from the three-point line.
“When Carlie is in the game shooting, we don’t even go rebound…we know it’s going in,” said Hergott about her teammate’s success. “If she misses, it’s usually 1 of 5 shots. We fully believe in her.”
In the first quarter, the Roadrunners were in complete control, shooting 58 percent from the field and recording 7 steals.
However, the Eagles went on a 10-3 streak in the first five minutes of the second quarter and finished the first half leading 27-22.
The Roadrunners trailed until late into the third quarter when senior center Dempsey Thornton made two free throws, bringing the score to 35-34.
From that point on, the Roadrunners kept their lead and held the Eagles to seven points in the fourth quarter.
“It’s good to win at home… the whole team and crowd going… it makes us feel like we’re doing something right, said Hergott after the win.
The Roadrunners (7-12, 3-6 C-USA) will continue to improve on their record on the road as they face C-USA opponents Western Kentucky (17-3, 8-1 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 4, and Marshall (14-6, 4-5 C-USA) on Saturday, Feb. 6.