Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Seeking Redemption

The UTSA women’s basketball team recently took the first step to redeeming last year’s 8-21 overall record, one of the worst seasons in program history on Saturday, Nov. 3.  UTSA beat the McMurry War Hawks 64 – 36 in front of 532 fans, including the San Antonio Spurs’ point guard, Tony Parker.

“They were very nervous. They missed some easy layups and free throws, but my biggest concern right now is the rebounding,” Head Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair said of her team.

During the first-half, the lady ‘Runners had to play through some first game jitters. The lady ‘Runners committed 13 turnovers and were out rebounded 29-25. But, the Roadrunners’ defense forced the War Hawks to commit 19 turnovers. The ‘Runners held McMurry to 23.5 percent from field making only eight of 34 attempted shots. The War Hawks missed all six of their three point attempts in the first half.

UTSA shot a meager 30.6 percent from field on 11 of 36, and a horrible 23.1 percent from three-point land on making three of thirteen three-point shots.

“Even Simone Young told me, ‘Coach we’re just nervous,”’ said Rippetoe-Blair.

If the rest of the team was playing through first game jitters, senior guard Simone Young looked like she was in mid-season form. She scored 10 first-half points and also contributed two assists and two steals.

“With me being a senior, I want it; I want it bad. I want my teammates to want it. This is our only opportunity to be in the WAC,” said Young.

The first-half ended with UTSA ahead of McMurry 30-19. The second half would prove to be more fruitful for the Roadrunners.

“We settled in. We were relaxed more; we were more so anxious ’cause this is our first game,” said Young.

UTSA’s lockdown defense played a significant role in Saturday’s victory. UTSA forced 19 first-half turnovers with an additional 10 second-half turnovers. Also, the lady ‘Runners held the War Hawks scoreless from three point land on 0-7 shots and a staggeringly low 13.8 percent from the field on 4 – 29 shooting.

The Roadrunners out scored the War Hawks in the paint, 30 – 14; points off of turnovers, 30 – 6; second chance points, 12 – 11; fast break points, 13 – 2; and bench points, 30 – 20.

With the exception of sophomore forward Jenny Menz (broken nose), all members of the team contributed, with 11 of the 14 players on this season’s roster scoring in the game.  Young led all players in scoring with 13 points and also registered five assists, and three steals.  Sophomore guard Karma King was just behind Young with 11 points and two steals.

Among the new players on the Lady ‘Runners, freshman guard Niaga Mitchell-Cole had an impact on UTSA’s offense and defense recording nine points, four assists, three blocks, and one steal. 

UTSA already looks like a drastically improved team compared to last season’s team at this point.

The Lady ‘Runners will be back in action when they host Texas Pan-American on Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

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