Women’s basketball swept by FIU after triple overtime finale

The+women%27s+team+huddles+during+Saturday%27s+triple+overtime+loss+to+FIU.+The+%27Runners+have+now+lost+13+in+a+row+and+remain+winless+in+conference+play.

Jada Teague

The women’s team huddles during Saturday’s triple overtime loss to FIU. The ‘Runners have now lost 13 in a row and remain winless in conference play.

Julia Maenius, Magazine Editor

The UTSA women’s basketball team (2-15, C-USA 0-12) were swept by the Florida International University Panthers (9-7, C-USA 6-4) on their home court after a triple overtime loss in the final game of the series Feb. 5-6. The Roadrunners remain winless in Conference USA (C-USA) play with six games remaining before the close of the season.

UTSA found themselves with a double-digit loss deficit in the first game of the weekend series. Sophomore guard Emilie Baek recorded her third consecutive game to be the first ‘Runner on the board with a three pointer.  UTSA trailed FIU early in the first quarter. A 7-0 scoring run put the ‘Runners within two points to close the first quarter down 13-15. The Panthers consistently outscored UTSA in the second half, securing multiple scoring runs to keep the ‘Runners at bay, who shot 32.3% for the game. FIU outscored UTSA with an 8-2 run, heading into halftime up 32-26, 

Looking to turn the game around after the half, UTSA came out of the locker room strong to tie the game. Junior forward Yuliyana Valcheva led the ‘Runners in scoring with 15 points and seven free throws. Baek followed closely with 14 points and three triples, bringing UTSA within single digits to close the third quarter 45-52. Sophomore guard Mikayla Woods contributed 12 points, securing double free throws to tie the game late in the fourth quarter 55-55. UTSA outscored FIU at the free throw line, shooting 66.7%. Unable to take the lead, UTSA was outscored 10-5 at the close of the half to lose the game 72-60.

The ‘Runners made history in the school record books, taking the second game in the series against FIU into triple overtime following their initial loss to the Panthers the day before. The ‘Runners took the early lead with senior guard Karrington Donald’s triple to secure a 13-6 lead. Donald was one of five ‘Runners to score in the double digits with 21 total points in the game. Holding onto the lead going into the second quarter, Woods contributed a three-pointer to push UTSA further from the Panthers, 21-14. Woods finished the game with 27 total points, six rebounds and five assists.  Following a 9-5 run, UTSA led FIU 35-24 going into the second half.

The Panthers quickly found steam in the second half, overcoming their deficit to tie the game with a buzzer beater to close the third quarter 52-52. The ‘Runners outscored FIU by 5.7% throughout the game. FIU quickly took the lead in the final quarter after multiple scoring runs before freshman forward Kyleigh McGuire tied the game with a layup and a free throw. McGuire scored a career-high 12 points and accompanied Valcheva in posting double-doubles for the game with 12 points and 13 rebounds and 25 points and 15 rebounds respectively. Back and forth scoring from both teams concluded the regulation time at 80-80. 

The first two overtime periods showed back and forth leads, ending with the tie scores of 90 and 97. In the third and final overtime, FIU secured a scoring advantage over UTSA with a five-point lead and closed the game out with a 107-103 victory.

The ‘Runners will be on the road to Boca Raton, Florida, to face the Florida Atlantic University Owls. The first game of the series will be played Feb. 12, at 4 p.m., followed by the matchup on Feb. 13, at 1 p.m. UTSA will return to the Convocation Center Feb. 19-20, to host the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers.