It was a week the women’s basketball team might just as well forget.
Entering play on Wednesday, the Roadrunners were sitting in the middle of the West Division at 3-3. The team was entering a tough stretch with a road game at UT Arlington and a home match with Lamar. By at least splitting the two games they could remain in the thick of the race for one of eight spots at the Southland Conference Tournament in Katy, Texas next month.
Unfortunately, the Roadrunners lost both games and fell to 3-5 and ninth in the conference with eight games remaining.
UT ARLINGTON 51 UTSA 40
A hard fought first-half unraveled for the Roadrunners in the second half as the UT Arlington Mavericks used a 12-2 run to open the frame en route to a 51-40 win. It was the first game ever played at Arlington’s College Park Center.
The fact that the game would be low scoring was apparent from the beginning as both teams had trouble getting into a rhythm early. Neither team was able to reach double digits in points scored until the Mavericks scored their 10th at the 10:24 mark of the first half. The Mavericks turned a 10-9 contest into a 15-9 contest thanks to a fast break layup, Roadrunner turnover and three pointer by Malaika Green before the Roadrunners went on a five point run to get within one at 15-14.
That was as close as the Roadrunners would get as the Mavericks went on to close out the half with a 7-5 run before shooting out of the gate in the second half.
“It was a really tough loss,” Rippetoe-Blair said. “We needed to make free throws and our shots and we didn’t do that.”
The Roadrunners were led in the stat ledger by Judy Jones who finished with 12 points, followed by Simone Young with 10. The Mavericks were led by Green who finished with 15 points followed by Briana Walker with 13 points.
LAMAR 54 UTSA 51
The Roadrunners got off to a sluggish start in the first half against the Lamar Cardinals and ended the half down by 4, 20-16.
But with a strong push coming out of the locker room after halftime, the Roadrunners went on a 20-2 run to take a double-digit lead around the 10-minute mark. Despite strong play by Simone Young and Judy Jones throughout, the final seconds mattered the most in this one.
Jasmin Henderson of Lamar hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left to go up three and the Runners were unable to recover as they fell 54-51 to the Cardinals.
“We were 10 up with four minutes left and couldn’t put it away,” Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair said following the loss.
The offensive flow didn’t come easily in the game for either team. The teams shot a combined 1-13 on 3-point attempts in the first half, complemented by a dismal 5-14 on free throws.
“The thing is, we missed free throws tonight. We missed 15 free throws, and we just can’t do that and win,” Rippetoe-Blair said.
“Its been tough; we just have to come together and keep pushing ourselves and don’t give up,” Young added.