UTSA women go 1-1 in C-USA tournament


Luke Lawhorn, Assistant Sports Editor

Though the Roadrunners (7-22) were seeded last in the west division of the Conference USA tournament, they upset UTEP (14-15) in overtime 58-57, and hung tight with Old Dominion (22-8) losing 65-45. Despite only winning seven games during the regular season, the team’s first C-USA tournament win since the 17-18 season appears to give the program solid forward momentum heading into head coach Karen Aston’s second season. 

UTSA opened the first round of the tournament playing UTEP, Tuesday March 8, who they lost to earlier this season 69-52. The game started like it was going to be another blowout, with UTEP outscoring the ‘Runners 20-10 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, UTSA gained momentum and scored five straight points, and closed the half on a 6-1 run outscoring the Miners 11-3, going into halftime down 23-21. 

Each team scored six points in the third to keep the game competitive, but after a couple of baskets from the Miners, they extended their lead going into the fourth up 39-34. UTSA started hot, closing the gap, and with 15 seconds left in the quarter made a free throw to tie the game at 52 to force overtime. With four lead changes, the game was tied at 57 until Charlene Mass made a free throw with just three seconds on the clock to upset UTEP 58-57. 

The Roadrunners earned their chance to play the Old Dominion Monarchs (23-8) in the second round. The two teams previously met Jan. 13, and Old Dominion won big by 11, with Elyssa Coleman leading the ‘Runners in scoring with nine points. The game tipped off and immediately ODU went up 8-2. UTSA kept fighting and would not let the Monarchs pull away. The ‘Runners would storm back to tie the game 9-9 but would end the first quarter down 19-11. 

UTSA outscored ODU 15-12 in the second, going into halftime down 31-26. The ‘Runners went scoreless nearly the first three minutes of the third, where it looked like ODU would pull away, but the gap was closed on a 8-3 run by UTSA down just six points with a quarter to go. 

Unfortunately for UTSA, the wheels fell off in the final 10 minutes of play. ODU outscored the Roadrunners 20-6, winning 65-45 and ending the season for UTSA. 

The Roadrunners shot 16% from the three-point line and 33.3% from the field, while also having nine more turnovers, two more fouls and seven less steals. The poor shooting and sloppiness with the basketball is the primary reason for their loss. UTSA’s Lapraisjah Johnson had a game high 21 points, and was also the only Roadrunner with double figures. 

Though UTSA went further in the tournament than expected, heavy self-evaluation should come into effect when heading into next season.