Daryl Smith/ The Paisano
The UTSA Roadrunners women’s basketball team (1-2) earned its first win of the season against the visiting University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks (0-4) in a 74-51 victory at the Convocation Center on Sunday, Nov. 17.
The Roadrunners were led by junior guard Kamra King, who scored a team-high 17 points and collected four steals. Many of King’s points came from her aggressive attacks to the basket, leading to a 10-of-12 shooting night from the free throw line.
Sophomore forward Niaga Mitchell-Cole and freshman guard Alana Heard also chipped in with nine points apiece.
The Roadrunners executed a full court 1-2-2 press early that proved effective, causing the Mavericks to commit a total of 26 turnovers, which the Roadrunners turned into 33 points. Heard emphasized the importance of their defense in winning the game.
“That was the game plan for this game,” Heard said after the game. “Pressure the guards early and hard.”
The game was tight in the first four minutes, with the Roadrunners in front 7-5. That’s when UTSA started creating turnovers, pulling ahead after a 14-0 run.
The Mavericks cut the lead to 10 points early in the second half, but that was as close as they would get. The Roadrunners began to pull away about five minutes into the second half after taking a 17-point lead on a layup by sophomore forward Akunna Elonu that gave UTSA a 48-31 lead.
The Roadrunners did not give the Mavericks any breathing room, keeping them trailing by double-digits for the rest of the game.
The backbreaker came when King picked off a steal and scored on an easy fast break layup to put the Roadrunners up 59-39. UTSA would build a lead as big as 26 points on their way to victory.
The win for the Roadrunners ended their two-game losing streak to start the season, and the large lead in the game provided the opportunity to let some of the freshman players log some minutes early in the season.
This season, UTSA has a total of seven freshmen and four sophomores on the roster. UTSA Head Coach Lubomyr Lichonczak was able to use this victory as a chance to spread the minutes around and let the younger players gain the experience needed if UTSA is going to make a run at winning Conference USA (C-USA).
“Our goal this year is to win conference,” expressed Heard. “We are aiming high.”
The Roadrunners will travel to Waco, Texas on Thursday, Nov. 21, to participate in the Athletes in Action Classic tournament. They have a three game slate with the Northwestern State Demons (2-0), Savannah State Lady Tigers (2-0), and the Baylor Bears (2-0) who will be hosting the tournament at the Ferrell Center.