Marcus Connolly/ The Paisano
Photo Credit: Marcus Connolly/ The Paisano
It was a series of firsts for the UTSA Roadrunner’s women’s basketball team on Wednesday night. The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (7-5, 1-0 C-USA) defeated UTSA (9-5, 0-1 C-USA) 73-62 at the Convocation Center, handing the Roadrunners their first Conference USA (C-USA) loss of the season and their first loss in the last eight games following a seven-game winning streak.
Junior guard Kamra King led UTSA with 15 points, but was just 5-for-14 shooting, which included an 0-for-4 performance from 3-point range. Sophomore forward Mannasha Bell added 11 points all scored in the first half.
Plagued by 11 first half turnovers, 17 team fouls and 30 percent shooting in the second half, UTSA had their current seven game non-conference winning streak snapped.
“We just didn’t come out, they took it to us and that was the difference in the ball game,” UTSA Head Coach Lubomyr Lichonczak said following the game. “In Conference USA play you can’t do that. You can’t come out in the second half and not be focused and not ready to go. I thought we were complacent or back on our heels at that time, and we won’t let that happen again.”
With the game tied 34-all at the half, the defending C-USA champion Golden Hurricanes went on a 12-1 run in the first five minutes. King scored on three consecutive free throws to get UTSA as close as nine points with over six minutes left, but a flurry of foul calls on the Roadrunners helped Tulsa score 14 points on 23 free throw attempts to secure the double-digit win.
“Definitely frustrating,” Bell said about the foul trouble. “It was a really touchy game. They were calling all touch fouls. I felt like that was another reason we were frustrated in our offense because we were getting so many bad calls on defense that we couldn’t even focus.”
The first half opened up with both teams exchanging baskets and turnovers until Tulsa went on an 11-0 run. But the Roadrunners outscored the Golden Hurricanes 25-14 over the last 10 minutes to tie the game. UTSA scored 24 of their 34 first half points in the paint and outrebounded Tulsa 23-13.
“I think we definitely learned that we need to go hard the whole game. We have to communicate the whole time,” Bell said. “The first half we did communicate, but the second half the communications wasn’t there. If we can do that and have a lot of energy then I feel we can be very successful in Conference USA.”
The Roadrunners four-game home stand ends with a 3-1 record.
They head to Hattiesburg, Miss. to take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (12-2, 1-0 C-USA) on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m.