The last time UT Arlington saw the UTSA women’s basketball team, the Roadrunners were celebrating a Southland Conference Championship at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.
Going into the first game against the Western division foe since the 74-63 win to clinch last year’s NCAA Tourney berth, the Roadrunners were prepared to re-open some fresh wounds.
The Roadrunners (9-7, 3-0) defeated the UTA Lady Mavericks (6-10, 1-2) 69-51 on Saturday in the Convocation Center. The season’s 3-0 conference start is the best in the program’s history.
Pleased by her team’s performance yet realistic about the work ahead, Head Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair discussed what she felt her team needed to do for next Saturday’s game.
“We’re going to work on a lot of post defense and work on rebounding, blocking out. Those two areas today weren’t very good. “
The Lady Mavericks out-rebounded the Roadrunners 47-32–UTSA collected only five offensive boards.
The experienced coach knows what it takes to succeed in the Southland Conference.
“We’re going to continue to work and get better. I think we’ve improved each game, and that’s what you want to do in conference play,” Rippetoe-Blair said.
Sophomore guard Whitney York led the Roadrunners with 14 points and six rebounds. Arlington native Kameisha Johnson added 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the floor. Junior transfer forward Ashleigh Franklin contributed in almost every category recording nine points, six assists, three rebounds, two steals and one block.
UTA went into the locker room at halftime down 34-19 after shooting 18.8 percent and committing 13 turnovers in the first half. The second half was much of the same for the Mavericks.
UTSA’s offense rolled on as the Roadrunners’, balanced attack featured four players who scored five or more points and two players contributing four each.
The Mavericks were able to cut the lead to 51-39 after a 9-0 run, but UTA couldn’t diffuse the UTSA offense as the Roadrunners shot 52.4 percent in the second half.
The Lady Mavericks were led by senior guard Meghan Nelson with 15 points while junior forward Shalyn Martin racked up a double-double, scoring 10 points and collecting 10 rebounds.
UTA was in foul trouble for much of the second half. Martin and senior guard Kiarra Shofner both fouled out.
The Roadrunners travel to Texas A&M Corpus Christi (11-5, 3-0) Jan. 23 for their next Southland Conference match. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.