Marcus Connolly / The Paisano
For this year’s Thanksgiving Classic, defense was the name of the game as the UTSA women’s basketball team (3-2) defeated the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) Cardinals (2-4), 57-31. The Cardinals are now on a three-game losing streak thanks to UTSA’s leading scorers, Kamra King and Crystal Chidomere.
Chidomere scored 11 points despite her recent injuries.
“She was our most consistent perimeter scorer. We’re looking forward to getting her back and more comfortable. We expect more from her in the upcoming months,” said Head Coach Lubomyr Lichonczak.
The game got off to a slow start, with UIW’s Arika Adams striking first with a soft floater in the lane. Roadrunner Carlie Heineman made two threes early on, putting UTSA up 12-8 after nine minutes of play, but UIW’s Shanise Brooks kept the game close by scoring back-to-back field goals.
The Roadrunners heated up, ending the first half with an 18-4 run. Both teams shot under 39 percent from the field, without three-point or free throw help from Incarnate Word. Missing free throws and turnovers, the Cardinals could not crash the boards, which gave UTSA an advantage.
The second half proved to be a tougher match between the two teams. With such a large deficit to overcome, UIW’s plans for a comeback fell short. Frias finally got going, scoring eight points in the second, but the Roadrunner defense swarmed anyone trying to approach the rim. In particular, the Roadrunners kept the Cardinals leading scorer, Aricka Adams, off the floor and on the line where she struggled most of the night, going 1-7 from the free throw line.
“Kam (King) was our leading scorer last year, so I expect a lot from her,” said Coach Lichonczak. “She provides a lot and gives a lot to us with her ability to get to the rim and find ways against zones. We look forward to a great year with her.”
Thanks to the Roadrunners’ defense, the Cardinals never went on a run. UTSA ended the game on an 8-1 run, closing out the Thanksgiving weekend with a 57-31 win.
“We have that defensive and rebounding effort that will take us a long way,” explained Lichonczak, “I’m very proud of the effort, and our offense will come around.”
Excitement will follow the Runners as they hit the road to face off against UT-Arlington on Tuesday, Dec. 2.