Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

66-63 loss to top ranked Lamar provides insight to SLC tournament competition


The UTSA women’s basketball team is preparing to regroup for their final two regular season games after a 66-63 loss to Lamar Feb. 27 at the Convocation Center.

Sophomore Whitney York led the Roadrunners (15-12, 9-5) with a game-high 20 points. The Bryan native also recorded seven rebounds while reaching career-best eight assists and six steals.

Junior forward Ashleigh Franklin chipped in 17 points and seven rebounds in 37 minutes of action.

Lamar (22-6, 12-2) captured the road victory on the strength of four Cardinals who scored in double figures. Jenna Plumley had a team-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers, while Darika Hill and Kalis Loyd added 15 and 14 points, respectively. Brittney Williams also contributed 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Both teams shot over 47 percent in the first half as the Roadrunners would head into the break down, 32-40.

After closing the gap in early minutes of the second half, UTSA would tie Lamar 56-56 on a York 3-pointer with 6:44 remaining.

The Roadrunners would claim a one-point advantage after a Franklin free throw with four minutes left, but that marked the last lead for UTSA.

The Runners would miss their next five field goal attempts allowing the Cardinals to build a large enough lead to separate themselves.

Saturday’s loss to Southland Conference (SLC) Western Division leader Lamar set the tone of difficulty UTSA will face in their final two regular season games.

The Roadrunners travel to San Marcos to face I-35 rival Texas State (7-18, 3-11) on March 3 before meeting current SLC Eastern Division leader Stephen F. Austin (16-9, 11-3) at the Convocation Center March 6.

The Roadrunners, not overlooking the final two games, have set their sights on success in the SLC tournament, scheduled for March 9-13.

“I think the one thing that we need to do is to go in with a lot of confidence,” Head Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair said.

For a team that has been battling injuries all season, Rippetoe-Blair believes that a return to health for some players could strengthen the already potent chemistry of the team.

“Our chemistry is very good,” said Rippetoe-Blair. “I think we’re playing very well, but again, we have three kids out and two of them are starters, and we’d like to get them back for the Texas State and Stephen F. Austin games.”

After all, the Head Coach with the most wins in school history (175) knows a little bit about being successful in the SLC tournament as her teams have been undefeated in the two years that the tournament has been held at the Merrell Center in Katy.

“I think that one area that will help us is that Amber’s [Gregg- UTSA junior guard] been there. We’re 6-and-0 in that building, and we’ve played very well there the last two years. I think that’s going to help us a lot- I really do”, she said.

Rippetoe-Blair saw her 2008 and 2009 teams sweep the tournament in route to back-to-back NCAA tournament berths.

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