On Sunday, Dec. 2 the UTSA women’s basketball team suffered an overtime buzzer beater loss, 61-60, to the Lady Dons from the University of San Francisco (USF) in the Convocation Center. Both teams were coming off losses and hoped to get back on the winning track in this early out-of-conference matchup.
In the first half, the ‘Runners struggled to guard USF freshman forward Taylor Proctor who had the first seven points for the Lady Dons. UTSA was able to keep the score close through their inside game with 10 points coming from the paint. However, the ‘Runners had trouble capitalizing on scoring and missed five layups. Junior forward Miki Turner was the ‘Runners leading scorer in the first half with eight points followed by senior guard Simone Young with five.
UTSA struggled on the boards as USF out rebound them 16-12. The Dons six second-chance points. Also allowing wide open shooting opportunities for USF’s Proctor and senior guard Mel Khlok who finished with 19 points. UTSA swung the momentum back their way with seven minutes left in the half including two three-pointers from sophomore guard Jenny Menz pulling ‘Runners within two, 27-29. Overall, USF kept the edge to end this half because of mental errors for UTSA but the score ended 33-29 before the break.
“I think we did a great job getting down and scoring”, said Head Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair speaking of UTSA’s offense. In the second half, the ‘Runners started out strong and turning the score around 43-39 within the first six minutes.
UTSA played much more aggressive defense, especially UTSA forward Whitney Wright who ended the half with four blocks two coming from the first four minutes of play. UTSA’s leading scorer for this half was sophomore guard KamraKing helped push the lead to seven, 49-42 with five minutes left.
“We just didn’t play great defense, we fell down and just didn’t cover their shooter who had most of their points”Rippetoe-Blair said about her squad’s final effort. The Lady Dons took advantage of rebounds to get within one with 33 seconds remaining. After what was thought to be the game winning free throw from Turner, USF’s Proctor was fouled with two seconds left and sunk both of those to tie the game, 53-53.
This was the first time UTSA went into overtime this season. The overtime period was a hard fought back and fourth battle between the two teams. UTSA started out with a fast break layup from Menz, but then two consecutive missedlayups from other ‘Runners gave USF the opportunity tie the game at 55-55. A jumper from Proctor put the Lady Dons up 56-57, and a foul on Khlok pushed their lead to three with 49 seconds in the game. Two clutch free throws from the charity stripe for Young and a jumper in the paint by the senior put the Runners up 60-59 with only 13 seconds left.
USF struggled to make a shot on their last play but with one second left on the clock, star of the night Proctor was wide open on the baseline for an easy jumper and crushed the ‘Runners with a 60-61 defeat. Proctor led all scorers in the game with 21 points.
“Personally I did the best I could, but as a team we just weren’t there at the end, like giving them too many free throws. We played hard but sometimes mistakes just happen,” King said about this tough loss. King recorded 13 points, four assists, one block and two steals in the overtime loss. Young and Turner were both big contributors to the ‘Runners offense with 14 points and 10 points respectively.
The ‘Runners will hit the road for their Dec. 5 matchup against Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. The Lady Frogs group that blew out the Lady Runners 65-30 last season. However, Rippetoe-Blair said “We will have to be mentally prepared. We’re going to work hard in practice tomorrow, watch some game film and really get into it.”