WBB: Richards Leads Mavs Past Coastal Carolina

Feb. 3, 2018

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Senior Shelby Richards scored a career-high 20 points to help lead the UTA Lady Mavericks to a 65-63 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon at College Park Center.

UTA (13-10, 7-5 Sun Belt Conference) outlasted a strong second-half charge from Coastal Carolina (11-12, 5-7 Sun Belt) to post the win. The Mavs leaned heavily on the career outing from Richards and a used a hearty second quarter to edge the Chanticleers.

Richards, a native of South Jordan, Utah, shattered her previous career high of 16 points with a 20-point outing. She sank four triples - including three in the first quarter - and was 7-for-16 from the field, adding four rebounds.

Crystal Allen and Rebekah VanDijk also each reached double figures, despite the VanDijk battling foul trouble. VanDijk finished with 11 points and two rebounds in 15 minutes, with Allen adding 11 points and six boards. UTA also got five points each from guards Aysia Evans and Lauren Billie.

The Mavs return to action on Saturday, hosting Texas State at 2 p.m. CT at College Park Center in a game broadcast live on ESPN3.com.

UTA started strong with a 6-0 run spurred by a pair of baskets from VanDijk and a jumper from Billie. Coastal Carolina cut the lead to one after a three pointer with 5:37 left but UTA spurted back behind a pair of 3 pointers from Richards to take a 15-9 lead at the first media timeout. Coastal answered to tie it up at 15 and 17 but Richards' third triple of the quarter gave UTA a 20-17 lead, with the game noted at 22-22 after a Richards layup to end the quarter.

The Mavs rolled in the second quarter, outscoring Coastal 18-8 to take a 40-30 halftime lead. The Lady Mavs opened the scoring behind two baskets from Daiane Machado and a jumper from Allen. After Coastal tied it at 28, UTA scored 12 of the next 14 points to take the halftime lead. Jumpers inside the arc from Aysia Evans and Brooke Alexander, and the first three from Evans, took UTA to a 38-25 lead at the media timeout. The Mavs defense stiffened to finish the period, holding CCU scoreless over the last 3:44 in the period, with Coastal shooting 1-for-its-last-9 to end the quarter. The Lady Mavs committed only three turnovers in the half and owned an 11-3 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Lady Mavs used a jumper from Richards and a triple from Allen to build a 45-32 lead out of the break. The Chants roared back, going on an 11-0 run over a four-minute stretch to cut the UTA lead to two with 3:17 left in the period. Contested baskets from Allen and Kelsey Johnson stretched UTA back to a six-point lead, with Allen sinking a pair of free throws after a CCU three to take a 53-48 lead into the quarter break.

CCU opened the final stanza with a jumper to cut the lead but Miranda LeJune responded with a basket to take the lead to 55-50. The teams traded defensive stops until Billie drilled a three from the corner, only to have CCU answer on the ensuing possession with a three from the wing. With 4:20 left in regulation, Richards connected in the paint to send UTA to a 60-55 lead. Jas Adams' three-pointer from the corner cut the UTA lead to 60-58 with three minutes left.

VanDijk, mired in foul trouble, came off the bench to answer after a find from Allen and then sank a pair from the charity stripe for a 64-58 lead with just over two minutes left. A quick 5-0 CCU run cut the UTA lead to 64-63 with 40 seconds left. With the full-court pressure applied, VanDijk found an open Richards in the lane, with Richards forcing a foul with 33.4 seconds left. She drilled the first attempt to give the Mavs a two-point lead but after missing the second free throw, the Mavs fouled while attempting to get the offensive rebound but CCU missed both attempts from the charity stripe and the ball skidded off the Chants out of bounds. CCU had a final look at the basket, with the attempted game-winning triple skimming off the rim.

Single-game tickets to attend UTA men and women's basketball events are on sale through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online through UTATickets.com.  Season tickets are available for as low as $99 for all 30 men and women's games, which comes out to $3.30 per game.  Single game tickets are priced at $8, $12 and $25 per game, depending on seat location.  UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets.  Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available.  Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.

For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA basketball programs on Twitter at @UTA_MBB and @LadyMavHoops.




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