WBB: Defense Leads Mavs Past Bobcats in Overtime

Feb. 10, 2018

Final Stats | Quotes |  Notes

ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington needed overtime, but a career-high effort from Miranda LeJune and 20 points from Rebekah VanDijk helped the Lady Mavs top Texas State 61-59 on Saturday at College Park Center. 

UTA (14-10, 8-5 Sun Belt) outlasted Texas State (16-8, 9-4 Sun Belt) in its third overtime game of the 2017-18 season. The game was tied or the lead changed hands 20 times over the course of the contest, with UTA fighting back from a hole going to the final 10 minutes to force overtime and outscore the Bobcats 8-6 in the extra period.

After Texas State opened the overtime with a three and a quick 57-55 lead, the Lady Mavs scored six of the final eight points to earn the win, with Richards sinking a pair of free throws and a basket at the rim to provide the difference.

Shelby Richards provided the late-game heroics and finished with 14 points and four rebounds in 36 minutes, sinking all eight of her free-throw attempts, a career best. Senior Rebekah VanDijk totaled 20 points and nine rebounds on 9-of-12 shooting while logging 40 minutes. UTA also got a career-high 13 points from LeJune, with LeJune sinking three triples in the first half. Lauren Billie had a team-high and career-best 10 rebounds, with Crystal Allen adding five points and six boards. Brooke Alexander finished with a career-high eight rebounds.



The Lady Mavs return to action on Thursday with the first leg of a road swing through Louisiana. UTA will face ULM at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday in Monroe, before traveling to face Louisiana on Saturday in Lafayette, La.

Billie opened the scoring before Texas State used a 7-0 run to take a 7-2 lead and force a UTA timeout with the Lady Mavs mired in an 0-for-5 stretch. Texas State stretched its lead to 9-2 before VanDijk collected four straight points, including a tip in. The Lady Mavs then used back-to-back triples from LeJune to cut the lead to 15-12 at the end of the period.

The Lady Mavs continued the hot finish to the first quarter with a leyup from Richards and a free throw from Daiane Machado to even it at 15. VanDijk answered the Bobcats free throws with a basket in the paint and LeJune's third triple of the first 15 minutes of game action earned UTA its second lead of the game, 20-19. Richards got the rim and forced a foul, sinking both free throws for a 22-19 lead. LeJune's hoop amongst contact in the paint gave the Mavs a 24-21 lead but Texas State rallied with four straight - including a buzzer beater - to take a 25-24 lead at the break. LeJune led the way with a game-high 11 in the first half, with Alexander grabbing five rebounds from the wing.

The teams traded layups out of the break, with LeJune answering a Texas State triple with a jumper. Allen's offensive rebound and putback evened it at 30 and a pair of free throws from VanDijk took the UTA lead to 32-30 with five minutes left. The Mavs used the 6-0 run to take a 32-30 lead, forcing Texas State into misses in six straight games. The Bobcats snapped the stretch and started an 8-0 run to take a 38-32 lead as UTA missed five straight from the field and went four minutes without points. UTA started the crawl back after Allen sank a layup amongst contact but a technical foul negated the momentum and saw the Bobcats take a 43-37 lead after three quarters.

Allen snapped the Texas State run by getting to the charity stripe with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 43-39. VanDijk's basket cut the lead to two and Allen evened it up after creating space with the dribble and sinking a jumper from 16 feet out in the corner. Texas State sank a pair of free throws but VanDijk answered with a finish on a nice find in traffic for a 45-45 game.

After UTA gave up two points for the Bobcats in transition, Machado evened the game back up with a falling away 15-foot jumper from the wing, taking the game to 47-47 with 5:49 left. After the Bobcats took the lead, VanDijk cleaned up an offensive rebound and the putback to match the score at 49. Richards gave UTA the lead with a pair from the charity stripe with just under four minutes left in regulation.

The teams traded layups, with Richards giving UTA a 53-51 lead with 1:25 left but Texas State answered with a jumper to even it at 53 with under a minute left. The teams couldn't come up with the difference in the final seconds, with Richards' half-court heave just missing.

Texas State opened the overtime with a critical three pointer and the Mavs were able to answer on the strength of VanDijk's offensive rebound and putback. The Bobcats went up 57-55 after a free throw. On the ensuing offensive possession, Richards drove into the paint and drew a foul, sinking both to even the game at 57 with under two minutes left. After Billie secured the defensive rebound, Richards gave the Mavs a 59-57 lead with a drive to the basket but the Bobcats drilled a pair from the charity stripe to even it at 59. Richards forced a blocking foul with 45.1 seconds left and hit both free throws for a 61-59 lead. The UTA defense forced a pair of stops but couldn't secure the defensive rebound with Texas State calling timeout with 11.3 seconds left, trailing 61-59.

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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