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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Confidence was running high amongst the Lady Mavericks on Thursday night, as UTA downed Costa Rica 89-49 in an exhibition contest at BN Arena.
After two hard-fought games against the University of Ottawa in the previous two nights, UTA started out hot from the floor and built up a lead it would not relinquish throughout against the Ticos. Nine Lady Mavs had at least five points, and it was the two seniors who led the offense despite each having low minutes. Cierra Johnson was 7-of-11 from the floor with 16 points in 14 minutes, while Rebekah VanDijk knocked down 14 points in just 11.
Mixing and matching lineups, offense poured in from all places on Thursday. A surge from Michaela Wright in the second half saw the freshman score nine of the team's 11 points during a quick run to add insurance to the final. The defensive effort was just as impressive, forcing 26 turnovers and turning it into a 42-3 advantage in points off of the Costa Rican mishaps.
The teams combined for just six points in the first four minutes, but out of a UTA timeout, the Lady Mavs quickly built up a double-digit advantage. The run continued into the second quarter, outscoring the Ticos 21-7 in the frame, including a jumper from Johnson at the half-time buzzer.
UTA found its shot in the second, knocking down 17-of-31 shots (54.8 percent) and ended with a trip-high 49.3 shooting percentage. Brooke Alexander continued to be red hot from long range as she had three of the team's four 3-pointers.
The Lady Mavs conclude the on-the-court portion of the summer tour on Friday night against Costa Rica once again. Tipoff from BN Arena is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT.
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