SAN ANTONIO - It was a wild night in UT Arlington's first road test, but the Lady Mavericks held on to knock off UTSA 69-68 in overtime on Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
Shelby Richards knocked down a crucial free-throw in the final seconds as UTSA's 3-pointer at the buzzer left the Roadrunners a point short. The win lifted UTA to 3-0 for the season, its second consecutive season with perfect start through three games. The win was also the team's second consecutive OT win after it had dropped the previous eight - UTA did not play an overtime game last year.
A game after posting a career-high 22 points on Monday night, senior Crystal Allen was red hot from the field once again. The senior knocked down 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, hitting on six from the charity stripe. Fellow senior Rebekah VanDijk finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Laurynn McGowen scored in double figures for the first time in her UTA career with 10, while Cierra Johnson had 11, all coming in the first quarter before an injury left her out for the remainder.
Neither team appeared to have a complete grasp of the outcome with the lead flying both ways in the fourth quarter. UTSA used a 7-0 run in the final minutes of regulation to take a brief two-point lead, but UTA answered right back with an easy lay in by VanDijk to tie the game.
The Lady Mavs had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but turned the ball over to send it into the extra period.
Overtime proved to be a defensive battle for both sides, UTSA was without a field goal for more than four minutes before the 3-pointer dropped at the buzzer. UTA turned the ball over four times in the final two minutes to limit its ability to pull away.
The Lady Mavs return back to College Park Center for a pair of games during Thanksgiving week. It will be a Metroxplex matchup on Sunday when SMU takes on UTA at 2 p.m. The stand continues on Friday against Fresno State at 2 p.m.
First Half: The first quarter went back-and-forth with each team exchanging streaks throughout the frame. It was UTA that was able to jump out of the gate first as Cierra Johnson poured in six during a 9-0 run midway through. However, the Roadrunners came right back to take the lead as an 8-0 spurt pushed the home team in front. UTA got a late score to end the first to take a 17-16 lead.
The second quarter seemed to be all UTSA as the Roadrunners held a 9-point advantage with 2:40 to go in the half. Crystal Allen helped end a scoreless streak for UTA and the defense was just as impressive. UTSA closed the second without a score in the final three minutes, and Allen scored seven to bring the deficit to just two at the break.
Second Half: The glass proved to be a fan of UTA and momentum turned towards the Lady Mavs in the third quarter. Laurynn McGowen got a friendly bounce off the glass on a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. A turnover and scored pushed UTA into the lead, an advantage held onto going into the fourth as the Lady Mavs outscored UTSA 18-12 in the period.
KEY STATS UTA was out rebounded 48-37, however, UTSA turned their 17 offensive rebounds into just 13 points…. UTA shot 40.0 or better from the field for a second consecutive game with right at 40.0 on Wednesday (22-55). … UTA continued to struggle at the line with 20-35 shooting (57.1).
Cierra Johnson's first-quarter steal pushed the senior into 15th in Sun Belt history with 250 in her career. Johnson is third in UTA history. With her 11 points, Johnson has 905.
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