Dec. 21, 2017
ARLINGTON, Texas - San Francisco stormed back from a 19-point deficit to take the lead going into the final minute at College Park Center. However, Shelby Richards knocked down a corner 3-pointer to break a five-game losing streak and propel UTA to a 56-54 win over the Dons on Thursday.
UTA improved to 6-5 as it finishes nonconference play. The Lady Mavericks led 39-22 at half time, giving up just four points in the second quarter. The Dons (5-6) stifled UTA in the final 20 minutes, holding UTA to just one field goal in the final 10 minutes. That field goal, after going 0-for-13 from the field, came from Richards in the game winner.
Richards knocked down three of UTA's season-high eight treys on the way to besting her career high with 16 points. Laurynn McGown, sprinting out with 11 points at the break, finished with 14 points.
The victory snapped a tough stretch of losses, four coming against Power 5 opponent on the road, as the Lady Mavericks head into Sun Belt Conference play beginning on Dec. 29 at Coastal Carolina. The Lady Mavs were picked as the preseason's team to beat in the league.
HOW IT HAPPENED
First Quarter: McGowen stole the show early as the junior sparked the UTA offense. McGowen raced out to eight points in just five minutes of action as the team knocked down six of their first seven shots, including 3-pointers from McGowen and Richards. Crystal Allen joined in on the 3-point part late in the first stanza and UTA led 23-13 after the first.
Second Quarter: Arguably the best 10 minutes of defense from UTA of the season was on display in the second. The Lady Mavs held the Dons without a point for more than a seven-minute stretch, while a 14-0 run sparked UTA to a big lead. McGowen knocked down another corner trey to reach double figures, and accumulated five assists in the first half, the last coming on a sweet pass to VanDijk inside.
Third Quarter: San Francisco started out hot, scoring the period's first seven points. A UTA timeout would calm the nerves of the Lady Mavs, sparking a 7-0 run right back. Richards joined the double-figure party as her second long range effort fell, putting the Lady Mavs up by more than 20 points. A 9-0 run came from the Dons midway through as USF cut into the lead by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers, helped along by a five-minute scoring drought on UTA's side. Lauren Billie's first-career swat away preserved the double-digit lead in the final seconds to help UTA go into the fourth up 52-42.
Fourth Quarter: As hot as UTA started to open the game, the Lady Mavs found themselves just as cold to start the fourth. San Francisco took advantage by scoring the first eight points and trimmed the UTA advantage down to just three with six minutes to play.
The cold streak continued late with UTA missing on four consecutive 3-point attempts in a two minute stretch to head into the final minute. With nothing falling for UTA, the team caught a break with the Dons bricking consecutive free throws with 15 seconds left. Richards took advantage, nailing the corner three
KEY STATS UTA outscored USF 21-11 in points off turnovers, turning the Dons over 20 times to UTA's 13. UTA had averaged more than 21 per game during the losing streak. UTA knocked down seven 3-pointers in the first three quarters, were 0-for-6 before the game winner in the fourth. UTA shot 31.6 percent in the contest, while USF shot 37.3 - the Lady Mavs shot 50.0 percent in the first half and 13.8 in the second.
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