By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay
Shooting the ball poorly and trailing for almost the entire four quarters of regulation, the UTSA women’s basketball team just wasn’t ready to pack it in and take a loss.
The Roadrunners rallied from a 15-point, second-half deficit and won 66-59 in overtime Wednesday night, emerging from the Dugan Wellness Center with a remarkable road victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.
With the win, UTSA claimed its first win away from home this season and improved to 2-1 overall. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, coming off back-to-back 19-win seasons, fell to 2-2.
Guard Kyra White, playing 43 minutes, led UTSA with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Elyssa Coleman made some big buckets late and finished with 14. Sidney Love scored 10.
A&M-Corpus Christi, outsized at most positions, played extremely well for most of the game. The Islanders were paced by forward Alecia Westbrook with 17 points and eight rebounds. Mireia Aguado and Paige Allen contributed 14 apiece.
At one point midway through the third period, all looked lost for UTSA. Corpus Christi expanded on a 13-point halftime lead and made it 41-26 on two Aguado free throws with 3:26 left in the third. Going into the fourth, the home team led, 43-32.
UTSA, however, had scored the final basket of the third and the first nine points of the fourth period to pull within two points. Corpus Christi kept battling, with Aguado, Westbrook and Allen leading the way. A layup by Westbrook with 3:27 left pushed the home team in front, 49-44.
The Roadrunners responded with a 9-4 run in the final three minutes, with White taking charge and scoring five. At the end of the frantic fourth quarter, with the game tied, a key play unfolded. Aguado went to the free throw line and missed two free throws with six tenths of a second left to send it into the extra period.
From there, the Roadrunners scored the first six points in the OT. First it was Love, who knocked down two free throws. Then, Coleman nailed a jumper. Finally, it was UTSA newcomer Cheyenne Rowe, who rebounded a miss by White and laid it in.
Not to be outdone, Siena Guttadauro nailed a three-point shot out of the corner. Later, UTSA pushed the lead to eight, and the Islanders never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-2
UTSA at UT Arlington, Saturday, 2 p.m.
The Roadrunners were cold from the field early, three for 17 in the first quarter and three for their first 23 attempts overall. But in the end, they found the touch and finished 24 of 64 for 37.5 percent. Corpus Christi shot 39 percent and damaged its own cause by hitting only 50 percent (16 of 32) at the free-throw line. UTSA star Jordyn Jenkins sat out her third straight game. The Player of the Year last year in Conference USA is regarded as week-to-week in her rehabilitation from a knee injury.
UTSA — Guard Kyra White, 18 points, six rebounds, five assists. Center Elyssa Coleman 14 points on seven of 13 shooting. Guard Sidney Love, 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals. Freshman guard Aysia Proctor and forward Cheyenne Rowe, seven points apiece off the bench.
A&M-Corpus Christi — Forward Alecia Westbrook, 17 points and eight rebounds. Guard Mireia Aguado, 14 points on five of seven shooting. Paige Allen, 14 points and eight rebounds.
First half highlights
Taking advantage of the sputtering Roadrunners, Westbrook and Aguado combined for 21 points in the first half as the Islanders forged a 33-20 lead at intermission.
Westbrook, a 6-foot-1 post from Kansas City, dominated inside the paint with three for three shooting from the field. Utilizing her size and agility, she also drew fouls consistently and converted six of seven from the free-throw line.
Aguado, a 5-9 playmaker from Barcelona, Spain, hurt UTSA with her speed and athleticism in the transition game. She hit four of six from the floor, a few of those buckets coming in transition, and finished with nine points in only 13 minutes.
UTSA’s offense was in such disarray that it produced almost twice as many turnovers (13) as field goals (seven) in the half. The Roadrunners managed to stay in the game with effort. On the boards, the Roadrunners held a 27-12 lead, including 14-3 on the offensive glass.