Utsa vs fiu

Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas / The Paisano

The UTSA women’s basketball team (11-10, 2-6 C-USA) played tough defense, but were bettered by the Florida International Panthers (11-10, 5-3 C-USA) 53-40 at the Convocation Center on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in a hard fought contest.

The Roadrunners turned the ball over 21 times throughout the game while FUI only had eight. The win marks the third win in a row now for the FIU Panthers and their head coach, Cindy Russo, who tallied win number 700 in the 37 years she has coached.

UTSA freshman center Tesha Smith had team high 19 points, while Jerica Coley had game high 20 points for FIU.

The first half of the game was littered with turnovers and missed shots as both teams shot a combined 22 percent. With both teams combining for 18 turnovers in the first half, FUI held on to a 21-18 lead at half time.

In the second half, FIU went on a 10-2 run forcing UTSA to commit eight turnovers. The turnovers proved to be crucial towards the end of the game, as the Roadrunners never recovered.

Despite the loss, the Roadrunners displayed great defensive prowess. Senior forward, McKenzie Adams racked up three of UTSA’s six blocks of the night, while opposing guard, Jerica Coley swatted four balls out of FUI’s seven.

Both teams’ defense held each other below 27.5% from the field, less than 15% from beyond the arc and less than 70% from the free throw line for the game.

“The defensive effort was there,” said UTSA Head Coach Lubomyr Lichonczak after the game. “The defense did an outstanding job, but you have to do the job on both ends. We need to work more on shooting (the ball).“

The UTSA Roadrunners will host the Tulane Green Wave (16-6, 7-2 C-USA) on Saturday, Feb. 8, before they head on the road.

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