UTRGV Women Advance To WAC Championship

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LAS VEGAS Second-seeded The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) women's basketball went on a 21-1 run midway through the second half to come from behind and beat third-seeded CSU Bakersfield 69-58 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament Semifinals on Friday at Orleans Arena


UTRGV (18-13) advances to the WAC Tournament Championship Game against top-seed New Mexico State on Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner advances to the NCAA Tournament.


UTRGV is now 3-0 all-time against CSUB in the WAC Tournament Semifinals, including victories in 2015 and 2016.


Graduate student Madison Northcutt led UTRGV by posting her 12th double-double with 17 points, 12 rebounds, one block and two steals. Senior Nichele Hyman scored 15 points while hitting a trio of three-pointers. Junior Megan Johnson scored 12 points with seven rebounds and a career-high two blocks. Senior Krisynthia Sampson scored 10 points with a career-high tying four assists.


Vanessa Austin led CSUB (14-17) with 15 points and eight rebounds. JJ Johnson also scored 15 points. Alexxus Gilbert scored 12 points.


UTRGV led 32-26 early in the third quarter, but CSU Bakersfield scored 13-straight points over a seven-minute span to take its largest lead at 45-36.


Northcutt answered with a three-point play and UTRGV went on an 11-1 run over the final 2:09 to close the third up 47-46.


UTRGV then scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to extend the run to 21-1, capped by a pair of Hyman threes by Hyman, to take the lead for good.


The score was within one possession for all but 30 seconds of the first quarter, as CSUB went up 14-10 at the 2:37 mark. Northcutt hit a free throw and a layup and Johnson added a layup, though, to give UTRGV a 15-14 lead at the end of the quarter.


CSUB opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run to go up six before a Johnson three sparked an 18-7 run to put UTRGV up 34-28.


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