UTRGV Women Win WAC Opening Round
LAS VEGAS – #8 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros women's basketball team hit 13 3-pointers to open the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament with a 71-61 victory over the #9 Seattle U Redhawks on Tuesday at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
UTRGV advances to the second round for a matchup against #5 Abilene Christian on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Orleans Arena. Fans can watch in the United States on ESPN+ or internationally at WACSports.com/Watch.
The 13 3-pointers come on the heels of hitting 14 3-pointers in a win at Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
Sophomore Sara Bershers led the Vaqueros (13-18) with 24 points while hitting five 3-pointers to go with and five rebounds and four assists and two steals. Graduate student Taylor Muff scored 10 points with nine rebounds and four assists. Freshman Arianna Sturdivant scored 11 points while hitting three 3-pointers. Sophomore Halie Jones scored 10 points with nine rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Jena’ Williams finished with seven points and three assists.
Bree Calhoun led the Redhawks (11-19) with 17 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals. Taliyah Clark scored 11 points with five rebounds.
The Vaqueros hit six of their first nine 3-point attempts to go up 18-11 during the opening seven and a half minutes. Bershers made three of those shots while Williams, Jones, and Sturdivant each made one.
Then, with the score 18-17 at the start of the second, the Vaqueros went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Jones 3-pointer, to go up 26-17. The Vaqueros and Redhawks traded baskets for the rest of the half, with the Vaqueros going up 33-28 on a jumper by freshman Brooke Jessen with five seconds left.
The Vaqueros extended their lead to 35-28 on a layup by graduate student Burcu Soysal at the start of the third. The Redhawks responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game.
A Muff layup restored the Vaqueros’ lead at 37-35, but the Redhawks scored the next five points to take a 40-37 lead.
The Redhawks led late in the quarter before a Sturdivant 3 gave the Vaqueros a 48-47 lead.
The Vaqueros pushed their lead to five early in the fourth at 56-51 on a Jones 3-pointer.
The Redhawks scored the next five points to tie the game. Then, with the game tied at 58, Jones and Sturdivant hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Vaqueros a 64-58 lead that they never relinquished.
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