The women’s basketball team (6-2) entered Saturday’s match against Rice University at College Park Center on a high after their historic win against the No. 13 University of South Florida.
Despite a slow start to begin the game, the Lady Mavericks pulled through and defeated the Owls 73-65. UTA is now 6-1 since their season opener against Baylor University.
The high was short-lived as the Lady Mavericks couldn’t score a point within the opening five minutes of the game. Both teams went a combined 3-18 from the field to open the game.
UTA managed to slip away with a 12-10 lead at the end of the first period, a season-low in points to begin the game. The Lady Mavericks settled down in the second period, scoring 17 points, and went into halftime with a 29-26 lead. Although UTA had more production, they made just two of their nine three-point attempts.
Junior forward Starr Jacobs led UTA with nine points, six rebounds and two steals to end the first half.
The second half was a different story for UTA. Rice continued to struggle to open the half, while the Lady Mavericks started to heat up. UTA outscored the Owls 26-13 in the third period and shot 11-16 from the field and converted on nine of their final 10 shots.
Senior guard Katie Ferrell said the Lady Mavericks continued to attack in the third quarter and the shots started to fall, which led to her reaching 409 career assists, tying for second in team history.
“I pass the ball but my teammates got to knock the shot down, so you know, I give props to all my teammates for that,” Ferrell said.
In the win over South Florida, UTA missed all eight of their three point attempts. They were more successful Saturday, making five three pointers on 17 attempts.
Head coach Shereka Wright knows the team will need to be more successful in three-point shooting, but said her challenge is for the players to understand when to shoot them.
Seven different Lady Mavericks scored in the fourth quarter as UTA held on for the eight point victory.
Three different UTA players scored in double figures in the 73-65 win over Rice, led by Jacobs with 20 point performance. She’s scored in double digit figures in all eight games this season.
Wright said she saw the team grow in Saturday’s victory over Rice, after the way the team bounced back from a slow start in the first half.
The Lady Mavericks won’t hit the hardwood again until 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 when they face Oklahoma State University at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Wright said she is hoping for some main contributors to get rest between games.