SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College women's basketball team trailed by as many as 15 points and struggled to get anything going offensively early on, but the 'Roos came from behind to top the visiting University of Texas-Tyler 78-69 on Thursday afternoon in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 7-4, and have won five straight.
The 'Roos were ice cold early on, shooting just 30.8% from the field and making 1-of-8 threes while turning the ball over nine times in the opening quarter as the Patriots took a 25-13 lead after one. UT-Tyler shot 55.6% from the field and knocked down 4-of-9 from beyond the arc and led 25-10 before a three from Ann Savage just before the end of the period.
Austin College fought back to pull within seven at 25-18, but Alexus Bertrand knocked down a trey and Alex Kochner scored to push the margin to 12 with 7:27 left in the second quarter. The UT-Tyler lead grew to 36-22 with 4:24 left before halftime, but Austin College ramped things up on defense, holding the Patriots to just two points in the remainder of the quarter. The 'Roos also got a five-point possession late in the quarter, as Meghan Lewis knocked down a three and Reagan Chiaverini was fouled away from the ball after the shot, putting her on the line for two free throws to cut it to a 38-32 game at the break.
The 'Roos kept the momentum going in the early moments of the third, pulling to within three at 40-37 with 8:30 on the clock. However, Texas-Tyler would get a 13-2 run to push the margin to 53-39 with 4:20 left. Austin College battled back with two free throws and a three from Kacie West helping the 'Roos pull to within 53-48, and a three by Caitlyn Collins made it a 55-51 game heading into the fourth quarter.
West scored six in a row to open the fourth quarter and pull Austin College even at 57-57, and the 'Roos took the lead on a basket by Bryce Frank with 7:26 left to play. The 'Roos would not trail again, with West and Savage each knocking down another trey to make it a 72-62 lead with 2:21 showing on the clock. Austin College would lead by as many as 12 points down the stretch before holding off a final push from the Patriots.
West scored 20 of her game-high 21 points in the second half, hitting 3-of-4 from long range and 5-of-8 shots overall. Frank posted a double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and three steals, and Savage chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Meghan Lewis added eight points, six boards, six assists, and two steals in the victory.
Brittany Johnson paced UT-Tyler with 17 points and Kochner had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Demi Cumby chipped in 12 points, Carissa Spiker added 11, and Bianca Valderrama scored 10.