Women’s Basketball Continues to Dominate WAC

Lindsey Wasson • The Spectator

Lindsey Wasson • The Spectator

Another game, another W on the stat sheet.

The Women’s Basketball team cruised to a 69-53 win over struggling University of Texas-Arlington. Riding into the game on a five game win streak and an undefeated WAC record, the pressure was on the Redhawks to continue their recent run and stave off the attempt of UTA to discontinue their streak, a four game slide, three of which were seven point or less losses.

The game started slowly for the Redhawks, the team struggling to hit the net from anything other than the paint, missing their first four three pointers, despite an overall early shooting percentage in the sixties. Tack on five turnovers and UTA snatching down 4 offensive rebounds, and the game was 18-15 halfway through the first period.

Five minutes later things began to change and the Redhawks were able to capture the lead and the momentum by way of some pesky defending and turnovers by the Mavericks. A 3-pointer from Senior guard Ashley Ward, a steal by Junior Sylvia Shephard and a 3 point play from Junior post Kacie Sowell capped the run and gave the Redhawks an 8 point lead with just a few minutes remaining in the half.

Two late free throws for UTA cut the lead to six heading into the break. With the game still in the balance, the Redhawks needed a strong start to the second half to keep the momentum they built late in the first period.

A strong start is just what they got, as layups from Junior Guard Daidra Brown, Sowell, Senior post Brenda Adhiambo and a three point play from Shephard gave the Redhawks a 15 point lead just four minutes into the half. The lead proved to be more than enough, UTA only managing to cut the lead to single digits once before falling by 16.

“I thought we made some good adjustments at halftime, said Head Coach Joan Bonvicini, “We came out at halftime and tried to do a much better job of our posts working together. That’s why we were able to get the lead and pull away a little bit.”

Lindsey Wasson • The Spectator
Lindsey Wasson • The Spectator

Ashley Ward tries to maneuver past a block by Maverick Briana Walker during the second half of the Redhawks vs. Mavericks game on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.

Sowell led the Redhawks in points and rebounds, notching 18 and 11 respectively, while Sylvia Shephard shined, adding 14 points of her own, in addition to 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals, her second double-double of the season. Sowell’s performance notched her a fourth double-double in five games and her ninth of the season, leaving her as the 16th ranked Division 1 player for the category. Her 61.6 percent shooting from the floor is tops in the nation.

Seattle U wrapped up the weekend by securing another win over Louisiana Tech, stretching their win streak to seven games and continuing their unbeaten start to WAC play. The win left them two games clear of Utah State and three clear of Texas-San Antonio.

Brown, when asked about playing the first round of WAC play, said, ““Both sides of the conference are really good. I would just say that the first half is a different style of team. The first half is more catch and shoot, more shooters. The second half of our league are more of penetrators.”

The game against Texas-San Antonio marks the start of a 4 game road swing that takes the Hawks through the end of January and into February, ending with a tough matchup at 2nd place WAC team Utah State.

Kevin Dunham may be reached at [email protected]