TEMPE, Ariz. — The UTSA women's basketball team fell to Arizona State, 70-55, in the opening game of the 2023-24 season at Desert Financial Arena on Thursday, despite an impressive performance on the glass.
The Roadrunners (0-1, 0-0 AAC) suffered a defeat at the hands of the Sun Devils (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) as they outrebounded and out-blocked the opposition. UTSA hauled in 46 boards to ASU's 36, nine of which came courtesy of freshman Idara Udo, who came one rebound shy of a double-double in her first collegiate contest.
Udo went 4-for-7 from the field for 10 points, matching sophomore Maya Linton, whose scoring output represented a new career-high. Sophomore Cheyenne Rowe collected nine rebounds in her UTSA debut to tie Udo for the most in the contest. Additionally, nobody in Desert Financial Arena swatted as many shots as Kyra White, who logged three blocks and a team-high four assists
Along with Udo and Rowe, freshman Aysia Proctor and senior Nissa Sam-Grant appeared in their first games for UTSA as Proctor collected seven rebounds in 13 minutes on the floor.
Linton drained the first Roadrunner bucket of the season ahead of two sophomore Sidney Love free throws that put UTSA up 4-2 early in the quarter. A Sun Devil triple prompted another Linton jumper for a 6-5 score line. ASU then embarked on a 16-point surge before a White three-pointer halted the run, resulting in a 21-9 score. Udo added one more jumper before the period's conclusion as UTSA headed into the second trailing 25-12.
After trading buckets to open the stanza, Jalyn Brown knocked down consecutive shots, to which sophomore Siena Guttadauro answered with a triple, and Udo hit a layup en route to a 33-19 score. ASU sparked another five-point spurt and attempted to keep the 'Runners at arms-length, but a basket for senior Kyleigh McGuire and a layup for Rowe kept UTSA in the fight. Still leading 38-23, the Sun Devils finished the quarter with six straight makes for a 49-23 halftime score
Not to be deterred, the Roadrunners came out swinging in the second half, scoring seven of the first 10 points in a stretch that saw multiple makes for White. An ASU jumper snapped a 7-0 UTSA run, but the 'Runners hot streak continued as Love knocked down a shot, inducing a 54-34 score. A Linton jumper and an Udo free throw shortly after trimmed the Roadrunner deficit to 15 as the squad headed into the final frame down 59-43.
UTSA outscored the opposition 12-11 in the fourth quarter, using makes by Proctor, Rowe, and Love to work a 64-49 score line midway through the period. Sophomore Madison Cockrell converted an and-one, and sophomore Alexis Parker logged a fast break bucket as the game neared its conclusion and a 70-55 final.
The Roadrunners will now turn their attention toward New Mexico State, with the Aggies set to visit the Convocation Center in what represents UTSA's home opener on Friday at 7 p.m.