Top photo: UTSA seniors Amanda Foster (left) and Terrie Davis celebrate Saturday's
Southland Conference Championship, the first in school history.
Bottom photo: Team, staff and supporters
>> Read more and listen to the March 15 winning game.
Wear Your Orange-and-Blue: UTSA wins first-ever SLC title
By Carlos Valdez III
Assistant Sports Information Director
(March 17, 2008)--The UTSA women's basketball team is going NCAA Tournament dancing for the first time in school history after defeating Lamar, 65-56, in the 2008 Southland Conference championship game Saturday at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. And a plus... the win comes during Women's History Month.
The NCAA Women's Tournament match-ups will be announced on ESPN between 6 and 7 p.m., Monday, March 17. Join Coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair and the Roadrunners at 5 p.m. March 17 to learn who their opponent will be in the NCAA Tournament. The team will host a watch party at the Fox & Hound at the corner of DeZavala and Vance Jackson streets. Appetizers and soft drinks will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public.
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Senior forward Amanda Foster posted her second double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Roadrunners (23-9), while junior guard Monica Gibbs, who was named the SLC Tournament MVP, collected her 22nd career double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. Senior guard Terrie Davis, named to the SLC All-Tournament Team, chipped in with 15 points on the strength of five 3-pointers including four in the first half. Junior Onika Anderson collected All-Tournament honors.
"We played a great game today," said head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair after winning the first SLC title of her eight-year tenure in the Alamo City. "Amanda, Monica and Terrie had their best games of the season and I am so proud of them. They showed up and got us this victory."
It wasn't easy, though, as Lamar came out firing with a 14-3 run led by Tamara Abalde and Brittney Williams to cut the lead to 41-31 in the first five minutes of the second half. UTSA then pushed its lead back to 16 courtesy of a 6-0 spurt over the next three minutes. The Lady Cardinals again pulled within 10 on Abalde's jumper from the free throw line and Trashanna Smith then drained 1-of-2 free throws to pull Lamar within eight at the four-minute mark.
A pair of freebies by Abalde cut UTSA's lead to six with a minute to play, but it would be the closest the Lady Cardinals would get the rest of the way. The Roadrunners made 8-of-10 from the charity stripe in the final minute to clinch their first-ever SLC Tournament Championship.
Abalde led the Lady Cardinals (19-13) with a game-high 20 points, while Nikki Williams added 16. Foster's 3-pointer from the left wing put UTSA up 13-4 with 15:19 to go in the first half. Lamar closed the gap to eight when Jasmine Stewart was good on a free throw midway through the frame. Davis' fourth triple of the stanza capped a 12-0 Roadrunners' run with seven minutes to play in the half. Abalde ended a Lady Cardinals four-minute scoreless drought with a lay-up two minutes later, but freshman guard Amber Gregg gave UTSA its largest lead of the game at 38-17 with a driving lay-up as the clock expired.