Women’s, men’s basketball climb the charts in final run for ASC

Nahum Pilli | Mercury Staff

The UTD women’s basketball team defeated Sul Ross State 69-55 on Jan. 18, improving their standing to 14-4, their best record through 16 games since the 2020-21 season. In contrast, the UTD men’s team lost to SRSU 66-65 in of the Comets’ closest games of the season, bringing their three-game win streak to an abrupt end.

Starting with the women’s Jan. 18 game, the Comets never trailed, ending the first half of the game in the lead with a score of 31-26 and finishing with a strong second half to increase the winning margin to 14 points.

Now ranking second in the ASC, the men’s basketball team kept it close out the gates at the beginning of their game before going on a 19-3 run to go up by a score of 28-14. However, the visiting SRSU Lobos responded with an 11-1 run to close out the first half with a 29-25 Comets lead. UTD had a strong start to the second half before the Lobos went on a 10-0 run to take a two-point lead. After that, the game was neck and neck, with nine lead changes in the second period. With less than one second remaining, SRSU guard Gabe Sanchez hit the game’s winning shot, resulting in a narrow Lobos victory.

Senior forward Alex Bowman had a career setting night: she posted 20 points and 10 rebounds, both of which set new career highs and is her first career double-double. She also recorded two blocks and two steals.

“I really honed in on my offensive contribution to the game,” Bowman said. “It comes with the flow of the game.”

The women’s team distributed the ball effectively, with four players scoring in the double-digits. In addition to Bowman, junior guard Trystan Clark posted 12 points and six rebounds to go along with three steals. Senior guard Blythe Williams scored 11 points and dished four assists, and sophomore guard Amanda Crowninshield contributed 11 points off the bench.

“You don’t go in thinking you’re gonna distribute it evenly, but we designed plays that are balanced and have multiple options,” women’s basketball coach Joseph Shotland said. “Hopefully we can continue to do that moving forward, because I think that’s gonna be really important for our offense to be balanced.”

The men’s team put up a solid defensive, notching a season-high 13 steals to go along with three blocks despite the loss.

“I think I went up soft a couple times and so [without] that [it] could have … ended up giving us the edge,” junior forward Rob Wade said. “[I] should have ramped up the intensity a little bit more.”

Senior guard Donovan Souter led the Comets in scoring with 18 points. Sophomore center Austin Page was close behind with 17 points, in addition to five rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks.

“I think that Austin and Donovan at the end really made a push offensively to keep us in the game,” Wade said. “We played hard on defense, we held them to 66 points, so that’s something to be proud of.”

With six games remaining before the ASC championship, the UTD women’s team looks to extend their three-game winning streak and maintain their perfect home record moving forward. The men’s team will look to bounce back from a tough loss.

The Comets faced Howard Payne on Jan. 20, winning 77-63 before their two games against the Ozarks. They won their Jan. 24 match against the team 60-46 and won again against the Ozarks 78-51 on Jan. 27.

“You can’t look ahead. You gotta try and keep improving,” Shotland said. “Just try and play your best basketball towards the end of the season.”

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