TYLER, TEXAS – UT Tyler women’s basketball played all 40 minutes with a high intensity on Saturday afternoon and dominated both sides of the ball against #17 West Texas A&M in a 76-54 win.
The Patriots shot 54.2% from the field, 47.6% from beyond the arc, and 70% from the free throw line while holding the Lady Buffs to 31.1% from the field and 14.7% from three. That is the second lowest mark of the season for #17 West Texas A&M from the floor and from beyond the arc.
The game started quickly with a 8-4 run from the Lady Buffs over the first 2:33 of the first quarter. The script completely flipped over the remaining 7:27 of the first frame, as UT Tyler ran out to a 21-4 run to take a 25-12 lead. That run saw seven different Patriots get on the board, led by seven points from a hot shooting Lovisa Hevinder. The Patriots held the Lady Buffs to 2-8 shooting and 0-5 from beyond the arc during the run.
The Patriots offense and defense just kept on rolling in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Buffs 26-12 in the quarter. As a team, UT Tyler went 9-11 from the floor and 5-7 from beyond the arc with Destini Whitehead adding 12 points and both Hevinder and Montse Gutierrez each adding six points. That stout Patriots defense held the Lady Buffs offense to just 5-12 from the floor and 1-7 from deep.
The big spark in that frame came from the 7:25 mark to the 3:42 mark as the Patriots missed just one shot and nailed four three pointers while stretching the lead to 24. The lead at the end of the quarter would be 27 points as it was all UT Tyler for the first half.
#17 West Texas A&M started to try and dig their way out of the hole in the third quarter, beginning with a 7-5 run over the first 1:49 of gameplay. The UT Tyler defense held strong, and over the next 3:51 of gametime, the two teams would combine for just three points as the Patriots held the Lady Buffs to just 1-7 in that stretch.
Over the final 4:40 of the third quarter, another Lady Buffs run of 8-4 cut the lead down to 20 points as the two teams headed to the final frame.
Needing a hot start, #17 West Texas A&M tried to get on the board quickly in the final frame, but the Patriots seemed to have an answer of their own at every turn as they continued to hold off the Lady Buffs.
Whitehead buried a three pointer at the 6:33 mark of the quarter to run the lead back to 19 points, and almost seal the victory for UT Tyler. After a pair of Frances King free throws, Gutierrez continued her magic from Thursday night and buried another three pointer to extend the lead to 24 with just 4:05 remaining. The Patriots would close out the game by allowing just six more points from the Lady Buffs and come away with another massive conference win.
The Patriots held the lead for 36:08 of gametime on Saturday afternoon. They also outscored the Lady Buffs in the paint at 26-12, posted a 14-11 advantage in bench points, and a 16-2 disparity in fastbreak points.
Destini Whitehead led all scorers with 24 points including a monster 12 point second quarter. Whitehead shot 61.5% from the floor and 66% from deep while chipping in two rebounds and three steals.
Lovisa Hevinder added in 21 huge points of her own while adding 10 rebounds to post her fourth double double of the year.
Montse Gutierrez was the third and final Patriot in double figures, scoring 11 points on 4-5 shooting and 3-3 from beyond the arc.
Next up for the Patriots will be another week of home games as both UAFS and Oklahoma Christian come to the Herrington Patriot Center. The contest against UAFS is scheduled for January 26th at 5 p.m. while the Eagles will take on the Patriots on January 28th at 1 p.m.