Lady Movin' Mavs lose national championship final in overtime thriller

Abby Dunkin, Lady Movin' Mavs senior, hugs Darlene Hunter, Lady Movin' Mavs graduate student, after the game against the University of Alabama on March 16 at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. The team's season came to a close after the Lady Movin' Mavs were defeated by Alabama 82-76 in the championship game of the 2019 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Lady Movin’ Mavs fell just short in their quest for back-to-back national championships, falling 82-76 in an overtime thriller to the University of Alabama in the final of the 2019 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

UTA held a late lead before Alabama sophomore Katharina Lang hit a shot to tie the game at 67 with two seconds remaining in regulation.

The Lady Movin’ Mavs were then outscored 15-9 in overtime.

Head coach Jason Nelms said it was a little bit of a heartbreaker.

“The girls, they had ‘em, and then they stopped rotating for four plays in a row and gave up four layups in a row. That ended up being the difference in the game,” he said. “We lost a little bit of focus for 30 seconds, and that’s what happens in a national championship game.”

Senior Rose Hollermann put up 40 points in her final game as a Lady Movin’ Mav, including a go-ahead bucket with 12.6 seconds left in regulation.

Hollermann was honored as the Player of the Year in the collegiate division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association prior to the game.

“I think we just didn’t play our game today,” Hollermann said. “We just didn’t finish it when we should have.”

Senior Abby Dunkin added 12 points in what was her last game in a UTA uniform as well.

Nelms said Hollermann and Dunkin along with fellow seniors Morgan Wood and Mikila Salazar have meant a lot to the young Lady Movin’ Mavs program, which started in 2013.

“[They’ve] just meant so much,” Nelms said. “They built our program. They left a legacy there for us to build on.”

Lady Movin' Mavs lose national championship final in overtime thriller

Darlene Hunter, Lady Movin' Mavs graduate student, center, passes the ball during the game against the University of Alabama on March 16 at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. The Lady Movin' Mavs lost 82-76 in overtime. 

The Lady Movin’ Mavs played in the national championship the last four seasons, winning it in 2016 and 2018.

“We were able to come in and kind of establish this program,” Hollermann said. “We’ve bonded together a lot, the four of us that have been through the whole five years together, it’s been awesome. It’s sad that this is how we’re gonna go out, but I guess it’s the way it is.”

It was a hard-fought but ultimately disappointing end for the top-seeded Lady Movin’ Mavs. The team will now head back to Arlington, where their head coach says they’ll start preparing for next season as early as next week.

For now, Nelms offers an optimistic look at a tough loss.

“You win some, and you lose some,” Nelms said. “As long as you fight hard, then it’s always going to be positive in the end.”

@coylio33

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

Like our work? Don’t steal it! Share the link or email us for information on how to get permission to use our content.
Load comments