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Women's Basketball lose to Seattle University, 78-64

Valentine's Day win for women's basketball team

Junior guard Laila Suleiman drives down the court to help the Mavericks defeat the Vandals 60-58 on Feb. 15 at the College Park Center.

Early foul trouble and turnovers left the UTA women's basketball dazed and confused as they lost to Seattle University 78-64 on Saturday night at the College Park Center.

Junior guard Laila Suleiman led the Mavericks (5-19, 3-11 Western Athletic Conference) in scoring with 10 points, while senior guard Kiara Parker and junior forward Desherra Nwanguma led the team in rebounds with six a piece.

Interim head coach Karen Blair said that turnovers and lack of aggressiveness led to the team's demise.

"We really didn't take care of the ball and somebody needed to step up with two of our leading scorers in foul trouble," Blair said. "We didn't knock down shots and didn't perform when we needed to in the first half."

Foul trouble became a problem for the Mavericks when Nwanguma and Suleiman both picked up two fouls early in the first half, forcing Blair to sit them.

Blair said that Nwanguma being in foul trouble was definitely a concern for the coaches.

"Going into the game, we knew that Kaci Sowell and Desherra would be a pretty good battle so not having her hurt us on the offensive end," Blair said.

UTA's offense struggled  only shooting 26.9 percent from the field, and going 7-for-26 from the field, and 15 turnovers in the first half.

Suleiman said that picking up two quick fouls was discouraging.

"As a point guard, I don't like to see the team struggle and seeing the way the team was playing, I wanted to go back out there," Suleiman said.

The Mavericks tried to create a spark on offense to start the second half by making three consecutive 3-pointers by Suleiman and freshman guard Jordan Holub.

Blair said the team continues to work towards playing a full 40 minutes rather than make big scoring runs in the second half in preparation for the WAC tournament in March

"It's a process," Blair said. "I know it's frustrating for them and us, as coaches, because when they play a full game, big things can happen."

The Mavericks ended the game shooting 34.8 percent, going 16 for 46 from the field.

Suleiman said that the team's performance this weekend is certainly something to learn from.

"We started out flat in the first half but we became aggressive and drove the ball more in the second half so its mainly having that aggressiveness earlier in the game to get us started sooner," Suleiman said.

Junior forward Kacie Sowell lead Seattle (15-9, 12-3 in WAC) with a double-double scoring 19 points and 11 rebounds. Junior forward Ashley Ward added 17 points in the win.

UTA's next game will be against the University of New Orleans at 12 p.m. on Wednesday at the College Park Center.




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