Foster scores 16 as Texas-San Antonio wins Southland championship
KATY, Texas -- Amanda Foster played her best when her team needed it the most.
The Texas-San Antonio senior had a career game -- 16 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks to help Texas-San Antonio defeat Lamar 65-56 in the championship game of the Southland Conference women's tournament Saturday.
"Amanda had her best game all year," said Texas-San Antonio coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair whose team won its first SLC tournament. "And what a time to have such a great game. We knew we had to out-rebound them and she helped us do that."
The 6-foot-2 Foster had averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds entering the tournament.
"Being a senior I thought this could be my last game," Foster said. "I just told myself, if this is going to be my last game, I don't want to leave anything on the court. I gave it everything I had."
Terrie Davis had 15 points, 12 in the first half, and Monica Gibbs added 14 to help the third-seeded Roadrunners, who will be making their first NCAA tournament appearance.
Davis, who led the Southland Conference in 3-pointers with 76 this season, hit her first three 3-pointers to help Texas-San Antonio to a 15-4 lead the first 6 minutes.
"They were leaving me open," Davis said of her big first half. "And my teammates were getting me the ball, so I just put it up."
The Roadrunners' 21-point lead went to five in the second half.
"We knew we had a big lead in the second half," Gibbs said. "The main thing we had to do was just keep our composure and we did."
Texas-San Antonio takes a 23-9 mark and a school record for wins into the NCAA tournament.
Tamara Abalde led Lamar with 20 points, 14 in the second half. Nikki Williams added 16 points as the fourth-seeded Cardinals finished 19-13. Coach Larry Tidwell said his team has been assured an invitation to the Women's National Invitational Tournament.
Texas-San Antonio built a 30-10 lead with 7:08 left in the first half.
Lamar struggled shooting from the field in the first half. The Cardinals missed 20 of their first 22 shots from the field and were outrebounded 24-13 in that span.
"The first half we just couldn't get any rhythm going," Tidwell said. "We played well. We just didn't get the ball to the people we have to get the ball to."
"But we didn't panic and I thought we made a pretty good effort to come back in the second half."
Abalde scored the first seven points of the second half as the Cardinals made their run.
"We talked about it at the half," Abalde said. "We just tried to fix the things we were doing wrong and play harder."
The Runners led 38-17 at the half as Davis hit 4 of 8 3-pointers.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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