The UTRGV women’s basketball team took the lead with six seconds remaining before falling to the Florida International Panthers 65-64 on Friday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse in Edinburg as part of the WAC/C-USA scheduling initiative.
Down 63-62, junior Arianna Sturdivant made a layup to give the Vaqueros the lead. After a timeout, the Panthers found Maria Torres for a layup with two seconds left. The Vaqueros’ half court heave at the buzzer was off the mark.
Junior Iyana Dorsey led the Vaqueros (0-2) with 18 points and four assists. Junior Arianna Sturdivant scored a career-high 16 points with a career-high six rebounds and a career-high three steals. Sophomore Charlotte O’Keefe scored a career-high tying 14 points with nine rebounds, three blocks and a career-high three steals. Junior Tierra Trotter scored a career-high 10 points with a career-high three rebounds, a career-high tying two assists, a career-high two steals, and her first-career block.
Ajae Yoakum led the Panthers (2-0) with 13 points and six rebounds. Mya Kone, Courtney Prenger and Olivia Trice all finished with 10 points. Kone added seven rebounds while Prenger had six.
The Vaqueros jumped out to a 9-0 lead while keeping the Panthers off the board for the first six and a half minutes. During that time, the Vaqueros had three blocks and one steal while holding the Panthers to 1 of 12 shooting.
The Panthers clawed to within 13-9 late in the first quarter before three Sturdivant jumpers powered an 8-0 run to put the Vaqueros up 21-9 early in the second.
The Panthers answered with a 17-2 run over the next six minutes. Dorsey closed the half with a driving layup on which she drew contact for a 3-point play to tie the game at 28.
The Panthers scored the first five points of the third quarter before a 13-4 run, capped by a Dorsey free throw, put the Vaqueros up 41-37.
After the Panthers pulled even at 41, Dorsey made a jumper and Sturdivant followed with a layup to put the Vaqueros up 45-41.
Then, with the scored tied at 45, Dorsey hit a deep 3 to put the Vaqueros back on top.
Down 49-48 at the start of the fourth, the Vaqueros went on a 10-4 run, capped by a Dorsey layup, to take a 58-53 lead.
The Panthers followed with a 10-3 run to go up 63-61 with 1:49 remaining.
UTRGV is back in action on 5 p.m. Friday at Texas State.