ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Southern women’s basketball team closed out a solid non-conference slate on a winning note with a 74-63 road decision over UT Arlington Monday night.
Both teams were tied at 20-all early in the second quarter but TSU would regain a 25-23 lead on Destiny Arvinger’s layup and never looked back as the Tigers led by as much as five on several occasions en route to a 37-34 halftime lead. The Tigers would ride the hot hands of Ciani Cryor and Ataiya Bridges as the duo combined for 21 of the team’s 37 points. TSU also helped its own cause from the field as they shot 51.9 percent while forcing 14 turnovers defensively.
TSU would seize control of the contest midway through the third quarter as they opened with an 8-1 run to lead 45-35. During the run, the Tigers were led by Breasia McElrath’s four points and a steal followed by four points from Bridges. UTA would chip away at its deficit and close the gap to 48-42 with 46 seconds remaining but TSU rebounded with a Cryor basket with 23 seconds left for a 50-42 third quarter lead.
The final quarter resembled a track meet as both teams posted game highs in points scored. UTA drew to within 52-48 early in the quarter but TSU clamped down defensively and responded with a 7-0 run to push its lead back to double digits at 59-48 with 4:23 remaining. From there, it was all about Cryor as the Philadelphia, Pa. native closed out the game for TSU with 10 points, two assists and two steals during that span.
Cryor posted her third double-double of the year with a season-high 32 points and 10 assists. Bridges added 17 off the bench while Niya Mitchell grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds.
TSU capped off its most successful non-conference slate since the 2016-17 season with five division one wins. The team will now turn its attention towards the all-important SWAC slate as league play begins on Saturday versus Southern at 5:30 p.m. inside the H&PE Arena.