UTD Women Upset Louisiana College To Win First ASC Crown
The Comets celebrate after clinching the conference championship and earning a chance to make their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
The UT Dallas women's basketball team will be making its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III National Tournament after a 67-63 win over No. 23-ranked Louisiana College in the American Southwest Conference title game Sunday afternoon.
The Comets will travel to Memphis, Tenn., for a match-up Friday against Washington University-St. Louis in the national tournament's first round.
“I don't have any words to describe it,” head coach Polly Thomason said. “To win it all after the kind of year we had, it's amazing what these girls were able to accomplish.”
With the 3-0 sweep in the tournament, UT Dallas finished the season winning seven straight games after suffering through a six-game losing streak midway through the season.
Morgan Kilgore was named Tournament MVP after scoring a game-high 16 points in the Comets' second win this season over the Lady Cats. Kellie Loukanis added 14 points while Amber Brown scored 11 points to round out the Comets in double figures. Katie Korioth added seven points while pitching in nine rebounds and seven assists, both game-highs. Loukanis and Korioth joined Kilgore on the All-Tournament Team.
“It was a game of really two halves,” the Comet coach said of the championship game. “LC played strong and aggressive in the first half and we didn't match it. We were fortunate the lead wasn't any bigger.”
The Comets (now 20-8) erased a 38-28 halftime deficit as they claimed their first conference crown in their first-ever trip to the ASC title game. UT Dallas shot 68 percent from the field in the opening half, but suffered from 18 first-half turnovers as the Comets.
Morgan Kilgore was named the tournament's most valuable player.
UT Dallas gave up the ball just eight times after the break and continuing to shoot better than 60 percent. The Comets also took advantage of 17 fouls called on the Lady Wildcats after halftime, hitting 16 of 19 free throws after intermission.
“We told the girls at halftime to just calm down and slow the game down,” Thomason said. “We were trying to match Louisiana speed-for-speed in the first half and that really isn't our game. We told them just to regroup, start contesting shots and play our game … and it worked.”
The Comets finished the game shooting 64.9 percent as a team and were 78.3 percent from the free-throw line. Kilgore was 5 for 9 from the field and a perfect 6 for 5 from the foul line. Kilgore averaged 19.7 points and shot nearly 70 percent from the field for the tournament.
The Comets' opponent in the national championship first round is no stranger to the event. Washington University will be making its 24th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bears have advanced to four of the last six national title games, winning the championship in 2011. In all, Washington-St. Louis is a five-time national champion, winning four straight titles from 1998-2001.
The UT Dallas Comets don their American Southwest Conference champion T-shirts after the win against Louisiana College on Sunday.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].