Women's Basketball

UTA center VanDijk scores 33 in win over Texas State

UTA center Rebekah VanDijk was 11-of-16 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line Tuesday while exploiting outsized Texas State inside.
UTA center Rebekah VanDijk was 11-of-16 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line Tuesday while exploiting outsized Texas State inside. Star-Telegram

UT Arlington center Rebekah VanDijk sauntered into media availability following Tuesday’s 78-69 win over Texas State sporting a bright orange foam cowboy hat.

“When you score 33, you get to wear the big hat to media,” UTA coach Krista Gerlich said. “I’m really proud to see them play with the joy they’re playing with right now.”

By all means, then. Texas State (12-16, 7-11 Sun Belt) had no answer for the 6-foot-5 sophomore inside Tuesday as the Mavericks (14-14, 9-9) got their regular season ending three-game-in-five-day stretch off on the right foot to pull back even in Sun Belt Conference play.

When you score 33, you get to wear the big hat to media. I’m really proud to see them play with the joy they’re playing with right now.

UTA coach Krista Gerlich on Rebekah VanDijk and the Mavericks

VanDijk bettered her previous career high, a 26-point performance that came just three weeks ago at Texas State, by going 11-of-16 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line. The Bobcats’ tallest player stands 6-1, four full inches shorter than VanDijk, who ended the night with a game-high 33 points and nine rebounds.

“The guards were getting [the ball] to me in great spots,” VanDijk said. “I just had to concentrate on putting it in.”

The Mavs stretched the Texas State defense in the first half, going 7-of-9 from 3-point range. Backup guard Lauren Billie went 3-of-4 from behind the arc and scored all nine of her points in the first half.

When the Bobcats respected the UTA jumper by guarding the Mavericks’ perimeter players more closely in the second half, VanDijk was waiting. She scored 17 in the fourth quarter and 25 in the second half.

VanDijk’s 33-point effort was the second-highest point production by one player in a Sun Belt game this season.

The guards were getting [the ball] to me in great spots. I just had to concentrate on putting it in.

Rebekah VanDijk

Senior guard Amara Wainwright chipped in 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished six assists, all to VanDijk on post entry passes with VanDijk sealing her defender in the lane.

“It wasn’t broke, so we didn’t try to fix anything,” Wainwright said. “We’ll take layups.”

The Mavs will be back in action Thursday at College Park Center against South Alabama.

 

Texas St.

11

18

14

26

69

UT Arlington

19

18

15

26

78

TEXAS ST. (12-16, 7-11 SUN BELT) — Apari 5-5 0-0 10, Anderson 4-9 0-0 10, May 1-4 0-0 2, Burns 3-16 3-4 10, Walla 7-15 0-0 16, Leavitt 0-2 0-0 0, Lurry 5-6 2-3 12, Pitts 1-1 2-2 4, Deer 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 28-63 7-9 69.

UT ARLINGTON (14-14, 9-9) — Zaleckaite 2-4 1-1 5, VanDijk 11-16 11-14 33, Billie 3-5 0-0 9, Green 1-5 7-8 10, Wainwright 4-10 2-2 12, LeJune 2-3 0-0 5, Te’o 0-0- 1-2 1, Holly 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 24-45 23-29 78.

3-point goals — Texas St. 6-26 (Anderson 2-6, Walla 2-6, Deer 1-2, Burns 1-10, Leavitt 0-2), UTA 7-13 (Billie 3-4, Wainwright 2-5, LeJune 1-2, Green 1-2). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Texas St. 20 (May, Lurry 5), UTA 37 (VanDijk 9). Assists — Texas St. 15 (May 4), UTA 18 (Wainwright 6). Total fouls — Texas St. 22, UTA 21.

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