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No. 5 Seward bounces back with win over No. 19 Salt Lake

No. 5 Seward bounces back with win over No. 19 Salt Lake

MIDLAND, Texas – Aquila Mucubaquire hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left in the game to snap a tie and lead the fifth-ranked ranked Lady Saints basketball team over the No. 19 Salt Lake Community College Bruins, 59-55, on Friday in the consolation round of the Midland College WNIT tournament. Seward improved to 5-1.

Both teams had leads during the game with Seward holding a 43-40 advantage after three quarters. Salt Lake started the fourth with a 7-0 spurt to open a 47-43 margin and held a four-point lead at 55-51 with 1:56 remaining in the game.

The Lady Saints clamped down defensively as the Bruins did not score again and Mucubaquire led the offensive charge by scoring four of the final eight points. The second-year guard scored on a tip-in to cut the deficit to 55-53 with 1:38 remaining and Vanda Cuamba swished in two free throws to knot the game at 55 with just over a minute remaining to set up Mucubaquire's heroics. Alanis Hill sealed the game with two more free throws with one second left.

Mucubaquire led the Lady Saints with a season-high 20 points, including four three-pointers and hitting four of six from the charity stripe. Johnson added 10 points for Seward, which shot only 27 percent from the field. The Lady Saints had a big advantage at the free-throw line going 18-of-23 while the Bruins were only 7-of-14.

Seward started off slow against Midland on Thursday, in suffering its first of loss of the season, and could not come back. The same start happened again against Salt Lake. The Lady Saints found themselves down 14-2 with 6:14 remaining in the first quarter, but Mucubaquire would not allow a repeat of Thursday's disaster.

Mucubaquire hit a three-pointer to start a 7-0 run, which included buckets by Leilani Augmon and Tianna Johnson, and helped Seward cut the deficit to 14-9 with 4:50 left in the quarter. The Lady Saints fell behind 18-10 after one, but was within striking distance.

Seward trailed 26-19 with 4:15 left in the second quarter before closing the half with a 9-2 surge. Mucubaquire had five points during the run, including a three-pointer to knot the game at 26 with 59 seconds remaining. Hill hit a layup to give Seward a 28-26 lead, its first of the game, with 13 seconds left and the Lady Saints led at the half.

Seward finishes the WNIT with a contest against No. 23 Odessa in the fifth-place game on Saturday at 2 p.m.