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WNIT: CHAMPIONS!

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Senior-less team gives gutsy performance after giving up 18 point lead

Kahleah Copper
Kahleah Copper
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

During the first half of the WNIT finals, CBS Sports Network played a piece that saw C. Vivian Stringer comment on how she would feel at the ten-minute mark of the half. She hoped to see her team playing poised.

She must have been very happy. At last for a half.

In front of a crowd of 12,221, the Scarlet Knights put together a tough defensive performance in winning the WNIT title defeating UTEP, 56-54. It was the first post-season title for the women since the AIAW Championship in 1982. Ironically, that win was also over a team from the Lone Star State, Texas.

RU held UTEP to under 20% shooting in the first half as they built a 30-16 lead after 20 minutes. On the day, UTEP shot only 25.9% as the Knights played tenacious defense. Kahleah Copper was on fire in the first half, scoring 16 of her 18 and pulling down 12 rebounds for the game. Freshman Tyler Scaife was amazing in the second half, dropping in 18, including several clutch shots down the stretch. Copper was named tournament MVO while Scsufe was named yo the All Tournament team.

The Miners made it interesting at the start of the second half, closing the gap with 3-point shots. The lead went down to 2 and they took the lead in the closing minutes.  The Knights went to the line for only 12 shots compared to UTEP's 30.

The Knights finish the season at 28-9. UTEP finishes 29-8.