Deing scores 27 as UTSA downs determined St. Mary’s, 75-65

Dhieu Deing. UTSA beat St. Mary's 76-65 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Junior Dhieu Deing has scored 53 points and has hit a combined 17 of 32 shots from the field in his last two games. Deing also has scored 20 or more in three of his last four. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Dhieu Deing did a little bit of everything on the basketball floor Monday night. He scored. He rebounded. He created on the dribble.

The multi-talented, 6-foot-5 forward even took a charge in crunch time that helped fend off a late rally, allowing the UTSA Roadrunners to surge past the St. Mary’s Rattlers 75-65 at the Convocation Center.

What’s next?

Jacob Germany. UTSA beat St. Mary's 76-65 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany scored 18 on Monday night against St. Mary’s. He hit 6 of 11 from the field and 6 of 8 from the free throw line. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Is the former North Carolina prep standout now a candidate to sell soft drinks and popcorn at halftime?

How about issuing him a trombone and letting him rip off a few solos the next time the UTSA band comes out to play?

After Deing produced a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds against the Rattlers, UTSA center Jacob Germany marveled at the showing.

“Oh, he’s all over the place,” Germany said. “I think he had, what, 27 and 11 and four (assists)? He’s just doing everything. We wear these heart monitors (in practice), and his heartbeat is always the highest, because he’s always moving all over the place.

“That’s what he brings for us, and you know, we need that every game.”

On Deing’s defensive gem, St. Mary’s was trailing by six points with 1:33 remaining when forward Mamady Djikine posted up on the left block and tried to wheel into the lane for a shot.

Taking the brunt of the blow in his chest, Deing fell backward. Foul on Djikine, was the call.

“I seen the whole game that he was putting his shoulder down, so I read it,” Deing said.

Cedrick Alley Jr. UTSA beat St. Mary's 76-65 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA senior Cedrick Alley Jr. led all rebounders with 12 as UTSA won the battle on the boards, 52-38. – Photo by Joe Alexander

On the other end, UTSA freshman guard Christian Tucker beat the defense to the rim, drew a whistle and knocked down two free throws with 1:16 left for a decisive eight-point spread. St. Mary’s never got closer than six the rest of the way.

For the Roadrunners, there wasn’t so much jubilation in the locker room as there was just a good feeling about surviving in what was sometimes an ugly game.

Besides Deing, the principals in the victory were Germany (18 points, four rebounds) and Cedrick Alley, Jr., (12 rebounds), not to mention a blue-collar effort off the bench from Lachlan Bofinger, Phoenix Ford, Erik Czumbel and Tucker.

Guard Caleb Jordan led four Rattlers with 17 points, but in a nod to the Roadrunners’ defense, it took him 18 shots to get there.

As a team, St. Mary’s managed only 34.7 percent shooting, including 28.9 percent in the first half when UTSA built a 37-25 lead. During one stretch in the first half, the Roadrunners flummoxed the Rattlers with a scheme that allowed only one field goal in 12 attempts.


UTSA 5-3
St. Mary’s 1-2

Coming up

Thursday — UTSA at Grand Canyon, Ariz.


UTSA senior guard Darius McNeill, with a walking boot on his right foot, did not play. Coach Steve Henson said McNeill likely won’t be able to play at Grand Canyon. “He’s going to be out for a little while,” the coach said.

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat St. Mary's 76-65 in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Christian Tucker drew a foul on this drive to the basket en route to a pair of clutch free throws with 1:16 remaining. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Bofinger also hurt his right ankle in the second half and did not return. “He wanted (to go back in the game,” Henson said. “Just a little swelling. He’s incredibly tough. He was trying to get back in there and (trainer) Josh (Modica) shut him down. I anticipate him being a little sore tomorrow. (But) I think he’ll be able to practice.”

Deing has scored 53 points in his last two games. During that stretch, he has hit 17 of 32 from the field for 53.1 percent … He has scored 20 or more in three of his last four … With the victory, the Roadrunners improved to 10-3 against St. Mary’s, a Division II program in San Antonio, and they also completed a six-game homestand with a 4-2 record, including four wins in the last five.


“So many weird plays (tonight). So many things we need to do better. Even at halftime, there was kind of a weird vibe. We’re up 12. Our guys should be in there feeling good. The guys knew we didn’t play the right way in certain areas of the game. St. Mary’s was good. We weren’t surprised … (Our) turnovers came in bunches. We didn’t handle their press very well. They pounded us inside. Just an uncomfortable game from a lot of standpoints.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson

Old rival in the house: UTSA to host the St. Mary’s Rattlers

The UTSA Roadrunners will host the St. Mary’s University Rattlers tonight at the Convocation Center in the resumption of a series that once stood out as a highlight of the local college basketball schedule.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

UTSA senior guard Darius McNeill, who injured his foot in a game last week, isn’t on the floor as both teams are going through warm-ups.

The two schools started playing in the 1980s, downtown, at the old HemisFair Arena in a game billed as ‘The Mayor’s Challenge Cup.’ Early games in the series drew well, with one meeting attracting a crowd of better than 7,000.

UTSA and St. Mary’s haven’t played since 2002. The Roadrunners lead the series, 9-3.

Once a powerhouse in the NAIA and a 1989 national champion in that division, the Rattlers now compete in the Lone Star Conference in NCAA Division II.

Jim Zeleznak is in his 17th year as head coach. The associate head coach is Bubba Meyer, the son of Herman ‘Buddy’ Meyer, the coach who led the Rattlers to the ’89 national title. The elder Meyer is in the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.


UTSA 4-3
St. Mary’s 1-1


UTSA, an NCAA Division I program since its inception in 1981, will meet St. Mary’s to close out a six-game homestand. The Roadrunners are 3-2 so far.

For the season, UTSA is 4-2 at home overall and 0-1 on the road. The Roadrunners are 3-2 against Division I teams, 0-1 against Division II and 1-0 against Division III.

UTSA opened the stretch at home against another LSC team, the Texas A&M-Commerce Lions, who upset the Roadrunners 65-62 on a 3-point, buzzer beater.

The Roadrunners followed with a pair of victories, downing the Denver Pioneers, 78-64, and IUPUI Jaguars, 60-57, before falling 77-58 to the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. In the Roadrunners’ last game, they rebounded on Nov. 24 to defeat the Lamar Cardinals, 79-73.

UTSA is still looking to find a consistent offensive rhythm. The Roadrunners are shooting 38.3 percent from the field and 28.2 percent on 3-pointers.

Dhieu Deing and Jordan Ivy-Curry lead the team, averaging 16 points per game apiece, but both are shooting less than 40 percent.

Former Brandeis High School standout Kobe Magee is the Rattlers’ leading scorer, averaging 22 points. Magee is the only St. Mary’s player to have faced the Roadrunners, having played in five games against UTSA as a member of the UTEP Miners.

Deing becomes more selective, scores a season-high 26 points

The play unfolded with less than a minute remaining. Leading by three, the UTSA Roadrunners needed a basket for breathing room against the determined Lamar Cardinals.

A video of the play shows the Roadrunners making at least eight passes, moving the ball around, from the wing, into the high post, and on to the other wing, before it started to move back the other way — all the way back.

Jacob Germany. UTSA beat Lamar 79-73 in men's basketball on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Junior center Jacob Germany produced 13 points and four rebounds for the Roadrunners. He hit 5 of 8 from the field. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Ultimately, it ended up in Dhieu Deing’s hands, and the former North Carolina prep standout knew what to do with it. He caught it outside the 3-point arc and dribbled toward the baseline, where he pulled up to swish a 15-footer.

The shot boosted UTSA into a five-point lead with 40 seconds left, and Lamar never got closer than three the rest of the way. The Roadrunners went on to secure a 79-73 victory for their third win in four games.

“He’s making great, great progress,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “Shot selection is a huge thing for him. We’ve gone through his last few ball games and looked at all of his shots. Last ball game, he took one or two that were just too hard.

“Again, he’s super confident. He thinks he can make everything.”

But to raise the level of his game, Deing needs to pick his spots better, and he did that against the Cardinals.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. UTSA beat Lamar 79-73 in men's basketball on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry contributed 13 points and four assists. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Deing scored 14 of his career-high 26 points in the second half as the Roadrunners bounced back from Sunday’s disappointing, 19-point home loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

UTSA pulled it off by making improvements in several areas — ball movement, shooting percentage from the field (47.2) and free-throw percentage (82.1).

The Cardinals were without one of their top backcourt players, but the Roadrunners will take a victory that pushes them back over the .500 mark.

“Team win,” Deing said. “Definitely had to bounce back. That was everybody coming to together. We got to keep on now. We got to make it consistent, though. Today, everybody was locked in and on the same page.”


Lamar 1-5
UTSA 4-3

Coming up

St. Mary’s at UTSA, Monday, 7 p.m.

Free-throw edge

UTSA essentially won the game at the free throw line, hitting 23 of 28, including 15 of 18 after intermission.

Lamar played well but couldn’t convert as high a percentage on free throws, making only 15 of 24.

Deing’s consistency

Deing, from High Point, N.C., and a former player at two other colleges, has stepped into a starter’s role in his first year with the Roadrunners to score in double figures in all seven games.

Dhieu Deing. UTSA beat Lamar 79-73 in men's basketball on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Dhieu Deing connected on 8 of 14 shots from the field in UTSA’s victory over the Lamar Cardinals. – Photo by Joe Alexander

In besting his previous high of 20 points, he hit eight of 14 shots from the field, three of seven from long range, and seven of seven at the free throw line. He also had three rebounds and three assists.

“Just taking good shots,” he explained. “I feel like the other games, I was forcing it a little bit. We watched a lot of film, and I came back and took good shots.”

Christian Tucker steps up

After senior guard Darius McNeill left the game with a foot injury, freshman walk-on Christian Tucker had his best outing with nine points. Tucker, from Chandler, Ariz., scored all nine in nine, second-half minutes. He played 11 minutes overall, and hit six of seven at the free throw line.

First half

The Roadrunners entered the game with a new look, with a change in the starting lineup, and with different player combinations. In the end, they came out of it with a 35-28 lead on the Cardinals at halftime.

In the first six games of the season, poor shooting plagued the Roadrunners. The shakeup helped to an extent with the team hitting 44.4 percent in the early going.

The Cardinals, on the other end, were held to 36.7 percent. But they stayed in the game with a 23-14 rebounding edge, including 11-4 on the offensive glass.

Rotation shakeup

Freshman Lamin Sabally got his first start of the season and played seven minutes. He went scoreless on 0 for 2 shooting and had two rebounds. With Sabally starting, McNeill came off the bench.

McNeill, a senior transfer, played only five minutes before coming out with the foot problem. Forward Aleu Aleu made his UTSA debut, coming off the bench for almost five minutes.

He missed all three of his shots, including a couple of treys.

UTSA coaches remain hopeful that Aleu, a lithe, 6-foot-8 wing, can have an impact after he sat out almost the entire six weeks of preseason training with a quad injury. Henson said Aleu has had four full practices over the past week.

Lachlan Bofinger. UTSA beat Lamar 79-73 in men's basketball on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore Lachlan Bofinger enjoyed a high-efficiency game with four points, five rebounds and two blocks in 13 minutes. – Photo by Joe Alexander

An emotional Dick Vitale thanks the fans for their support

Dick Vitale, an iconic television voice of college basketball for the last four decades, on Tuesday night effusively thanked fans on the air for all of their well-wishes during his battle with cancer.

It was an emotional moment.

The 82-year-old Vitale fought back tears as he addressed his struggle with lymphoma, just before tipoff of ESPN’s nationally-televised game between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA in Las Vegas.

“It’s great being here, Dave,” Vitale told broadcast partner Dave O’Brien. “I didn’t want to cry. I can’t believe I’m sitting here.”

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, Vitale made the trip to cover the game “a few days after having a fourth round of drugs pumped into his body” to fight the lymphoma.

He was diagnosed on Oct. 12.

Vitale initially was told he might need a surgery for what was believed to be cancer of the bile duct.

But he later was informed that he had the lymphoma, which was good news because it was something that could be treated with six months of chemotherapy, according to The Times.

A former coach at the high school, college and professional levels, Vitale has been broadcasting games since the late 1970s.

For years, he’s been one of the faces of college basketball, known for his gregarious personality and his eccentricities in describing the game on the air.

But in his remarks just before the Gonzaga-UCLA tipoff, Vitale expressed humility and gratitude for support from his family and friends and from the fans.

“I want to thank all you people,” he said.

Years ago, Vitale’s life was touched by cancer when his friend, former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano, was diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma.

Through the adversity, the two became close, and Vitale attended when Valvano delivered his “don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” remarks at the ESPY Awards presentation in March of 1993.

Valvano passed away a month later.

In the aftermath of his friend’s passing, Vitale emerged as a crusader for cancer research.

The Tampa, Fla., resident has helped raise $44 million for pediatric cancer, which, he said during the broadcast, he wants to boost to $50 million this year.

“Yes, 6 months of chemo will be a challenge,” he said on his Twitter feed. “But with all the love support and (prayers) I am receiving, I am planning on winning the toughest battle I have ever faced.”

As Vitale watched from courtside, Gonzaga put on a show. The No 1-ranked Bulldogs defeated the No. 2 Bruins easily, 83-63. Guard Andrew Nembhard scored 24 points. Forward Drew Timmme had 18.

Freshman Chet Holmgren caught Vitale’s attention with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks. On one play, the lithe 7-footer blocked a shot, dribbled behind his back on a fast break and dunked it two handed.

“He’s a Diaper Dandy deluxe,” Vitale said.

Vitale emerged as one of the stars of the night, as well. Fans chanted his name after the game as he offered remarks on-air to the ESPN viewers.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few told reporters that Vitale “just loves this game” and has done so much for it. “What an ambassador he is for college basketball,” Few said.

Tenacious Islanders roll to 77-58 victory over the Roadrunners

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi players and coach Steve Lutz (right) celebrate after their victory over UTSA on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi players and coach Steve Lutz (right) celebrate after their victory over UTSA on Sunday at the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Any day that San Antonio native Steve Lutz can spend with his family, he counts it as a very good day.

With his mother, Pat, and others on hand in the stands at the UTSA Convocation Center, he knew Sunday would be one of those days, no matter how his Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders played.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. A&M-Corpus Christi beat UTSA 77-58 on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Jordan Ivy-Curry scored 21 points for his second 20-plus performance of the season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

It was made all the more special for the Islanders’ first-year head coach when his players produced an impressive road victory, downing the UTSA Roadrunners, 77-58.

Despite starting guard Jalen Jackson playing only 11 minutes because of foul trouble, the Islanders broke out to a 40-29 lead at halftime and were never seriously threatened in what clearly was their best overall effort of the young season.

UTSA pulled to within seven twice early in the second half, but the game belonged to the visiting team, which held advantages in shooting percentage (50 to 31.9), rebounding (52-34) and points in the paint (50-26).

Jackson, a junior transfer from North Texas, scored 19 points in A&M-Corpus Christi’s two-point victory over Denver last week.

Islanders coach Steve Lutz once played for San Antonio Sports Hall of Famer Stan Bonewitz, Sr., at East Central High School.- Photo by Joe Alexander

Islanders coach Steve Lutz once played for San Antonio Sports Hall of Famer Stan Bonewitz, Sr., at East Central High School. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Saddled with the foul problems on Sunday, the former Wagner High School standout finished with only three against the Roadrunners.

Not to worry. A&M-Corpus Christi had more than enough firepower to storm past UTSA, sweeping all three games in a multi-team event hosted by the Roadrunners that started last week.

Forward Isaac Mushila dominated the day with 21 points and 17 rebounds. With Jackson on the bench much of the afternoon, Terrion Murdix stepped up to play 27 minutes. He hit 4 of 9 shots from the field, scored 8 points and passed for 5 assists.

“The guys are both starters,” said Lutz, a 1991 East Central High School graduate. “I believe we have six, seven, maybe even eight starters on this team, depending on the day and the situation.”

Freshman Lamin Sabally, a 6-foot-7 freshman, played 10 minutes and hit both shot attempts. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Lamin Sabally, a 6-foot-7 freshman forward, played 10 minutes and hit both shot attempts. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Islanders started fast, putting two fouls on Roadrunners’ center Jacob Germany, and surged into 8-0 lead. Pretty soon, it was 14-4 and 16-6. UTSA sliced A&M-Corpus Christi’s advantage to three 10 minutes into the game.

But that is as close as the Roadrunners would get, as the Islanders kept attacking the basket and pounding the glass. After it was all over, A&M-Corpus Christi left the building having never trailed.

“We lost pretty much every facet tonight,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “Shooting, it’s easy to look at that. You can also look at a couple of other areas, it’s just as frustrating.

“We haven’t been real, real sharp yet on the offensive end. We got to figure out what our identity is going to be down there.”

Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry emerged as the lone bright spot for the Roadrunners with 21 points. The sophomore from La Marque hit 7 of 16 shots from the field, but he had precious little help from his teammates. Everyone else combined to shoot 15 of 53.


UTSA 3-3
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-1

Coming up

Wednesday, 2 p.m. — Lamar at UTSA.

Coach Karen Aston secures her first victory at UTSA

Karen Aston won her first game as coach of the UTSA Roadrunners Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center, and all she could talk about afterward was what the victory meant for her players.

“I don’t have any personal satisfaction,” she said. “This is about them.”

Building an eight-point lead at halftime and a 10-point spread after three quarters, UTSA held on down the stretch to knock off the UIW Cardinals, 66-60.

It’s been almost a calendar year since the UTSA women last won a game, so that was what was most meaningful to Aston, a former coach at Texas.

“It’s huge,” Aston said. “It’s huge for them. This is a business where you go to practice every day and … (you) try to do the right thing. You want them to get the rewards for that, and they don’t always come. So when you do get them, you want to celebrate.”

Freshman center Elyssa Coleman, a transfer from Texas who is coming off two knee surgeries, led the Roadrunners with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-3 post hit 6 of 10 shots from the field

Another transfer, LaPraisjah Johnson, added 14 points and hit several key free throws in the final few minutes. San Antonio’s Charlene Mass had 14 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

The Roadrunners had not won a game since last Dec. 15, at home, against Northwestern State, La., and Mass, a junior from Veterans Memorial High School in the Judson school district, admitted that it feels good to end the drought.

“It’s just the epitome of what we want to do for this program,” she said. “We’re just going to continue to work hard, stay humble and grind.”

For the Cardinals, guard Destiny Jenkins put on a show with some long-range shooting. Jenkins knocked down five 3-point baskets, including a few of them off the glass, in scoring 21 points.


UIW 1-3
UTSA 1-3

Coming up

Nov. 28 — at Minnesota

‘Unified’ UTSA prepares for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Steve Henson. UTSA beat Denver 78-64 in men's basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Steve Henson and the Roadrunners carry a 3-2 record leading into Sunday’s home game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. – Photo by Joe Alexander

One game over .500 after five games, the UTSA Roadrunners are a long way away from becoming the type of team that can win three games in three days, or four in four days, in March at the Conference USA tournament.

Right now, the commitment to defense is a good thing, but it can only carry a team so far when the offense is completely muzzled, as it was in a 52-point loss on Nov. 12 at Oklahoma.

If anything was learned from the trip to OU, it was that the Roadrunners will need to develop another reliable offensive threat, or two, in order to make a serious run at a C-USA tournament title in the spring.

The loss to Division II Texas A&M-Commerce on Monday also exposed some flaws. It showed, again, a lack of firepower on the offensive end. And, also, that the Roadrunners aren’t invincible on their homecourt even against less-heralded programs.

So, when the Roadrunners (3-2) host the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (3-1) on Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center, they’ll need to take another step forward after completing a three games-in three days experience last week with victories over the Denver Pioneers and the IUPUI Jaguars.

“I think it’s a pretty unified group,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said after the IUPUI game. “It’s a group that wants to have success.”

The victory over the Jaguars was encouraging, given that the Roadrunners were down by 10 points with less than seven minutes remaining and still managed to pull it out, winning 60-57.

On their third game in three days, they dug down at the end and outscored the Jaguars 16-3 in the final 6:45.

“It tells me we’re close to who I hoped we would be (at this point in the season),” Henson said. “We’re nowhere near where we want to be or where we think we can get to. But we’re making progress.

“There were some things that I showed ’em from yesterday’s game ago. Darius (McNeill) made some great defensive plays (against Denver) that he didn’t make a week ago. So, we’re making baby steps.

“The Commerce game, (you see) how many silly turnovers there were. The casual shots. Yesterday (against Denver) there were fewer. Today, maybe even fewer. Turnover numbers (were down). We got to keep getting quality shots.

“I think we’re making progress.”

Coming up

Sunday, 3 p.m. — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-1) at UTSA (3-2)
Wednesday, 2 p.m. — Lamar at UTSA.


Keaton Wallace, the No. 2 scorer in UTSA history, is a first-year pro playing in the NBA G League for the Ontario, Calif.-based Agua Caliente Clippers.

Jhivvan Jackson, No. 1 on the all-time list, isn’t signed with a pro team yet as he works his way back into shape following shoulder surgery after last season.

Jackson attended UTSA games last week around a visit to a surgeon who performed the operation. He has been training and rehabilitating in his native Puerto Rico, while his agent monitors potential offers, Henson said.

Over the past four years, Jackson scored 2,551 points for the Roadrunners. Wallace had 2,080. Jackson’s total was 52nd in NCAA history and No. 1 among NCAA players born in Latin America. He averaged 22.2 points per game for his career.


“(Jhivvan) said he’s still getting some pain in his shoulder,” Henson said Wednesday evening. “That’s quite a ways removed from his surgery, so he came in the office and we talked. He was headed to see the doctor who did the surgery …

“He’s being smart about it. Not going to rush into anything. (He wants to) make sure he’s 100 percent (before he commits to play with a franchise).”

UTSA on Tuesday posted a photo on social media of Jackson talking to Jordan Ivy-Curry outside the locker room. Ivy-Curry had just scored 27 points against the Pioneers.

“Jhivvan was a good teammate,” Henson said. “Guys liked him. They really did. We’ve talked about this before, but Juice had the perfect amount of respect for Jhivvan and Keaton (Wallace).

“Juice is a confident guy. A tough guy. He came in and battled those guys all the time. But he also watched how they worked. He saw them, staying after practice, shooting for an hour.”

City weighs UTSA’s $10 million request for basketball-volleyball training center

In a continuing effort to upgrade athletics facilities, UTSA has submitted a request for $10 million in funding through the 2022 City of San Antonio bond program to help build a basketball and volleyball training center on campus.

The financing plan calls for UTSA to leverage an additional $19.5 million through “philanthropic gifts” to construct the $29.5 million facility, according to a document released Wednesday afternoon by an official in the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department.

Officials from the university formally presented the request Tuesday night to members of a community bond committee overseeing parks proposals.

Final recommendations on all proposed projects — including streets, drainage, parks, facilities and housing — will be forwarded from the five community committees to the City Council and the mayor for consideration in January.

It is expected that the bond will be decided by the voters in May of 2022.

UTSA officials have said the 49,774-square foot training facility would be built adjacent to the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence (RACE) on the west end of campus.

The facility would serve as a practice venue for the UTSA men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams. In addition, the community would have access to it for youth sports events.

University officials in recent years have made clear their intentions to upgrade all their facilities.

University president Taylor Eighmy has likened it to “pushing this big rock up a hill” in an effort to create an athletics program “as excellent as the rest of the university.”

The rock continued to roll again last month when UTSA announced that it would move all its 17 sports teams from Conference USA into the higher-profile American Athletic Conference.

On Oct. 21, at the press conference announcing a move to the new conference, Eighmy unveiled the school’s intentions to request funding from the city bond for the basketball/volleyball training center.

The request is in keeping with the university’s longstanding partnerships either with the city or with Bexar County to bolster athletics.

UTSA football, for instance, plays downtown at the Alamodome, which is a city-owned facility. The university also has accessed public funds for projects built at the UTSA Park West complex, the home of the school’s track and field and soccer programs.

Most recently, the university utilized $10 million from the 2017 city bond program to build the $40 million RACE complex.

The RACE serves as an all-purpose building housing athletic offices, in addition to areas for weight training, sports medicine, rehabilitation and academic support. Also, outside the building are practice fields for the football program.

The basketball/volleyball training center is planned as a facility that will connect with the RACE complex and will be used by varsity athletes for practice only. Games will continue to be played on campus at the Convocation Center, for the time being.

In the future, the university has said it wants to pursue other projects, including:

* New baseball and softball stadiums;
* A “standalone” facility, or an athletic building, for track and field and soccer at Park West.
* Also, a 10,000-seat competition arena for basketball and volleyball.

Deing and Alley lead rally as UTSA tops IUPUI, 60-57

Dhieu Deing. UTSA came from behind to beat IUPUI 60-57 on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Newcomer Dhieu Deing scored 20 points and made some clutch plays at the end as UTSA rallied to defeat the IUPUI Jaguars by three. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Trailing by 10 points late in their third game in three days, the UTSA Roadrunners rallied Wednesday for a 60-57 victory over the IUPUI Jaguars.

UTSA was down 54-44 with 6:44 remaining when Jaguars guard Bobby Harvey buried a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.

Cedrick Alley Jr. UTSA came from behind to beat IUPUI 60-57 on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Cedrick Alley Jr. scored eight points and pulled down 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass. – Photo by Joe Alexander

From there, the Roadrunners ripped off a 16-3 run to the buzzer, with forward Cedric Alley Jr. hitting the boards hard and newcomer Dhieu Deing scoring seven of the points.

What changed for the home team down the stretch?

“We really stopped feeling sorry for ourselves,” said Alley, who had a monster game with eight points and 14 rebounds. “We had to pick up our energy. I know that has to start with me.

“That’s why I started crashing the boards as hard as I could to try to get second-chance or third-chance opportunities.”

Despite the late collapse, IUPUI still had a chance to win in the final minute.

On one possession, Bakari Lastrap turned it over with a pass that was deflected, leading to a fast break layup by Deing that lifted UTSA into a 58-57 lead.

Deing missed the free throw, allowing the Jaguars one last chance. After an IUPUI timeout, though, Lastrap turned it over again.

As Alley grabbed the ball, he was fouled, and went to the line to shoot a 1-and-1. He made both to account for the final score.

While Alley was a force defensively, Deing also did his part, producing 20 points and five rebounds.

“Man, this feels real good right now,” said Deing, a newcomer who has scored 13, 15, 16, 11 and now 20 points in his first five games for the Roadrunners.

Dhieu Deing and Cedrick Alley Jr. look to the Roadrunners' coaches for instructions with 2.0 seconds left in the game. UTSA came from behind to beat IUPUI 60-57 on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Dhieu Deing and Cedrick Alley Jr. look to the Roadrunners’ coaches for instructions with 2.0 seconds left in the game. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Deing said the Roadrunners just wanted to stay together as a team after IUPUI posted the double-digit lead.

“We’re just trying to see what our identity is as a team,” Deing said. “At that timeout when we were down six with about two minutes left, I told the team, ‘We’re going to do this together.’ ”

B.J. Maxwell led the Jaguars with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

First half

Maxwell scored 10 points in the first half for the Jaguars, who shot 50 percent from the floor in taking a 33-28 lead.

The Jaguars nailed four 3-point baskets, including two by Maxwell.

Despite poor shooting, UTSA stayed in the game because of its defense. It was the first time this year that the Roadrunners trailed at the half and won.


UTSA 3-2

Coming up

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at UTSA, Sunday, 3 p.m.


IUPUI stands for Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Division I athletics teams at IUPUI play in the Horizon League. For IUPUI, Chuks Isitua hit 4 for 4 shots off the bench and finished with 10 points.

UTSA players celebrate after the Roadrunners came from behind to beat IUPUI 60-57 on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA players celebrate after the Roadrunners came from behind to beat IUPUI 60-57 on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA got contributions from Jacob Germany with 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting and four rebounds. Jordan Ivy-Curry, who scored a career-high 27 Tuesday night against Denver, was held to nine points on 3 of 14 shooting.

The Roadrunners pulled out the win despite shooting 33.3 percent from the field as a team.

Last Friday, the Roadrunners were humbled in a 96-44 loss at the University of Oklahoma. Then as the multi-team event opened on its home court Monday, UTSA lost a heart-breaker, falling 65-62 to Texas A&M-Commerce on a buzzer-beating, 3-point shot.

The Roadrunners rebounded Tuesday night to beat Denver 78-64.

Ivy-Curry has emerged after five games as UTSA’s leading scorer with 15.6 per game. Dhieu Deing is averaging 15 points, 6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Jacob Germany is third in scoring at 13.4.

Jacob Germany. UTSA came from behind to beat IUPUI 60-57 on Wednesday at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany produced 15 points and four rebounds against the IUPUI Jaguars. Germany, a 6-11 junior, is averaging 13.4 points and 4.6 rebounds for the season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Ivy-Curry scores a career-high 27 as UTSA snaps a two-game skid

Jordan Ivy-Curry. UTSA beat Denver 78-64 in men's basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry knocked down 10 of 19 shots from the field and hit five from 3-point range in UTSA’s 78-64 victory over the Denver Pioneers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Well, how are you, coach? “Better than last night,” Steve Henson said Tuesday night with a wry smile.

Henson’s UTSA Roadrunners had just rebounded from a deflating loss to a Division II school. In doing so, they employed an offense with flow and a defense that relied some on zone looks to completely flummox the Denver Pioneers.

Dhieu Deing. UTSA beat Denver 78-64 in men's basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Dhieu Deing has reeled off four straight games in double figures to start his UTSA career. He scored 11 points and also had eight rebounds against the Pioneers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

With all that, they upended the Pioneers, 78-64, at the Convocation Center. UTSA’s first victory of the season over a Division I program served a number of useful purposes.

First, it snapped a two-game losing streak. Next, it allowed UTSA to wash the horrible taste of a Monday night loss to the Texas A&M-Commerce Lions out of its mouth.

Finally, it gave the Roadrunners a chance to go 2-1 in an early-season, three-games, in-three-days test.

UTSA (2-2) will play at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Convocation Center against the winless IUPUI Jaguars (0-4).

Against the Pioneers, the Roadrunners finished strong, turning a close game into a double-digit win by forging a 15-6 streak in the closing six minutes.

“This one feels good for a lot of reasons,” Henson said.

First and foremost, the coach said, it just feels better to win.

Jacob Germany. UTSA beat Denver 78-64 in men's basketball on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Junior center Jacob Germany produced 17 points and eight rebounds for the Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“Fortunately, right now,” Henson said, “we’ve got the good feeling of getting a (winning) result, and the really good feeling of having played much better.”

From last Friday through Monday, the Roadrunners had been pretty bad.

About as bad as they could be, actually. They had shot a near-school low 22.7 percent from the field in a 96-44 loss at the University of Oklahoma last Friday night.

Then on Monday, at home, in the first day of their own multi-team event, they were humbled again.

Just when it appeared they had found a rhythm against the Lions, forging a seven point lead early in the second half, they stumbled badly, losing the lead with sloppy play and then falling 65-62 on a buzzer-beating, three-point heave by Alphonso Willis.

As far as the Roadrunners were concerned, nothing could have felt worse.

“I couldn’t sleep,” admitted UTSA guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, who responded against the Pioneers with an effort befitting his nickname.

Harkening back to his days at La Marque High School, “Juice” hit 10 of 19 shots from the field. From long distance, he was 5 for 9.

He scored a career-high 27 points to go along with four rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes.

“Yeah,” Ivy-Curry told the team’s radio broadcast, “I had it going, but I want to give a big shout-out to my teammates, coming in with a positive mindset after a tough loss yesterday.”

What was the difference?

“We talked about it in shoot-around,” he said, “making smart plays, making better plays , taking open shots. We were focusing on that.”

Former UTSA coach Tim Carter told Ivy-Curry he seemed to be more loose and more aggressive, and he inquired what his coaches may have told him before the game.

“They just said (to) look for my teammates first,” he said. “Just be Juice (and) play my best. That’s it. They give me confidence. My teammates give me confidence. So, I just got to be Juice every game.”

Ivy-Curry had quite a bit of help.

Center Jacob Germany had 17 points and 8 rebounds. Forward Dhieu Deing had 11 points and 8 boards. Defensively, they were good as a team.

After the Pioneers started fast by hitting four of their first seven attempts on 3-pointers, the Roadrunners clamped down with perhaps their best effort of the season.

In the second half, the Pioneers hit 10 of 30 from the field (33.3 percent).

UTSA defensive highlights included sophomore forward Lachlan Bofinger chasing down a Denver guard and blocking a layup attempt from behind, off the backboard. On the other end, Deing completed a three-point play for a five-point swing.

Also, guard Erik Czumbel took a charge near the end of the game from Denver post Michael Henn. The foul sent Henn to the bench with five fouls.

Speaking with reporters afterward, Germany admitted that the loss lightened the mood in the locker room substantially.

“”Last night took a toll on everybody,” he said. “Something like that just crushes you. I think we bounced back(well). We had a good shootaround. It carried over to the game, and everyone was just happy afterward.”