UTSA aces power-conference test with an 8-3 victory over Baylor

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

Playing their first power conference opponent and their first game outside of San Antonio this season, the UTSA Roadrunners stood up to the task with error-free defense, solid pitching and 13 hits Tuesday night in an 8-3 road victory over the Baylor Bears of the Big 12.

Baylor scored in the bottom of the first off UTSA starter Drake Smith for a 1-0 lead that held through three innings. At that point, the Roadrunners seized the upper hand with a five-run fourth off Bears starter Blake Rogers and reliever Jared Matheson.

UTSA had some good fortune in the uprising with Baylor defenders getting a glove on three of the five hits in the inning.

From there, UTSA cruised behind its bullpen of Fischer Kingsbery and Daniel Shafer to its fourth straight win this season and its first victory in Waco since 2017. The Roadrunners improved to 7-13 all-time against the Bears.

UTSA catcher Josh Killeen had a solid game defensively, blocking a few balls in the dirt and throwing out a runner at second base. The Roadrunners also turned a double play and played without committing an error for only the second time this season.

Smith (1-0) earned the victory in three innings of work, and he was backed up with solid performances by Kingsbery, who pitched the fourth and the fifth, and Shafer, who finished by working the last four.

Leyton Barry led the offense with four hits, while Shane Sirdashney, Caleb Hill and Killeen had two apiece. Hill and Killeen had two RBI apiece.

For the Bears, Rogers (0-1) took the loss after being charged with four runs in three and a third innings. Austin Stracener, a sophomore from New Braunfels Canyon, had three hits. Kobe Andrade slugged a solo home run in the sixth inning.


Baylor 2-6
UTSA 7-2

Coming up

Incarnate Word at UTSA, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.


To open the season, UTSA beat Tarleton State twice and then lost the third game of the series. UTSA followed with a win over Houston, a loss to Saint Mary’s, three more wins against Saint Mary’s and now a win over Baylor. Pitching is the story as the Roadrunners have posted a 2.81 earned run average and a .220 batting average against.

On offense, Leyton Barry leads the Roadrunners in batting at .432, followed by Antonio Valdez with .424 and Shane Sirdashney .405. In outscoring its opponents 65-35, UTSA has hit only one home run. .

The University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals fell to 3-5 on the season Tuesday night after the Texas State Bobcats escaped with a 12-8 victory in San Antonio. Rey Mendoza leads UIW through eight games with a .375 average. Wilson Ehrhardt, Alec Carr, Jimmy De Leon, Daniel Calabrese and Joe Jimenez have two home runs apiece.

A scoring mentality: UTSA’s White adds jump shot accuracy to her overall game

Kyra White. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Former Judson standout Kyra White scored 44 points on 18 of 31 shooting from the field in two home games last week. — Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Kyra White says she isn’t doing anything different, from a technical standpoint, when she shoots her jump shot.

She says her recent hot streak is just a matter of months of practice finally producing results.

That, and a heightened sense of confidence.

“We’re just working on getting to my spots and having the scoring mentality,” she said after practice Tuesday. “I believe that, in the beginning of the season, I was just looking to be a play maker. Making plays for my team. Now that I’m figuring out that my shot is going in, all this extra work is coming to the surface, and I’m just feeling a lot of confidence right now. My teammates trust me to shoot the ball, so I’m going to continue to go out and do that.”

All season, White has been one of the Roadrunners’ best players.

On the ball at point guard or on the wing, the former Judson High School standout has facilitated the offense, averaging 4.5 assists. She’s crashed the boards, averaging 4.3 rebounds. And she’s also supplied offense when needed, producing 7.6 points.

Lately, though, the offense has been eye opening.

In two games at home last week, White scored 44 points — 22 each in victories over the FAU Owls and the FIU Panthers — all while knocking down a combined 18 of 31 from the field.

The 5-foot-9 junior, a transfer from Southern Cal, sparked a UTSA comeback by taking five jumpers and making all of them in the third quarter of UTSA’s 85-79 victory over FIU on Saturday afternoon.

UTSA assistant Jamie Carey says there’s no secret to White sizzling at 58 percent in the two home games after shooting just 33 percent for the season.

“It’s gym time,” Carey said. “It’s a perfect example of what hard work does. She’s in the gym every day before practice, every day after practice. When you put in that time, your confidence does grow. I mean, I think (her shot) is coming off her hand cleaner. There’s a lot that she’s doing really well, but you don’t accomplish that if you haven’t been in the gym.”

White arrived at UTSA last fall with some fanfare as one of the key players on Judson’s 2019 state championship team. But in three seasons at Southern Cal to start her collegiate career, she averaged only 1.8 points and 1.6 assists in 18.1 minutes.

Last season, she shot 47.6 percent on 10 of 21 shooting. But her playing time had been reduced from 24.9 minutes in 2020-21, down to 12.2.

This year, back home in the San Antonio area, she has flourished.

“I’m just so blessed to be with an amazing program, with amazing girls and amazing staff,” she said. “We’re in March and I’m playing basketball. You gotta love it.”

Coming up

UTSA at Charlotte, Thursday, 5 p.m.
end of regular season
UTSA at Conference USA tournament, March 8-11, at Frisco

Jenkins sets UTSA season scoring record as Roadrunners win third straight game

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins scored 33 points against Florida International for a UTSA women’s basketball record of 587 in a single season. Tammy Rogers established the previous record of 583 in 1990-91. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special For The JB Replay

Senior Day for the UTSA women’s basketball team started with a pre-game ceremony honoring Hailey Atwood, Queen Ulabo and Deb Nwakamma, who all were playing for the last time at the Convocation Center.

It ended with even more emotion, with fans standing and cheering, as Jordyn Jenkins set the school record for points in a season en route to the Roadrunners’ third straight victory, an 85-79 win over the FIU Panthers.

Karen Aston. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Karen Aston has led her team to three straight victories and a 6-3 record in the second half of the C-USA schedule, with one to play. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Perhaps more significantly from a big-picture standpoint, UTSA took another small step toward respectability as a program, clinching a winning record in the second half of the Conference USA regular season.

With a 6-3 record in the second half, UTSA can do no worse than 6-4 as the regular-season finale at Charlotte looms on March 2. It’s a notable achievement for a group that looked lost at times in November and December.

“Once they got their wheels rolling (today) they looked as energetic and competitive as they did the day they beat Rice, which seems like eons ago,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said.

In her comments, Aston referenced a Feb. 16 home game in which the Roadrunners muscled past the Rice Owls, one of the better teams in the conference, 66-53.

Perhaps not coincidentally, it was the start of a 4-1 stretch for a UTSA team playing perhaps as well as anyone in the C-USA.

Aston, joined by Atwood and Jenkins in the postgame news conference, talked about how everyone played the way she has always wanted them to play.

“I mean, I’m just super proud of their competitive spirit today,” Aston said. “They kicked in, in the second half, and we had so many players make plays.”

Trailing by nine against the Panthers in the second quarter, the Roadrunners started the comeback. They cut it to four at intermission and then came out strong after the break.

Kyra White. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard Kyra White scored 10 of her 22 points in a third-quarter surge for the Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Kyra White scored 10 and Jenkins had eight in the third quarter as UTSA took the lead. Siena Guttadauro nailed a three with three seconds left in the period, igniting the crowd and giving UTSA a 68-61 advantage going into the fourth.

The Roadrunners had allowed quite a few leads to slip away late in games during times of uncertainty in November, December and January, but it was not happening against FIU, as UTSA continued to attack on offense.

Jenkins, in particular, seemed intent on slamming the door on the Panthers.

In doing so, she led the Roadrunners with eight points in the final stanza, not only cementing the victory, but also etching her name in the school record books.

Her game-high 33 points boosted her season total to 587, which moved her past the previous record of 583 by 1980s and ’90s-era star Tammy Rogers.

Rogers, a guard, had held the record since the end of the 1990-91 season. When Aston asked for clarification on what record was broken, she was informed that it was the record for points scored in a season and that it was 32 years old.

“Wow,” Aston said. Looking at Jenkins, who was still in her No. 32 jersey, the coach added, “That’s your number.”

At that, Jenkins smiled. “Pretty cool,” she said.

Apparently, only a few people at press row knew that Jenkins was closing in on the record as the fourth quarter started. Jenkins said she had no idea.

Hailey Atwood. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Honored in the pregame as one of the team’s three outgoing seniors, guard Hailey Atwood scored 13 points in 27 minutes. She said the energy from all her teammates on this day will likely be her favorite memory. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“Whenever they announced it in the huddle (late in the game) and people started cheering and Kyra was, like, ‘yea,’ and everyone was like, ‘yea, Jordan,’ I was like, ‘What?’ But, then they told me a little bit after.”

For Atwood, the game was especially meaningful. In two years at UTSA, she has seen some hard times. An injury that slowed her last season. A losing record last year and a poor start to this year, as well.

She said her favorite memory of her last home game at UTSA probably will be the energy of her teammates.

“There were a lot of things we were playing for,” Atwood said. “Not only was the team playing for the seniors, but we were also playing for our 10th win of the season. That was also very important. Our third win in a row. You know, we got two wins in a row last game against FAU and this is the first time this season that we got three games, back to back (to back).

“So, all three of those things were very important for us today, and I think it was very memorable for us. We were down (to FIU) at first, and we just rallied back together. We wanted to win, so I think that was very memorable.”

Aston acknowledged the significance of turning the corner, from a 2-8 record in the first 10 games of the C-USA schedule, to a 6-3 team heading into Charlotte.

“Now we’re playing people for the second time,” she said. “When you take a look back and see … I mean, we look so dramatically different. We look so much more confident and sure, and that’s just part of the process of bringing in eight new (players), and everyone learning a new system. It’s the process of five freshmen growing up.

“It’s process of people accepting roles. I mean, I’m excited. This is one of those kind of situations where you don’t want it to end, because you’re trending upward. (Players) are getting it, just getting it, and you want to play as long as you can play when this starts happening, so I’m excited for the next game.

“I think some light bulbs have really come on for this team, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.”


UTSA 10-18, 8-11
FIU 12-15, 7-11

Coming up

UTSA at Charlotte, March 2, 5 p.m.

C-USA tournament

March 8-11, at Frisco


FIU — Mihaela Lazic, 15 points on five triples. Tanajah Hayes, 15 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals. Ajae Yoakum, 10 points, eight rebounds. Kaliah Henderson, 10 points.

UTSA — Jordyn Jenkins, 33 points on 14 of 19 shooting from the field. Kyra White, 22 points on 10 of 16 shooting. Also, five rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots. Hailey Atwood, 13 points on five of 12 shooting, including two triples. Also, three rebounds and two assists. Deb Nwakamma, three points, two rebounds. Queen Ulabo, three points, including one triple.

Deborah Nwakamma (left), Queen Ulabo and coach Karen Aston celebrate in the final moments. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

As the fans cheer, seniors Deborah Nwakamma (left) and Queen Ulabo celebrate with coach Karen Aston near the end of a victory over the FIU Panthers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Aggressive guard play sparks UTSA in winning two in a row

Kyra White. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Kyra White hit two quick threes and scored 13 of her 22 points in the first half Thursday night when UTSA rolled to an 18-point intermission lead. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Not too long ago, it wasn’t all that cool to be a fan of women’s basketball at UTSA. After a long and frustrating string of losing seasons, the game had lost its luster. Not any more.

Thanks to second-year Coach Karen Aston and the resurgent Roadrunners, the lights seem brighter, the crowds bigger and the fans louder. The sizzle is definitely returning to the Convocation Center.

Karen Aston. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Karen Aston received a nice ovation from the fans before the game for winning the 300th game in her career Monday night in Denton against North Texas. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA won its second game in a row and improved to 5-3 over its last eight outings on Thursday night, rolling to a 25-point lead in the opening minutes after halftime and then holding on in the fourth quarter to down the visiting FAU Owls, 77-61.

“Gosh, that’s about as good of a half of basketball as we’ve played all year long,” Aston said about her team’s opening 20 minutes. “The last two home games that we’ve played…I mean, Rice, I look back at that one and our first half is really good.

“I think we’re starting to get the gist of how to start a game. Obviously, I can hammer the third quarter (tonight), but I’d rather just skip over that and say that I thought we adjusted in the fourth and did the things that we needed to do.”

Conference USA Player of the Year candidate Jordyn Jenkins led the Roadrunners with 26 points on eight of 11 shooting from the field. Kyra White added a career-high 22 points, including 13 in the first half when the Roadrunners broke the game open.

“Terrific performance by Kyra,” Aston said. “You know, it just opens up a whole lot of things when we have guards who are aggressive. The last two games we’ve played, we’ve looked completely different because of our guard play. I could go back to the Rice game, also.

“I think we’re starting to get an understanding of complete basketball. I’m looking forward to continuing this.”

Sidney Love. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Sidney Love hit two clutch buckets in the fourth quarter to help the Roadrunners hold on against the FAU Owls. Love had 11 points on five of nine shooting. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA (9-18, 7-11 in C-USA) clearly has too many losses on the ledger to avoid another losing season.

But, with their inspired play over the past few weeks, which includes a victory over the first-place Middle Tennessee State Lady Raiders, the Roadrunners may be evolving into a group that opponents might not necessarily want to see in the first round of the C-USA tournament.

White was asked if she thought UTSA might be taking on that identity. “I would hope so,” she said. “I think we’re … I mean, I wouldn’t say an underdog, because I know what we’re capable of (doing).

“But I feel like in the realm of sports and just in the conference right now, I would consider us an underdog,” White said. “People know that we’re going to come in and play hard, so I would … I’m just going to say, ‘Yes.’ ”


FAU 12-14, 5-12
UTSA 9-18, 7-11

Coming up

FIU at UTSA, Saturday, noon


Over UTSA’s last eight games, the Roadrunners own victories over Louisiana Tech (on the road), Middle Tennessee State and Rice (both at home), North Texas (on the road) and now the FAU Owls (at home). Middle Tennessee, Rice and LA Tech all figure to get byes past the first round and into the C-USA quarterfinals.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

After scoring a career-high 40 points Monday at North Texas, Jordyn Jenkins scored 26 against the FAU Owls. Jenkins needs 29 points to tie and 30 to break the school record for points in a single season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins has scored 554 points this season, a total that is 29 shy of the school’s record of 583. Former UTSA guard Tammy Rogers established the UTSA single-season scoring record in the 1990-91 season. Jenkins leads the conference averaging 20.5 points a game. That, too, is close to the school record of 20.7 by Starlite Williams in 1986-87.

For UTSA, freshman guard Sidney Love scored 11 points, including two big shots to stem the FAU momentum in the fourth quarter.

After the Owls pulled to within nine, Love buried a 15-footer with 6:33 remaining. The Owls were still hanging around with under six minutes left when the former Steele High School standout did it again, banking in a 10 footer off the glass. That bucket pushed the UTSA lead to 13 with 5:32 left.

As usual, White’s energetic play allowed her to fill up the statistics sheet. Not only did she make eight of 15 from the floor and three of eight from 3-point range, but she also had five assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

For FAU, guard Aniya Hubbard scored 20 points on eight of 13 shooting from the field. Six-foot-two forward Amber Gaston had 13 on five of five shooting. Gaston scored seven in the third quarter when the momentum shifted back to the Owls. In addition, 6-foot guard Joiya Maddox also scored six of her 13 in the fourth period.

First half

Led by White, the Roadrunners blasted the Owls with a 20-3 run over the final 8:33 of the second quarter to take a 35-17 lead at halftime.

White, a junior from Judson, produced 13 points and three assists. In one of her better halves of the season, the transfer from Southern Cal hit five of 10 shots from the field and three of six from the 3-point arc.

Jenkins, who scored a career-high 40 points in a Monday night victory at North Texas, had a quiet eight points in the first half.


Conference USA women’s basketball programs promoted Black History Month, with both UTSA and Florida Atlantic wearing themed T-shirts during warmups.

UTSA coach Karen Aston honored for 300 wins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Karen Aston honored in the pregame for 300 wins. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Karen Aston honored for 300 wins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

The coach salutes the fans – Photo by Joe Alexander

Surprising UTSA women hope to keep it going against FAU

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

The UTSA women’s basketball team has a dual mission tonight — make amends for a poor performance earlier this season and keep alive its late-season push in the Conference USA standings.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA women's basketball beat No. 21 Middle Tennessee 58-53 on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins has scored 528 points, 55 shy of the UTSA school single-season record held by Tammy Rogers, who produced 583 in 1990-91. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Surprising UTSA is 4-3 in its last seven games going into tonight’s home test against the struggling Florida Atlantic University Owls. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Last month, the Roadrunners traveled to Florida and got swept in a two-game C-USA road series, losing at FAU 81-66 and at Florida International, 51-48. A week later, on Jan. 26, they returned home and dropped another close game to North Texas, 54-51.

After losing to the Mean Green, UTSA dropped to 4-15 and 2-8 in the conference.

Since then, the ball club has caught a tail-wind, winning four out of seven games, including victories over Louisiana Tech (on the road), Middle Tennessee and Rice (both at home) and North Texas (on the road).

As a result, the Roadrunners have improved to 8-18 on the season and 6-11 in the C-USA.

The latest victory may have been the most dramatic. Playing in Denton on Monday night, UTSA squandered a nine-point fourth quarter lead before riding Jordyn Jenkins to a 68-67 decision over North Texas in overtime.

In boosting veteran coach Karen Aston to the 300th victory of her career, Jenkins hit 12 of 20 shots from the field, including three of five from 3-point distance. The 40-point showing not only was her career-high, but with 11 rebounds, she also notched her ninth double-double of the year.

If history is any indication, FAU could be a problem tonight for UTSA despite Jenkins’ talents. The Owls dominated the Roadrunners last month, with guard Aniyah Hubbard lighting it up for 21 points. The 5-8 guard also had four rebounds, three assists and four steals.

Defensively, the Owls were effective, holding the Roadrunners to 31 percent shooting. They also out-rebounded the visitors, 27-21. The margin wasn’t that much, but it was one of the few times during the conference schedule that an opponent out-rebounded UTSA.

Lately, FAU has fallen on hard times, losing four straight, dropping the Owls to 12-13 and 5-11, a half game below the Roadrunners in the C-USA standings. Right now, UTSA is ninth in the standings and FAU 10th.

All 11 C-USA teams qualify for the C-USA tournament next month in Frisco, but, generally the higher a team can finish in the regular season, the easier it is to win games and advance.

It’s likely that UTSA will need to win four games in four days to win the C-USA title and make the 64-team NCAA field.


FAU 12-13, 5-11
UTSA 8-18, 6-11

Coming up

FAU at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.
FIU at UTSA, Saturday, noon


UTSA hasn’t won as many as nine games in a season and six games on its conference schedule since the 2017-18 season, when the Roadrunners finished 9-21 and 6-10…Jordyn Jenkins, a UTSA newcomer after transferring from Southern Cal, is 55 points shy of the school record held by Tammy Rogers.

UTSA erupts for 13 hits to run rule Houston, 12-2, in seven innings

UTSA reliever Simon Miller pitched two scoreless innings. UTSA baseball beat Houston 12-2 in 7 innings on a run rule on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA reliever Simon Miller pitched two scoreless innings Wednesday night to earn the victory. With his performance, the junior from Canton improved his record to 2-0. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Just after UTSA’s Simon Miller shut the door on the Houston Cougars with two innings of shutout relief pitching, Matt King and pinch-hitter Clark Henry laced back-to-back triples down the right-field line Wednesday night to spark a major offensive uprising, lifting the UTSA Roadrunners to a 12-2, run-rule victory.

In all, the Roadrunners victimized the Cougars by stroking 13 hits, including three for extra bases. They also drew nine walks as Houston, a runner-up at the American Athletic Conference tournament last year, used 11 pitchers, with only a few of them doing much to aid the cause.

On the heels of a convincing victory, the Roadrunners improved to 3-1, with all games being played at home. They’ll host the Saint Mary’s (Calif.) Gaels in a four-game set starting Friday night at Roadrunner Field.

UTSA's Clark Henry had a pinch-hit triple and scored on an error. UTSA baseball beat Houston 12-2 in 7 innings on a run rule on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Clark Henry produced a pinch-hit RBI triple and scored on a throwing error, all on one madcap play. – Photo by Joe Alexander

As Miller hung zeroes on the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth innings against Houston, UTSA responded with multiple runs both times against the bedraggled visiting pitching staff. The Roadrunners scored twice in the fifth and six times in the sixth for an 11-0 lead, sending the game into the realm of garbage time.

Even though Houston rallied to score twice in the seventh, UTSA’s Daniel Shafer notched a strikeout to end the threat with the bases loaded. UTSA added a clinching run in the seventh on a Tye Odom RBI double for a 10-run margin, prompting officials to call it a night.

“To win fairly big is nice,” UTSA coach Pat Hallmark said. “We pitched OK. We can pitch better. We didn’t throw enough strikes. Simon Miller was great. A lot of people try to use their best bullpen arm late, but I’m going to try to use Simon when the game’s on the line, and it was.”

UTSA had scored one run in the first inning and two in the third for a 3-0 lead. The score remained the same leading into the top of the fifth, when Hallmark made the call for Miller to enter the game.

“It worked out (for us),” Hallmark said. “It’s not always going to work out that way. You might wake up in the ninth inning and wish you had him and you already pitched him, but I’m not going to let him go to waste. I’m going to use him when we need him, and we needed him right there.”

Miller, a hard-throwing righthander, yielded a couple of hits to lead off the fifth inning, but he escaped from the jam. With runners at first and second and nobody out, Miller struck out pinch hitter Jacob Schoenvogel. Next, Brandon Burckel flied to right field to advance a runner to third base. But in crunch time, Miller won the battle, with Brandon Uhse grounding out to end the threat.

In the sixth, he retired three straight, finishing it off with another ground ball out, this one from preseason all-AAC pick Anthony Tulimero.

UTSA third baseman Antonio Valdez. UTSA baseball beat Houston 12-2 in 7 innings on a run rule on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA third baseman Antonio Valdez plays a ball on a big hop against the Houston Cougars. – Photo by Joe Alexander


Houston 1-3
UTSA 3-1


Houston entered the mid-week game coming off a three-game home series against the Cal Bears of the Pac 12. The Cougars dropped the first two games of the season before bouncing back to win the third. UTSA hosted third-year Division I entry Tarleton State for three last weekend, winning the first two and then losing the third in extra innings.

Coming up

Saint Mary’s, Calif., at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.
Saint Mary’s at UTSA (doubleheader), Saturday, first game at noon.
Saint Mary’s at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

By the numbers

Four games into the season, newcomer Antonio Valdez leads the team with a .438 batting average.

Starting at third base in all four games, the Baylor transfer was hitless on opening night, but has since punched out two, three and two hits, respectively, in his last three games. In the field, he’s made two errors in 15 chances but has fielded cleanly without a miscue in the last two games.

As far as his views on how the team has fared, Valdez said he isn’t satisfied.

“We’re 3-1, which is great, but I think we all know that there’s room for improvement,” Valdez said. “We’re all going to keep working harder and harder. You know, 3-1 is great. A win tonight is great … But, we’re shooting for something nice this year.”

Shortstop Matt King (.412) and Tye Odom (.400) have also been swinging the bat well. King leads the team with six RBIs.

Miller, one of four preseason all-Conference USA choices for UTSA, has fared well in two appearances. He’s yielded one earned run on five hits and three walks, while striking out eight.

Daniel Garza was the first reliever out of the UTSA bullpen. UTSA baseball beat Houston 12-2 in 7 innings on a run rule on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Daniel Garza was the first reliever out of the UTSA bullpen. He pitched 1 and 2/3 scoreless against Houston, allowing only one hit. He struck out one. – Photo by Joe Alexander

South San brings out its legends in an emotional tribute to coach Cliff Gustafson

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

South San and Central Catholic high school athletes stood dutifully on the base paths at Burrows-Gustafson Stadium as the junior ROTC color guard marched out, the American flag went up and the national anthem played.

Only a few fans were in the stands, but this was no ordinary Tuesday night, non-district baseball game.

More than 20 former ball players who thrilled South San fans in the 1950s and 1960s, men now in their 70s and 80s, were introduced on the stadium’s public address to distinguished visitors — the family of the late Cliff Gustafson.

Later, the school’s mariachi band serenaded everyone with beautiful music, featuring brass, guitar and vocals.

All of it served as a simple but elegant show of respect to Gustafson, the Texas baseball icon who passed away on Jan. 2 at the age of 91.

Several of the coach’s family members attended, and one of them expressed heart-felt gratitude for the gesture extended by the school district.

“This is special because (coaching here) meant so much to him,” said Scott Shepperd, Gustafson’s grandson. “When he wanted to talk about baseball, he wanted to talk about these guys.”

Shepperd made his remarks as he surveyed a field filled with his grandfather’s former high school players.

“For everyone to come out and show up like they did, it was just really special to our family,” he said. “We miss him so much. But this is a really neat thing, to honor him (here).”

Former South San players on hand were a roll call of the greats led by Gustafson, who won seven state championships with the Bobcats:

# Tony Zamora, who played on the coach’s first South San team in 1955. Pitchers Bobby Lara and Robert Zamora, who starred for state title teams in the late 1950s and early ’60s.

# Plus, standouts on the 1967 state champions who went undefeated: among them, Nati Salazar, John Langerhans, Mike Markl, Casey Sanchez, Frank Tondre, Raul Zamora and Lucio Leal.

Under Gustafson, the Bobcats posted a 344-85-5 record in 13 seasons, according to an article penned by veteran sportswriter David Flores for Kens5.com.

They also won district 12 titles, advanced to the Class 3A state tournament nine times and brought home state championships in ’58, ’59, ’61, ’63, ’64, ’66 and ’67. Gustafson’s last team, in ’67, finished 39-0.

Former Baylor University standouut Raul Zamora, the youngest of four Zamora brothers who attended South San, worked to organize the search for former players so they would know about the event. Some were easy to find because they had attended past reunions.

Others, not so much.

“The hard part I had was, I had to start from 1955,” said Raul Zamora, a 1968 South San grad. “I’m glad my brother Tony was on that team, and then (brother) Robert was right in the middle, so I was able to work both ways to see how many of the players we could find.”

Some of the greats of the game in San Antonio were not on social media, so it was a challenge to locate them

“One of the problems with the (1950s-era players) was, they’re in their 80s,” Zamora said. “They don’t do Facebook.They still play checkers. So in their mind they had to go back in their little black books and find who was on the team, and not only a phone number, but where they lived.

“Because, one thing I personally did, I went out looking for some of these guys. The (phone) numbers didn’t work. ‘But he lives over here, off this street.’ So I’d go knocking … and one led to another, to another and another.”

For the most part, Gustafson has been remembered since his passing for his career at the University of Texas, one of the most high-profile jobs in college baseball.

He worked 29 seasons for the Longhorns, and he won 22 Southwest Conference titles, two national titles and coached headline players such as Roger Clemens and Greg Swindell.

Not quite as much emphasis has been placed on the job that kick-started Gustafson’s career. At South San, the Harlandale High School grad was known as a program-builder.

Building on foundations of youth development established by coaches Mel Barborak and Jim Heiser, Gustafson and South San basketball coach Jimmy Littleton worked in tandem to perfect the system, one former player said.

“When I was coaching (basketball) at Lee (High School), I used the phrase — and I’m sure I heard it here — ‘If ya’ll don’t do it right, we’ll be here ’til dark-thirty,’ ” 1962 South San grad Newton Grimes said. “Well, that came from my upbringing right here.

“We worked. I mean, we out-worked people.

“Yes, the coaching had a lot to do (with the success on the field), but it takes a lot of good things going on (at the same time). You had a program started, (and) they came in and took over. And they took it to the limit.”

At the high school level, many elements enter into the picture of championship programs. A disciplined approach is one. But compassion also plays a part in it. For instance, during the 1966 playoffs, the father of the team’s star pitcher passed away.

Nati Salazar was crushed.

The personal loss to his family was devastating. Add in the financial issues, and it didn’t bode well for the Bobcats. Salazar decided he wanted to pitch anyway, to honor his father, who worked as a bricklayer.

With Salazar on the mound for key games down the stretch, the Bobcats won the sixth of their seven championships,

“Gus gave me a ball (signed by all the players), and they dedicated the game to my dad,” the 1967 South San grad said, his voice cracking with emotion. “He signed, in memory of my dad. I still have it.”

Lucio Leal, a 1968 graduate, said the keys to Gustafson’s title teams in 1966 and 1967 were outstanding talent and “a really tight” group of players who played together from an early age.

He said he thinks he was about 10-years-old when he first got to know the coach.

“My parents had a house across the street from the ballpark,” Leal explained. “So as little kids, we were chasing balls, keeping score, being bat boy. What was really neat was, after we got through chasing balls, or whatever, coach would give us a broken bat or a baseball, something like that.”

From a young age, players were versed in the fundamentals because of offseason games in the neighborhood that were organized through the high school coaching staff.

As the athletes reached high school, the best of them went into American Legion ball. In that regard, Lucio said he and a group of friends went to a tournament in Nashville in the summer of 1965, before their 10th-grade season in high school.

By the time they were upperclassmen, the shared experience of playing together in the modest, blue-collar neighborhood, eating at one another’s homes, taking long bus rides together — paid off.

The ’66 team won its last six games before the ’67 club added 39 more, sending Gustafson off to coach the Longhorns, having won 45 in a row.

“We just had this close-knit team and had been playing for years together,” Leal said. “That’s why we were so dang good. No one could beat us. I didn’t care — (Class) 4A, 3A — we were just unstoppable.”

UTSA milestones: Jenkins scores 40 as Aston wins her 300th game

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

UTSA coach Karen Aston opened her postgame news conference five nights ago with a wry smile and a joke.

“My first thought is, we just need to play at home, and just skip going on the road,” Aston said. “(Playing at home) makes a huge difference for our team, for some reason.”

Her point was clear.

For the most part, the Roadrunners have been a much better team at home this season than they have been on the road.

But her message also carried another, more subtle, message. Ever the competitor, Aston has grown weary of losing on the road.

Her players heeded the message Monday night in Denton, downing the North Texas Mean Green 68-67 in overtime and handing the coach a milestone 300th career victory.

Responding to social media posts about a career 40-point, 11-rebound performance from junior forward Jordyn Jenkins, Aston applauded the effort with a post on her Twitter feed.

“Front row seat for this one,” she said simply.

Aston had to like another aspect of her team’s showing in Denton, as well.

The Roadrunners put on a rebounding clinic, winning the boards, 46-28, as the coach improved to 300-187 in her career.

Jenkins had her ninth double-figure rebound game of the season, while center Elyssa Coleman snared eight boards and guard Kyra White seven.

With the victory, the resurgent UTSA women completed a three-games-in-five-days stretch with a 2-1 record. They also improved to 4-3 over their last seven games, including a 2-2 record on the road.

In the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners led the Mean Green by nine points with eight minutes remaining, only to see the home team rally to tie and force overtime. Guard Quincy Noble scored eight points in the quarter for North Texas.

UTSA had a chance to win but couldn’t get off a shot on its last possession in the final seconds.

As the game transitioned to overtime, UTSA responded. Jenkins scored eight points, six of them on three buckets going toward the basket and two on free throws with five seconds left that boosted the Roadrunners into a four-point lead.

Jordyn Carter hit a three for North Texas for the final points. The Mean Green were led in the game by Noble, who scored 27 points. Tommisha Lampkin had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Jenkins, a first-year player for the Roadrunners, has stacked multiple eye-opening performances in her first season in Conference USA after playing two years in the Pac-12 for the USC Trojans.

With her 40 points, she was one off Tesha Smith’s school record set six years ago. She did it by hitting 12 of 20 from the field and three of five on 3-point attempts. At the free throw line, she was 13 of 16.

Jenkins, from Kent, Wash., also has scored in the 30s twice and in the 20s eleven times. She has nine double doubles, with double-figure points and rebounds.

Jordyn Jenkins
Top three scoring games at UTSA
40 on the road at North Texas on Feb. 20, 2023. UTSA won 68-67 in overtime.
37 at home vs. UTEP on Jan. 11, 2023. UTEP won 74-67.
35 on the road at Houston on Dec. 19, 2022. Houston won 93-89 in overtime.

UTSA single-game record
41 points by Tesha Smith vs. Florida Atlantic, Feb. 25, 2017.

Coach Aston’s milestone

In defeating North Texas, a program that she once coached, UTSA coach Karen Aston improved to 300-187 in 15 years, good for a winning percentage of .616. Aston has worked previously at Charlotte, North Texas and Texas.


UTSA: 8-18, 6-11
North Texas: 10-17, 7-10


Aston is in her second season at UTSA, improving ever-so-gradually a program that finished 7-23 and 3-14 in the C-USA in 2021-22, her first year at the school. UTSA hasn’t won as many as eight games overall and six games in conference in five years. In 2017-18, UTSA finished 9-21 and 6-10.

Coming up

Florida Atlantic at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Florida International at UTSA, Saturday, noon.
UTSA at Charlotte, March 2, 5 p.m.
End of regular season

Conference USA tournament

March 8-11 at Frisco

O’Connor grad Ramirez sparks home-run surge at Texas State

Texas State catcher August Ramirez went four for 11 at the plate with two home runs in three games last weekend against the Northwestern Wildcats of the Big Ten. — Courtesy photo, Texas State athletics

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

With the first weekend of college baseball season in the record books, we’ll take some time today to examine the quality and depth of San Antonio-area talent in NCAA Division I.

Texas State catcher August Ramirez played in high school for the O’Connor Panthers.

Last year, we had players such as Jace Jung at Texas Tech, Dalton Shuffield at Texas State and Jalen Battles at Arkansas, and all made headlines for strong programs.

This year, those players have moved on in their careers. But, as usual, we discovered through a little research over the past few weeks dozens more from the local area on current Division I rosters.

Like Jung, Shuffield and Battles, a handful of them could make a significant impact on teams that will challenge for NCAA tournament berths in June.

A handful of the headliners this year include Texas A&M pitcher Nathan Dettmer from Johnson High School, TCU outfielder Luke Boyers (Boerne Champion) and Alabama catcher Dominic Tamez (also from Johnson).

Dettmer, who pitched in the College World Series last year, is rated by mlb.com as the No. 48 prospect for the 2023 MLB draft.

But after the opening weekend of play, we should probably also start talking about Texas State University catcher August Ramirez, a junior from O’Connor.

Ramirez stroked four hits, including two home runs, as the explosive Bobcats swept three games last weekend in a season-opening home series against the Big Ten’s Northwestern Wildcats.

The Bobcats, who notably recorded a 47-14 record and reached the finals of a Stanford-hosted NCAA regional last year, appear to be loaded once again.

Coach Steve Trout’s team hit .437 and exploded for 56 runs, all while bashing 13 home runs, on its opening weekend of the 2023 season. Ramirez hit safely in all three games against the visitors from Chicago, going 4 for 11.

In addition, he smashed a home run Saturday in a 20-5 victory. Ramirez, who bats from the left side, added another homer Sunday as the Texas State offense continued to sizzle, 24-9.

Last year, Ramirez played behind Peyton Lewis, who started at catcher in all four of the team’s NCAA games at Stanford. But when Ramirez played, he produced, batting .312 in 27 games. Eleven of his hits went for extra bases, and he had 16 RBIs.

This year, he’s started Texas State’s first three games at catcher, and he continues to swing a hot bat.

S.A. area connections

Here is our list of athletes from the San Antonio area playing in NCAA Division I baseball programs.

Texas State

August Ramirez, redshirt junior catcher from O’Connor HS and Cisco College
Rashawn Galloway, freshman catcher from Boerne HS
Colten Drake, junior left-handed pitcher from Kerrville Tivy and Blinn College


Josh Killeen, senior catcher from Reagan HS, Wichita State
Ryan Beaird, sophomore pitcher from Reagan
Ruger Riojas, freshman pitcher from Wimberley
Ryan Ward, junior pitcher from Clemens
Garrett Brooks, redshirt freshman outfielder from Smithson Valley
Preston Freeman, freshman infielder from Floresville
Aiden Baumann, freshman outfielder from New Braunfels HS


Austin Stracener, sophomore infielder from New Braunfels Canyon HS
Andrew Petrowski, junior pitcher from Clark


Porter Brown, junior outfielder from Reagan HS
DJ Burke, junior right-handed pitcher from Clark, Garden City and San Jacinto JC
Jalin Flores, freshman infielder from Brandeis
Travis Sthele, redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher from Reagan
Sam Walbridge, sophomore left-handed pitcher from Saint Mary’s Hall

Texas Tech

Zac Vooletich, senior infielder/outfielder from Brandeis
Brandon Beckel, junior pitcher from Antonian

Texas A&M

Kasen Wells, freshman outfielder from Smithson Valley HS
Jordan Thompson, senior outfielder from Boerne Champion and Incarnate Word
Nathan Dettmer, junior right-handed pitcher from Johnson


Anthony Silva, freshman infielder from Clark HS
Luke Boyers, junior outfielder from Boerne Champion
Cohen Feser, sophomore right-handed pitcher from Reagan


Will Carsten, junior pitcher from Reagan HS and McLennan CC


Hunter Grimes, junior infielder/outfielder from Kerrville Tivy HS, UTSA and McLennan CC


Dominic Tamez, junior catcher from Johnson HS, Arkansas and McLennan CC

Tarleton State

Jake Burcham, sophomore pitcher-infielder from Reagan HS
Zane Badmaev, junior pitcher from Boerne HS

Wichita State

Kyte McDonald, junior outfielder from Antonian, Mississippi State, Alvin CC

Incarnate Word

Isaiah Zavala, senior pitcher from Southwest HS
EJ Garcia, freshman pitcher from New Braunfels Canyon
Joe Jimenez, grad student infielder from Johnson and Texas Lutheran University
Jacob Caraway, freshman outfielder from Boerne Champion
Matthew Flores-King, freshman outfielder from Johnson

Houston Christian

Jarek Wells, junior pitcher/outfielder from Smithson Valley HS and Midland College
Dylan LaRue, freshman catcher from Blanco
Tyler LaRue, senior catcher from Blanco, also Rice University and Grayson College
Lance Berkman, head coach, from New Braunfels Canyon

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Chance Reisdorph, sophomore catcher from New Braunfels Canyon HS
Cole Modgling, senior outfielder from Medina Valley, Northeast Texas CC
Jaime Ramirez, redshirt junior pitcher from Holy Cross HS
Evans Hendricks, junior pitcher from Navarro HS, and Temple Junior College
Zach Garcia, sophomore pitcher from New Braunfels HS
RJ Carver, junior first baseman from Smithson Valley and Western Texas College
Sean Moore, freshman pitcher from Fair Oaks Ranch and Cornerstone
Scott Malone, head coach, former assistant coach at UTSA

UT-Rio Grande Valley

Ulises Tovar, junior pitcher from Hays HS and North Central Texas College

Sam Houston State

Clayton Chadwick, junior outfielder from La Vernia HS
Alex Magers, junior pitcher from D’Hanis and Texas A&M

Stephen F. Austin

Cal Martin, junior infielder from Reagan HS

Editor’s note: This list remains a work in progress. We’ll add to it when when more information emerges. Thanks, Jerry

UAB rallies to win a ‘rock fight’ against determined UTSA

John Buggs after landing hard on his rear end with 12:16 to play. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard John Buggs III grimaces after landing hard on his rear end with 12:16 to play. Buggs and the Roadrunners lost to the UAB Blazers 83-78 in Conference USA men’s basketball on Saturday in San Antonio. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

After claiming a victory Saturday afternoon in a hotly-contested basketball game at the UTSA Convocation Center, UAB’s Andy Kennedy clinched a 20-win season for the 13th time in his 16 years as a coach.

Though he hits that magic number on a nearly annual basis, he always enjoys the moment and never takes it for granted.

UAB's Jordan "Jelly" Walker. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UAB’s Jordan “Jelly” Walker finished with 25 points on eight of 19 shooting from the field. Walker knocked down four triples. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Because he knows he can’t.

“The game tonight proved that to us,” Kennedy said. “You can’t take any game for granted. Every game is a battle, and I give (UTSA coach) Steve (Henson’s) team a lot of credit.

“They’ve obviously had a frustrating year (and) had a huge win Thursday against Rice.

“We knew if we didn’t come out here and impose our will early, it was going to be a rock fight, and they turned it into a rock fight.”

As it turned out, the Blazers had more and bigger rocks in their bag.

UAB, a team that represented C-USA in the NCAA tournament last year, rallied from slow starts in both halves and rode 70.4 percent shooting after intermission to an 83-78 victory.

With the win, third-place UAB (20-8, 11-6) improved to 8-1 in its last nine games and kept pace with other C-USA contenders in the chase for first-round byes in the postseason tournament.

Japhet Medor. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard Japhet Medor led the Roadrunners with 22 points, four assists and two steals. Medor has 56 points, 13 assists and 10 steals in his last three games. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Blazers did it the hard way, falling into an 11-point hole early in the second half and then charging back to deal the last-place Roadrunners (8-20, 2-15) a heart-breaking blow in their quest to gain both momentum and respectability.

“Proud of the whole thing,” said Henson, whose team snapped an 11-game losing streak Thursday night at Rice. “Proud of our focus, our preparation, our rebounding, our toughness. Disappointed, you know. The game’s on the line, and they made plays, and we didn’t.”

Jordan “Jelly” Walker, the fourth-leading scorer in the nation, scored a game-high 25 points. After sitting out much of the second half in foul trouble, the 5-foot-11 guard from Long Island, N.Y., produced 10 points in the final two minutes.

Despite the outburst from Walker, UTSA had a chance at the end to spring an upset victory.

The Roadrunners trailed by three with less than 18 seconds remaining when a three-point attempt by John Buggs III missed, glancing off the front of the rim. Walker hit two free throws with five seconds left for the final points of the game.

Japhet Medor led UTSA with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists. Struggling with a back issue during the game, Buggs finished with 14 points, as did freshman guard DJ Richards, who also had a team-high eight rebounds.

Jacob Germany came off the bench for 11 points and six boards.

UAB's Trey Jemison. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UAB center Trey Jemison is a big man, 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds. He contributed eight points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots – Photo by Joe Alexander

With two games in Florida next week and then a regular-season finale at home against Charlotte on March 2, the Roadrunners are playing better basketball.

They beat Rice, a solid team, by five points on the road Thursday night and then led for much of the afternoon Saturday against UAB.

But they have precious little time to gain the type of momentum teams can only get by stringing together victories.

“Super proud of our effort early in the game, our fight, our rebounding,” Henson said. “It was unbelievable. They’re a good rebounding team. They’re athletic. You know there’s not a ton of nights when we line up and think we might get overpowered.

But this was one of the teams that could do it if we didn’t have the right mindset.”

In that regard, young players for UTSA like Richards, Massal Diouf and Lamin Sabally competed at a high level. Even though the 6-foot-5 Richards wasn’t on as a shooter, his work on the glass was impressive.

Diouf (five points, six rebounds) and Sabally six points, six boards) battled against UAB’s Trey Jemison and KJ Buffen, respectively. Even though the Roadrunners lost the game, they could see the potential for both young players, who were matched against some of the conference’s best.

Steve Henson and DJ Richards. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Steve Henson confers with freshman guard DJ Richards, who produced 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Henson said it was Sabally’s best game.

“Massal was fantastic early in the game,” Henson said. “Lamin was very good. Loved the way we started it.”

It was the finish that felled the Roadrunners. In the second half, they coughed up the ball on turnovers too much, leading to transition baskets for the Blazers, who hit 19 of 27 shots from the field in the second half..

Buffen and Ty Brewer, in particular, had some big moments after Walker had to go to the bench with four fouls.

Brewer had 13 of his 16 points and Brewer had eight of his 12 in the second half. With Walker on the bench, UAB erased much of what had been an 11-point deficit.

When Walker returned, he took over, scoring 10 points in the last two minutes for the Blazers.


UAB 20-8, 11-6
UTSA 8-20, 2-15

Coming up

UTSA at Florida Atlantic, Feb. 23, 6 p.m.
UTSA at FIU, Feb. 25, 6 p.m.
Charlotte at UTSA, March 2, 7 p.m.

C-USA tournament

March 8-11, at Frisco. All 11 teams are invited. Six teams play on the first day. Five get byes into the second round.

Lamin Sabally. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore Lamin Sabally had perhaps his best game of the season with six points and six rebounds. He was three for four from the field. – Photo by Joe Alexander

First half

UTSA fans stood and cheered at halftime for the Roadrunners, who showed significant passion, effort and execution in bolting to a 41-35 lead on the UAB Blazers.

Medor, leading the way on offense, used his speed and moxy to score 13 points. Richards also got into the act with nine.

Defensively, the Roadrunners held the Blazers to 12 of 37 shooting from the field. UAB’s shooting percentage of 32.4 wasn’t all because of UTSA’s defensive effort. Some of it had to do with the Blazers’ lackluster mindset at the start of the game.

But in the end, UTSA played hard and did a good job against one of the most explosive teams in NCAA Division I. Walker was quiet early but warmed up to the occasion soon enough, scoring 13 in the half. He hit three from 3-point distance.

With UAB playing at a casual pace early, UTSA jumped out to a 14-2 lead. UAB cranked up the intensity later, putting together a 13-0 run at one point. UTSA, to its credit, didn’t fold. UAB held its largest lead at 21-18.

Massal Diouf, Japhet Medor and John Buggs III. UTSA lost to UAB 83-78 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Japhet Medor (center) has a word with Massal Diouf (left) and John Buggs III. – Photo by Joe Alexander