UTSA rallies from 10 down in the second half to beat Lamar, 86-83

Guard Isaiah Wyatt scored a career-high 27 points as the UTSA Roadrunners improved to 3-1 in their last four games. The 6-foot-4 Wyatt transferred into UTSA in the offseason after playing last year at Division II Chadron State (Neb.) – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Seven-foot center Carlton Linguard Jr. hit two three-pointers in the final two minutes Thursday night as the UTSA Roadrunners came out of a second-half offensive lull just in time, rallying past the Lamar Cardinals, 86-83, at the Convocation Center.

“We played together collectively to get this win,” said Isaiah Wyatt, who led the Roadrunners with a career-high of 27 points. “The biggest thing is, when we went through the drought, we played defense. We got a bunch of stops and Carl hit some big threes at the end. Also Dre (Fuller was) grabbing rebounds, giving us second chances. That helped us.”

In a back-and-forth affair, UTSA surged to a 12-point lead in the first half, only to see Lamar go on a run and lead by as many as 10 in the second half.

Carlton Linguard Jr. UTSA beat Lamar 86-83 in non-conference men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Carlton Linguard Jr. finished with 16 points, made a season-high four three-pointers and blocked four shots. – Photo by Joe Alexander

A 3-pointer by Cody Pennebaker lifted the Cardinals into a 67-57 advantage with 7:29 remaining. A few minutes later, Ja’Sean Jackson from San Antonio’s Wagner High School nailed a long trey to keep the Cardinals in front by eight.

In the end, UTSA didn’t fold. Adante’ Holiman answered Jackson’s shot with a three of his own. Linguard, playing his first season of basketball since 2021-22 at Kansas State, nailed two long balls in a decisive 12-0 run. The second one with 35.4 seconds remaining lifted the Roadrunners into an 81-77 lead.

The Roadrunners, who have won three of their last four games, never trailed again. “I felt like the whole team had a chip on our shoulder,” Linguard said, recalling UTSA’s 90-82 loss to Lamar in Beaumont on Nov. 14. “Second half, we kept pushing. We kept fighting.”

UTSA coach Steve Henson credited his players for maintaining their effort to the end. “We just hung in there and hung in there and made enough plays to pull it out,” he said.

Wyatt was on fire early. He hit six of his seven three-point baskets in the first half and scored 21 as UTSA built a 44-38 intermission lead. Linguard finished with 16 points and four blocked shots. In an impressive show by the big man, he hit four of six from three.

Christian Tucker finished with 13 points and 11 assists.


Lamar 4-4
UTSA 4-4

Coming up

Arkansas-Fort Smith at UTSA, Dec. 10, at noon.

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat Lamar 86-83 in non-conference men's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Junior point guard Christian Tucker scored nine points in the second half. He finished with 13 points and a career-high 11 assists for the first double double of his career. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Texas State women surge late to down UTSA, 65-57, in overtime

Tiffany Tullis. Texas State beat UTSA 65-57 in overtime in women's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Texas State forward Tiffany Tullis, who played in high school at Cornerstone Christian in San Antonio, had 12 points and nine rebounds as the Bobcats won their sixth straight in the I-35 series against the UTSA Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners are most definitely on the upswing in women’s basketball, but the Texas State Bobcats remain firmly in control in the I-35 rivalry.

Paced by guard Timia Jefferson, Texas State pulled away in the last four minutes Thursday night to down error-prone UTSA, 65-57, in overtime.

The Bobcats broke from a tie and outscored the Roadrunners 11-3 down the stretch to secure the victory in front of an announced 500 fans at the Convocation Center.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Texas State coach Zenarae Antoine said outside the team bus. “This particular game’s special, for us, because we really needed to find our way through adversity in a close game. Our last two games were really close, right. Back and forth and then the opponent pulled away. That’s both at home against Sam Houston and on the road at (Texas A&M) Corpus (Christi).”

Texas State has won six straight against UTSA in the series. UTSA hasn’t prevailed in the game against its regional rival since 2016.

In the latest dust-up on hardwood between schools separated by about 50 miles, a crowd announced at 500 filled most of both lower-level grandstands.

“We were excited to be home,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said. “I’m just disappointed we didn’t perform at a more urgent level. Like, we looked like we were too cool for how competitive the game was. I was disappointed for that, because we’re home, and you want to show out for your home fans. But, sometimes you have to get slapped around a little bit to change some things you do.

Elyssa Coleman. Texas State beat UTSA 65-57 in overtime in women's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Center Elyssa Coleman led the Roadrunners with 11 points and nine rebounds against the Bobcats – Photo by Joe Alexander

“Some of it is, we’ve got some young players who haven’t been in this situation, and the only way for them to learn is to play.”

Jefferson paced Texas State with 15 points, including a team-high five in the OT. Two former San Antonio-area high school players also played key roles. Forwards Tiffany Tullis (from Cornerstone) had 12 points and nine rebounds and Jaylin Foster (from Steele) notched a double double, producing 10 points and 11 boards.

Asked about what stood out for her in the overtime, Tullis said it was “locking down on the defense” and rebounding. “Not letting them get second opportunities,” she said.

UTSA entered the Texas State game on the heels of a 3-1 road swing through Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UT Arlington, Texas Tech and Sam Houston State, with the only loss a close one (by five points) in Lubbock at Tech.

To beat the Roadrunners, a good team and also a long-time foe of the Bobcats, was meaningful to Tullis.

“This is my first time hearing about the rivalry, so it’s pretty awesome to win against a team they had been going against for years,” Tullis said.

The Roadrunners came from 15 down to win in Corpus Christi and from 11 behind to beat Sam Houston. They fell behind by nine in the first half against the Bobcats but couldn’t produce their magic this time.

UTSA may have been its own worst enemy at the end, shooting two for eight from the field and committing three turnovers in the overtime.

After Foster scored on a driving layup for the Bobcats, Sidney Love answered with one of her own to bring the Roadrunners to within 61-57 with 51 seconds remaining.

At that point, the UTSA offense went cold and Texas State took advantage. Jefferson hit three of her team’s free throws at the end to help the visitors close the deal.

For the Roadrunners, center Elyssa Coleman had 11 points and nine rebounds. Love scored 11 and passed for three assists. Siena Guttadauro also scored 11 off the bench. Guttadauro knocked down three 3-point baskets for the Roadrunners.


Texas State 4-2
UTSA 4-3

First half

Playing strong defense, the Texas State Bobcats forced six UTSA turnovers in the first quarter and raced to a seven-point advantage and then held on in the second period, to hold a 28-25 lead at the intermission.


At least six players from high schools in the San Antonio area — two from Texas State and four from UTSA — played in the game at the UTSA Convocation Center. Texas State started Tiffany Tullis from Cornerstone and Jaylin Foster from Steele on the front line. UTSA started Kyra White from Judson, Sidney Love from Steele and Aysia Proctor from Clemens in the backcourt. UTSA also came off the bench with guard Alexis Parker from Brandeis.

Sidney Love. Texas State beat UTSA 65-57 in overtime in women's basketball on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard Sidney Love hit five of 10 shots from the field and scored 11 points for the Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA men need to ‘keep building’ in a rematch with Lamar

PJ Carter. UTSA defeated Incarnate Word (UIW) 90-80 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard PJ Carter came off the bench to average 13 points on 50 percent shooting in home games last week against Jacksonville State and Incarnate Word. He scored a season-high 17 against UIW last Saturday afternoon. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Last week, the hot-and-cold nature of UTSA Roadrunners men’s basketball was on full display. Two victories in a three-game stretch. A few minutes of cohesive play at one moment in time, followed by a stretch of mind-boggling inconsistency.

During a two-point victory at Houston Christian University, a head-scratching 15-point home loss to Jacksonville (Ala.) State and a bounce-back victory 24 hours later on the same floor against Incarnate Word, attention to detail on defense would come and go.

The UTSA offense would click nicely in one 10-minute stretch, and then it would suddenly short-circuit and stagnate.

“We’re still searching offensively,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said after knocking off Incarnate Word, 90-80, on Saturday afternoon. “We’ve got to identify … what can we expect every night. With Adante’ (Holiman) and Dre (Fuller), we need those guys to be playmakers, in addition to (being scorers). We need an occasional post up. We need a back door. Just keep building. As we learn more about our team, I hope our offense will get better.”

Coming off their first two-win week of the season, the Roadrunners will return to action tonight at the UTSA Convocation Center. First, Coach Karen Aston’s women’s team hosts the Texas State Bobcats at 5 p.m. Next up, Henson’s men’s team will take on the Lamar Cardinals at 8 p.m.

The men’s game will serve as an opportunity for UTSA (3-4) to take another crack at Lamar (4-3). It’s a chance for the Roadrunners to show some growth after allowing the Cardinals to clobber them on the boards and on the scoreboard on Nov. 14 in Beaumont.

In the earlier meeting, Lamar registered a 90-82 victory. In that game, a smaller and quicker team out-hustled UTSA in winning the rebounding battle, 57-45. On the offensive glass, the Cardinals claimed a shocking 25-12 advantage. Not even a 22-point explosion from UTSA guard Holiman could make up the difference.

Tonight in the rematch, the Roadrunners will need to contain the Cardinals duo of 6-foot-9 Adam Hamilton and 6-6 Terry Anderson, who combined for 13 offensive boards between them. The two also combined for 36 points. Meanwhile, UTSA will also need to keep an eye on guards B.B. Knight and Ja’Sean Jackson.

Jackson, from San Antonio’s Wagner High School, hurt UTSA at the end of both halves. In the first half, he made a 45-foot, three-pointer at the buzzer. In the last few minutes of the game, he created a layup by dishing for an assist and then knocked down four straight free throws to ice the victory.


Texas State at UTSA women, 5 p.m.
Lamar at UTSA men, 8 p.m.

Coming up

The UTSA women (4-2) are playing two games in four days. After tonight’s game against the Bobcats (3-2), they’ll host the UTEP Miners at noon on Sunday before they take a pause in the schedule. They won’t play again until they host the Houston Cougars on Dec. 14.

For the UTSA men, the Lamar game is the last one they’ll play until after the break. They’ll be back on the court for a Dec. 10 home game against Arkansas-Fort Smith.


Doing a couple of things more consistently, running consistent offense to get open looks on long-distance shots and generating easy baskets, might solve a lot of problems for the UTSA men. As it is, they’re shooting 40.8 percent from the field for the season. The percentage ranks 13th of 14 teams in the American Athletic Conference. The Roadrunners are hitting only 30.1 percent from three, which ranks 10th. UTSA has made only 52 threes in seven games, for an average of 7.43. They hit a season-high 10 against UIW.

UTSA women start fast this fall in wake of ‘painful’ summer workouts

Maya Linton. 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

Sophomore forward Maya Linton produced a double double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a Nov. 18 victory at UT Arlington, She is shown here in action last season against the FAU Owls. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

One of the hottest summers on record in San Antonio added an extra layer of adversity to offseason training for the UTSA women’s basketball team.

UTSA forward Maya Linton says that the morning workouts, held both indoors and outdoors, were competitive with players split into two teams.

“It was very bittersweet because it was painful at the time — and it was hard,” Linton said. “But if you look back you say, ‘Hey, we really needed that to succeed right now.’ ”

Lately, the proof is in the results.

Playing without their best player, injured forward Jordyn Jenkins, the Roadrunners have opened the season with a 4-2 record leading into Thursday’s 5 p.m. home game against the Texas State Bobcats.

In addition, UTSA is 3-2 on the road in that stretch, matching the team’s road win total for all of last season. At Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Roadrunners rallied from a 15-point, third-quarter deficit to win in overtime.

At Sam Houston State, last Saturday afternoon, UTSA fell into another hole, falling behind by 11 at the end of the third period. Kyra White and Sidney Love keyed a 30-point fourth-quarter as the Roadrunners pulled it out, 63-56.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, by any means,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said. “Obviously, with plugging in new lineups and new players and getting to know how they’re going to react to game situations, it’s been a work in progress and it still is.

“But I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m surprised. I wish that we would get off to better starts and not dig holes like we have in a couple of games. But that’s part of being on the road, I think.”

Aston said in the weeks leading into the season that her players had a chance to experience some growth with Jenkins out of the lineup. As it has turned out, post players such as Elyssa Coleman, Idara Udo and Linton have all stepped up to play significant roles.

“There’s no question that opportunity presents itself all the time,” the coach said. “I say this a lot in basketball, and I guess in life it kind of applies, that windows open and they close. What you do with the opportunity and what you do with your time when a window does open, it’s important.”

While Udo has filled in the gaps in the rotation on the front line, another freshman, guard Aysia Proctor, has emerged to supply some timely offense. Proctor is shooting 61 percent from the field.

“We’ve had some freshmen contribute heavily,” Aston said. “I’ve said this all along that the players that returned have improved in some areas that they needed to. We’re still absolutely a work in progress just because we are really young. When you look at who comes off the bench, it’s pretty much all freshmen and sophomores.”

UTSA’s only two losses have come against Power 5 competition, losing by 15 at Arizona State on opening night and by five at Texas Tech last week. Linton said she is excited about the way the team has performed.

“I think we’re more determined to be a unit this year than we were last year,” she said. “So I feel like winning all these games at the beginning of the season, it’s a different look for us, and we’re excited about our future and to be back at our home.”

Linton, a sophomore from Duncanville, had a big game with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a four-point win at UT Arlington. She scored six points in the final three minutes of the first half just as the Mavs were making a push.

Referencing the comeback wins in Corpus Christi and Huntsville, Linton credited the Roadrunners for staying together even when they aren’t playing well.

“Like I say, I think we have a certain unity,” she said. “We just have a connection. It’s like we never have a feeling that, ‘Oh, this time we’re going to lose.’ It’s always a positive, like we’re going to win, no matter what. I think there’s more of a fight this year, and it definitely shows with our record.”


The UTSA women are off to their fastest start since the fall of 2012 when they were 5-1 after six games. In 2012, all of the early victories were at home, and one of them came against a sub-Division I level program.

UTSA went on to finish 16-14 in 2012-13, in its one and only season in the Western Athletic Conference.

This fall, all six of UTSA’s games have been contested against D-I opponents. Like in 2012, the Roadrunners are set to play this season in a new conference – the American Athletic Conference — after 10 seasons in Conference USA.

Sophomore Sidney Love leads the Roadrunners in scoring at 13.3 points and also leads the AAC in free-throw percentage (87.9).

Senior Kyra White, who ranks second in the AAC in minutes played at 36 per game, is enjoying a standout season by averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. She’s also averaging 3.7 assists (tied for sixth in the conference) and 1.2 steals.

Junior Elyssa Coleman averages 8.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and a conference-leading 2.3 blocks. Coleman has played six games with six starts in the post, with Linton (6.7 points, 6.2 rebounds) playing six and starting five.

Idara Udo (5.8 points, 7.0 rebounds) and Aysia Proctor (8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds) have emerged as players making a significant impact in their first years out of high school.

UTSA’s Holiman: ‘We knew we had to bounce back. It was a bounce-back game for us.’

Adante' Holiman. UTSA defeated Incarnate Word (UIW) 90-80 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Adante’ Holiman scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half as the UTSA Roadrunners pulled away from the UIW Cardinals for a 90-80 victory. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners lost Friday afternoon at home by 15 points and felt horribly about it. But they weren’t about to allow a bad-hair experience against Jacksonville State (Ala.) turn into two homecourt losses in two days.

After trailing for most of the first half Saturday against the University of the Incarnate Word, they broke from a tie score and stormed to a 90-80 victory at the Convocation Center.

Carlton Linguard Jr. UTSA defeated Incarnate Word (UIW) 90-80 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA center Carlton Linguard Jr. came off the bench for 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA shot 54 percent from the field and hit eight three-point shots after intermission to secure the win.

Sophomore guard Adante’ Holiman, who hit five threes and scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, said players knew what had to be done from the moment they arrived at the Convo for the morning film session.

“We knew we had to bounce back,” he said. “It was a bounce-back game for us. Today was a day to prove ourselves. That was the mindset of the whole team.”

The two programs are the only ones in San Antonio playing in NCAA Division I. While UTSA is more established, having competed in D-I for more than 42 years, UIW is entering only its 11th season at the highest level.

Coming in riding a three-game winning streak, the Cardinals were clearly energized and intent on beating the Roadrunners for the first time in school history.

During warmups, they were chanting and clapping. When the game started, they started to defend and run and score, riding the inspired play of guard Sky Wicks to build as much as an eight-point lead at 19-11.

“I thought there’d be some pace to the game,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “Thought we’d have some opportunities in transition, but we had to take care of the basketball. We turned it over nine times in the first half, and you saw what happened.”

What happened was, UIW kept blunting UTSA’s efforts to get the ball into the paint and ran off all the broken plays at a frenetic pace.

At the end of the first stanza, UTSA rallied to tie it, 43-43. Second half? It was a different story completely after intermission as the Roadrunners settled down and started to run better offense.

In general, the ball moved better, players seemed to relax and play with more fluidity, and the shots just started to fall. Particularly for Holiman, a 6-foot transfer from UT Rio Grande Valley.

Holiman, who was 0 for 3 from the three-point arc in the first half, responded in the final 20 minutes to knock down 5 of 9 from distance.

By the time it was over, five Roadrunners finished in double figures, including Holiman, PJ Carter (17), Carlton Linguard Jr. (16), Christian Tucker (11) and Isaiah Wyatt (10).

Coming off the bench, Linguard was a force defensively, blocking three shots. The 7-footer from Stevens High School in San Antonio also pulled down 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.

Wicks led UIW with 24 points on 10 of 26 shooting from the field. Josh Morgan scored 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting. Dylan Hayman added 13 and Elijah Davis 10.


UIW 3-3
UTSA 3-4

Coming up

UIW vs. Jacksonville State (Ala.), Sunday, 3 p.m., at UTSA
Lamar at UTSA, Thursday, 8 p.m.

Sky Wicks. UTSA defeated Incarnate Word (UIW) 90-80 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard Sky Wicks had 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the UIW Cardinals. Wicks also had four steals. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA women improve to 4-2 after rallying past Sam Houston State

Guard Kyra White scored 11 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter as the UTSA women rallied from an 11-point deficit to down the Sam Houston State Bearkats, 63-56, Saturday afternoon in Huntsville.

With UTSA trailing for most of the game and by a 44-33 margin after three quarters, White and Sidney Love went to work.

In the fourth period, White hit all four of her field goal attempts and all three shots from the free-throw line, while backcourt mate Sidney Love hit five of six from the line to highlight a seven-point outburst. Love finished the game with 12.

Elyssa Coleman led the Roadrunners with 17 points and six rebounds.

Guard Sydnee Kemp had 14 points and Raanee Smith 13 for the Bearkats. Kemp had five of her points, including a three, in an 8-0 run to the end of the third quarter.


UTSA 4-2
Sam Houston State 3-2

Coming up

Texas State at UTSA, Thursday, 5 p.m.

Surprising UTSA women set to play their fifth road game of the young season

Elyssa Coleman. UTSA beat Rice 66-53 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Junior Elyssa Coleman will lead the UTSA Roadrunners into today’s road game at Sam Houston State. — File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay

A women’s college basketball odyssey of sorts is scheduled to come to an end today in Huntsville.

The UTSA Roadrunners are set to complete a season-opening stretch of six games — with five of them on the road — in Huntsville against the Sam Houston State Bearkats.

UTSA (3-2) and Sam Houston State (3-1) are set to tip off at 4 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum. The Roadrunners, 1-0 at home and 2-2 on the road so far, have fared surprisingly well leading into their 20th day of the regular season.

If they can play well and perhaps catch a few breaks against the Bearkats, they could return to San Antonio today two games over .500. At worst, they will have broken even.

Regardless of what happens today, it’s a good sign for a team to be in such a position near the end of the first month of any season, let alone one in which it is playing without its best player.

Jordyn Jenkins, rehabilitating a knee injury, hasn’t been in the lineup yet. Players such as Sidney Love, Kyra White, Elyssa Coleman, Maya Linton and freshman Aysia Proctor have stepped up, leading the first-year program in the American Athletic Conference to a home victory over New Mexico State, along with road wins at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and UT Arlington.

In their last outing, on Monday in Lubbock, the Roadrunners played well but dropped a 63-58 decision in Big 12 country against the Texas Tech Lady Raiders.

Against Sam Houston, they’ll hardly be lacking in confidence, though they will need to take care of the ball. After turning it over 31 times at Texas Tech, they’ll play a team that ranks among the nation’s best at creating turnovers. The Bearkats force 26.8 opponent miscues per game.

Sam Houston is making the transition this season into Conference USA. It lost only to Houston and recently claimed a 66-62 victory on the road against Texas State.


UTSA 3-2
Sam Houston State 3-1

Coming up

Texas State at UTSA, Thursday, 5 p.m.

Jacksonville State rolls in the second half to a 77-62 victory over UTSA

Christian Tucker. Jacksonville State beat UTSA 77-62 in non-conference men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Hard-charging UTSA guard Christian Tucker scored a career-high 19 points in the opener of the three-day Roadrunners/Cardinals Classic. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay

The Jacksonville State University Gamecocks hit the boards for nine offensive rebounds and scored 13 second-chance points after intermission Friday, pulling away to record a 77-62 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

Playing on UTSA’s home court at the Convocation Center, the Gamecocks held the Roadrunners to 36 percent shooting and forced eight turnovers in the first half to build a 31-26 lead.

The game seemed to be one that UTSA could win at that point despite the poor offense. But that is when Jax State turned up the intensity, hit the boards hard and started turning several possessions into second-chance opportunities.

Dre Fuller Jr. Jacksonville State beat UTSA 77-62 in non-conference men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Dre Fuller Jr. produced 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Gamecocks guard KyKy Tandy emerged as one player who took advantage, scoring all of his 16 points in the second half.

The Roadrunners were also pretty good in the second half offensively, shooting 50 percent from the field as a team. But they couldn’t keep the Gamecocks off the glass, and that was the ball game.

Addressing the media in the post-game, eighth-year UTSA coach Steve Henson was clearly upset with his team’s performance.

“Pretty frustrating,” Henson said. “Didn’t get off to a very good start. They just went right to the box and scored in the paint over and over and over. I think, something like 16 of the first 18 were paint points. Just kind of dominated down there in the low post. Got to be tougher than that.”

UTSA (2-4) will have an opportunity to make amends Saturday when it hosts the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals (3-2) at 3 p.m. Under first-year coach Shane Heirman, UIW is on a three-game winning streak, including a 67-66 home victory over Jacksonville State earlier this week.

The Cardinals will play the Gamecocks in the Convocation Center at 3 p.m. Sunday to complete the Roadrunners/Cardinals Classic.

The first game played in the multi-team event was hardly classic, if you happened to be a fan of the Roadrunners. Coming off an 89-87 road victory at Houston Christian on Monday night, UTSA had a chance to win its second straight and failed to beat a team that came into the arena with four losses in its first five games.

Steve Henson. Jacksonville State beat UTSA 77-62 in non-conference men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Steve Henson and the Roadrunners host the Incarnate Word Cardinals Saturday at 3 p.m.- Photo by Joe Alexander

“Offensively, we couldn’t get any rhythm,” Henson said. “Couldn’t get drive-kicks. Had some opportunities to finish and didn’t get the finishes. (We had) eight turnovers in the first half and just couldn’t get any pace. Once they had control of the game, they were certainly more deliberate.”

Jax State sensed a chance to steal a victory and seized it. It seemed like each time UTSA made a push in the second half, the visitors had an answer. Henson lamented the lost opportunities to get defensive stops because of a missed opportunity to get a defensive rebound.

“Our defense was getting broken down and weren’t in good position to rebound on some of those,” the coach said. “It all goes together. They’re getting penetrations (off) ball screens. We’re being forced to help off penetration also takes away your rebounding responsibilities. You got to help the helper. That’s not just on the ball. It’s on the rebound.”

Gamecocks guards Tandy and Quincy Clark both hit a couple of threes and scored 16 points apiece. Ivan Reynolds had 13 points and Marcellus Brigham Jr. scored 12. For UTSA, Christian Tucker scored a career-high 19 points. Dre Fuller Jr. had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Tucker came to UTSA a few years ago as a walk on. He played sporadic minutes the past two seasons. This year, he has been consistently productive and has led the team in minutes played.

Carlton Linguard Jr. Jacksonville State beat UTSA 77-62 in non-conference men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Seven-foot Carlton Linguard Jr. had four points, four rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes off the bench. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I got to be a lot better,” Tucker said. “Although I scored tonight, it didn’t contribute to us winning the game. I have to figure out other ways I can help my team. Once I figure that out, I’ll be a much better help to my team.”

After beating Western Illinois at home in the opener, UTSA went on the road and lost at Minnesota, Lamar and at Texas State. They shot 49 percent from the field against Houston Christian. Things were looking up, until they hit the floor against Jacksonville State.

“We got to play a lot better,” Tucker said. “We got to fight more. This game was just about effort and we didn’t get enough of that.”

Giving up too many offensive rebounds has been a recurring problem. It nearly cost UTSA against Western Illinois and it also led to an eight-point road loss at Lamar.

“We just have to figure it out,” Tucker said. “It’s all about boxing out. Rebounding isn’t about skill. It’s about effort. If were not getting enough effort, the other team is going to beat us every time.”


Jacksonville State 2-4
UTSA 2-4

Coming up

Incarnate Word at UTSA, 3 p.m., Saturday
Jacksonville State vs. Incarnate Word, 3 p.m. Sunday (at UTSA)


Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper. Jacksonville State beat UTSA 77-62 in non-conference men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper once was a college roommate with Mike Wacker at the University of Texas. Wacker later coached as an assistant at UTSA before working a long stretch at head coach at Judson High School. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper counts former UTSA assistant and former longtime Judson High School head coach Mike Wacker as a good friend. The two were roommates at the University of Texas in the 1980s.

“He’s coming over (to our practice) tomorrow,” Harper said. “He went to Fort Worth to see his mom for Thanksgiving. He’s going to come over and hang out tomorrow, talk to the team for me, and all that good stuff. I haven’t seen him in, gosh, 20 years.”

Harper was happy to see his players bounce back from a one-point loss at Incarnate Word. In that game, played Wednesday night, UIW led by 18 early in the second half. Jax State rallied and surged into a four-point lead late but then lost it at the end, falling 67-66, on a buzzer beater by Shon Robinson.

“We got a lot of new guys trying to figure things out,” he said. “We’re still trying to figure some things out with different guys. We’ve lost three games — all (on) shots at the buzzer. You know, that tests your character a little bit. And that’s what we talk about. Who are we? How do we respond to that?

“I thought we competed today. I thought we did a good job.”

Christian Tucker. Jacksonville State beat UTSA 77-62 in non-conference men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA junior Christian Tucker is averaging 12.6 points, 5.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds through six games for the UTSA Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Steve Henson looking for ‘high-level’ consistency

Forward Dre Fuller Jr. enjoyed his best game of the season Monday night, producing 24 points and four rebounds for the UTSA Roadrunners as they won on the road, downing the Houston Christian University Huskies, 89-87.

Guard Christian Tucker had another solid performance, going for 15 points, eight assists and five boards. As Fuller and Tucker rolled, so did the Roadrunners, who shot a season-high 49 percent from the field to help them snap a troublesome three-game losing streak.

With UTSA set to host the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks Friday at noon, Coach Steve Henson took time out after practice Wednesday afternoon to address a few topics.

First, with a group of five players averaging in the neighborhood of 10 points a game, is he looking for someone like Fuller to break out as a go-to scoring leader to carry the team?

Not necessarily, Henson said.

“Not so concerned with someone stepping up and scoring 16 a game, 15 or 20, or whatever,” the coach said. “Not that part. Just more (of) can you play at a high level every night. Tuck’s kind of done that. Trey Edmonds has done a pretty good job of that most nights.

“(But) Dre has scored it very well in stretches. I still think he’s going to be a pretty good facilitator for us. He doesn’t have that many assists right now. That’s what I thought, prior to (the season), he was going to be our leading assist guy.”

While Fuller leads the Roadrunners in scoring at 12.6 points, Tucker is the assists leader at 6.0 per game. Tucker, a junior, is also averaging 11.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. He’s been something of a revelation so far this season in his first as a scholarship player.

“He’s making it happen,” Henson said.

Other questions are looming as UTSA is set to play on back-to-back days for the first time this season. After playing the Gamecocks on Friday, they’ll take on the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals, their Division I cross-town rival, on Saturday.

Will they go with a small lineup again? Will it be Edmonds, Fuller, Isaiah Wyatt, Tucker and Adante’ Holiman, as it was on Monday night at Houston Christian? Maybe. But, maybe not. Henson said after Wednesday’s workout that he hasn’t decided.

Whatever the case, he said he won’t be managing minutes in the Jacksonville State game. Henson said he’ll try to do everything he can to win Friday and then worry about Saturday’s game plan when the time arrives.

The Cardinals, under first-year coach Shane Heirman, have won three in a row.

On Wednesday night at UIW, the Cardinals held an 18-point lead early in the second half, blew all of it and then some, falling behind by four with less than a minute to play, only to rally in the final seconds to beat the Gamecocks from Jacksonville, Ala., 67-66, on a buzzer-beater by Shon Robinson.

Led by veteran coach Ray Harper, who once played guard for the Texas Longhorns, the Gamecocks have lost four straight. Three of the losses — to Utah Tech, North Alabama and UIW — have been by a combined five points.

UTSA season in review

Western Illinois, W, 78-68 (OT)
@ Minnesota, L, 76-102
@ Lamar, L, 82-90
@ Texas State, L, 62-72
@ Houston Christian, W, 89-87

Looking up

The Roadrunners have limited opponents to 40.5 percent shooting and 31.9 percent from three, both to the liking of UTSA coach Steve Henson. UTSA has also turned it over only 52 times. Another good number.

Lingering concerns

UTSA is minus 30 in total rebounds, with opponents grabbing 235 of them to only 205 for the Roadrunners. Free-throw shooting differential is also a problem, 116 for 167 for opponents to only 86 of 124 for UTSA.

Individual leaders

Dre Fuller, Jr. — Team-leading 12.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists. Graduate senior forward from North Carolina, who last played at Central Florida, is shooting 40 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from three, 79.9 percent on free throws.

Christian Tucker — 11.4 points, team-leading 6 assists, 3 rebounds. Junior guard from Arizona, 31.1 percent field goals, 15.4 percent from three, 84.4 percent on free throws.

Adante’ Holiman — 11.4 points, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals. Sophomore from Oklahoma, a transfer from UT Rio Grande Valley, 34.6 percent field goals, 31 percent from three, 70.6 percent free throws.

Trey Edmonds — 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds. Junior center from Colorado, a transfer from Utah Tech, 51.4 percent field goals but only 46.2 percent on free throws. Edmonds hasn’t shot a three.

P.J. Carter — 8.8 points. Junior guard from Georgia, a transfer from Georgia Highlands, 47.2 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from three, 66.7 percent on free throws.

Coming up

Roadrunner/Cardinal Classic
Jacksonville State (1-4) at UTSA (2-3), Friday, noon
Incarnate Word (3-2) at UTSA, Saturday, 3 p.m.
Jacksonville State vs. Incarnate Word, at UTSA, Sunday, 3 p.m.

Incarnate Word’s Shon Robinson sinks a game-winner with less than a second remaining

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

Shon Robinson hit a contested 6-foot jumper with two-tenths of a second left as the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 67-66 Wednesday night.

As soon as he made the shot, Robinson celebrated with fans on the front row at UIW’s McDermott Center. But the game wasn’t over. Officials put two-tenths back on the clock.

The visiting team from Jacksonville, Ala., subsequently tried a long pass from the baseline to the other end that was batted away as the horn sounded, ending quite a dramatic contest.

On the day before Thanksgiving, UIW (3-2) nearly blew the home game that it seemingly had well in hand. Early in the second half, with 18:40 left on the clock, the Cardinals led by 18 points. They took a 42-24 lead at that juncture on two Sky Wicks free throws.

Undeterred, Jacksonville State (1-4) started to make a run. With 4:47 remaining, the Gamecocks cut the deficit to nine on a Quincy Clark step-back jumper.

UIW’s Josh Morgan made it a 10-point game 20 seconds later when he hit a free throw. But Jacksonville State would not go away. The Gamecocks surged on a KyKy Tandy-led 14-0 run to take a four-point lead. Tandy hit two long threes in the streak.

With Jacksonville State leading 66-62 and only 16 seconds left in the game, the momentum swung back to the home team, as UIW responded with a series of clutch plays to win it. First, Robinson hit two free throws. Next, Josiah Hammons stole an inbounds pass to give the ball back to the Cardinals.

After UIW’s Davante Davis missed two free throws, Robinson rebounded the second one and was fouled. Going to the line, Robinson made the second of two to bring the Cardinals to within 66-65 with 10.1 seconds left.

From there, UIW’s pressure on the inbounds kept Jacksonville State from salting away the victory. First, a trap in corner forced Jacksonville State to call time with 3.7 seconds left.

With Jax State inbounding again, Hammons got a hand on it, deflecting it off Jacksonville State and out of bounds with two seconds remaining. The critical call was upheld on an officials’ review at the monitor.

Next, Elijah Davis inbounded for UIW. Robinson, a 6-foot-9 graduate transfer from Austin Peay, flashed through the paint, caught the pass and curled back toward the basket. He pulled up, hung in the air for a moment and then sank the winning bucket.

Coming up

The game on the UIW campus near downtown San Antonio served as an appetizer for three more days of holiday basketball starting Friday on the city’s Northwest side at UTSA. In a multi-team event billed as the Roadrunner/Cardinal Classic, Jacksonville State will play host UTSA at noon on Friday. On Saturday, UTSA will host UIW at 3 p.m. On Sunday, it will be UIW and Jacksonville State at 3 p.m. in a rematch.


UIW, under first-year coach Shane Heirman, has scored three consecutive victories. The first was at home over Division III Schreiner, 104-63. The next came on the road at Division I Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 100-81. Finally, UIW rallied at the end to claim a one-point thriller at home over Jacksonville State.

The Gamecocks are coached by Ray Harper, who played two seasons for the late Abe Lemons at Texas in 1980-81 and 1981-82. In ’81-’82, the Longhorns won their first 13 games and soared to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll. But after a season-ending knee injury to forward Mike Wacker, the Horns failed to make the NCAA tournament and Lemons was fired.

Harper went on to finish out his playing career at Kentucky Wesleyan and then started his head coaching career there, as well. He is 564-225 in 25 years as a head coach, part of it in NCAA Division II. Wacker once worked as an assistant coach at UTSA for the late Ken Burmeister and later went on to a long career as head coach at Judson High School. He coached six years at Texas Lutheran University before retiring in 2022.


UIW: Guard Sky Wicks, 21 points and four rebounds. Guard Josiah Hammons, 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Guard Josh Morgan, 10 points, two assists, two rebounds, two steals. Hammons hit five three-point shots and Morgan three. Forward Shon Robinson, seven points on one of seven shooting from the field.

Jacksonville State: Guard KyKy Tandy, 19 points on eight of 16 from the field. Guard Quincy Clark, 13 points on five of nine. Juwan Perdue, nine points and 10 rebounds.

First half

Sky Wicks and Josiah Hammons combined for 20 points as the Cardinals, shooting 51.9 percent from the field, raced to a 38-24 halftime lead on the Gamecocks. Leading by one point, UIW stormed past Jacksonville State on a 21-8 run to close the half.