UTSA opens search for a new basketball coach; Henson’s contract not renewed

UTSA announced Thursday that a national search for the next head coach of the men’s basketball program is underway.

Steve Henson. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Steve Henson is out as head coach of the UTSA men’s basketball program after eight seasons. Henson brought Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace to UTSA in the early years, but his last three teams lost 20 or more games. – File photo by Joe Alexander

The announcement came in a news release saying that eighth-year head coach Steve Henson would not return.

Henson’s contract expires on March 31 and Lisa Campos, vice president of intercollegiate athletics, said it would not be renewed.

Henson’s teams posted a record of 110-144.

“I want to thank Coach Henson for his commitment to UTSA basketball and to this university,” Campos said in the news release.

Campos described Henson as “a first-class representative” of the university.

“We wish coach Henson and his family the very best in the future,” Campos said.

Henson’s best year came in 2017-18 when the Roadrunners finished 20-15. Despite the loss of leading scorer Jhivvan Jackson to a knee injury at the end of the regular season, the Roadrunners reached the quarterfinals of both the Conference USA and CollegeInsider.com tournaments.

He was named C-USA Coach of the Year.

Henson will be known as the coach who brought Jackson and Keaton Wallace to UTSA. Both joined the team as freshmen in the fall of 2017. When they departed after the spring of 2021, Jackson ranked as the No. 1 scorer in school history, with Wallace No. 2.

The Roadrunners struggled after Jackson and Wallace turned pro. Henson’s last three teams finished 10-22, 10-22 and 11-21.


AAC men’s tournament: UTSA’s season comes to an end with a first-round loss to Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Trailing by 14 points at halftime, the UTSA Roadrunners rallied to contest an American Athletic Conference first-round tournament game, battling with the Temple Owls into the final minute. But in the final seconds, they couldn’t get a three-pointer to fall, missing twice, and their season came to an end.

Christian Tucker. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Christian Tucker produced a team-high 15 points and passed for four assists against the Temple Owls. – File photo by Joe Alexander

The Owls escaped with a 64-61 victory.

A poor first-half performance doomed the Roadrunners. They couldn’t get their offense rolling, hitting only 24 percent from the field and shooting only 1 for 13 from three-point distance. They were playing without injured leading scorer Jordan Ivy-Curry, so nothing came easily.

UTSA played hard in the second half, winning the 20-minute segment, 40-29. Christian Tucker led the charge with his floor leadership, ball-handling and passing. They had a couple of opportunities to take the lead down the stretch and were denied each time.

The final minute was hectic. Hysier Miller drained a three for Temple with 49.6 seconds remaining, boosting the Owls into a 64-58 lead. The Roadrunners answered almost immediately, with PJ Carter hitting a three of his own with 41.9 seconds left.

At the end, UTSA’s defense kept Temple from scoring, eventually forcing Miller into an over-and-back violation at halfcourt with 18 seconds left. With the ball on the side, the Roadrunners worked it first to Carter, who fired a three that was rebounded under the bucket by Carlton Linguard, Jr.

Linguard Jr. flipped it out to Tucker, who passed to Isaiah Wyatt at the top of the circle. With Miller contesting, Wyatt’s shot was off the mark, ending the Roadrunners’ season with an 11-21 record.

It was the third straight 20-loss season for the Roadrunners.

The Owls, who went 3-0 against the Roadrunners this season, will move on to play the sixth-seeded SMU Mustangs Thursday night. All games are being played at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Steve Henson. Rice beat UTSA 80-76 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Steve Henson said after the game that he expects to speak with athletic director Lisa Campos soon. His contract expires at the end of the month. – File Photo by Joe Alexander

Afterward, UTSA coach Steve Henson addressed questions about his future. Since his contract expires at the end of the month, it’s been a topic of discussion in his last two post-game news conferences. He said Wednesday that he hasn’t talked to his athletic director about the contract.

Even though the stakes were high for the Roadrunners in the tournament, Henson said Ivy-Curry just couldn’t play.

“Juice injured his arm/shoulder against SMU, very end of the (SMU) game (on March 2),” he said. “It was extremely swollen. We had a week off after that one, I think. We had several day days off, anyway, and he tried to get a ton of treatment and tried to practice a little bit. We put him in the game on Sunday (at home against Temple) and he was pretty immobile.

“His arm’s extremely swollen up, and he just couldn’t contribute the way he wanted to and the pain was continuing to increase. It’s really hard to get the swelling out of there, so he just wasn’t able to play.”

Noting that the first-half performance just wasn’t good enough, Henson nevertheless said he was proud of his players.

“In the first half, just offensively we couldn’t get anything going,” he said. “We really struggled on the offensive end. We held ’em to 40 percent from the field. We won enough battles on that end. We just couldn’t get anything going. They were physical with us.

“And then at halftime we kind of flipped it. We started executing better, we started defending much better, and kind of turned the tables on ’em a little bit, made a nice run there.”

In each of the last two seasons, the Roadrunners have lost close games in their conference tournament openers. Last year in Frisco, it was a one-point loss to the Rice Owls at the Conference USA tournament. Japhet Medor hit a shot at the end that would have won the game, but it was waved off on review. This year, it was an equally gut-wrenching one-possession game at the end against the Temple Owls.

“Just extremely disappointed,” Henson said. “The nature of post-season play, it just ends. You’re out there and you’re fighting your tails off and guys are in the huddle playing with a lot of emotion, talking with a lot of emotion, rallying each other, pumping each other, and then that horn goes
off and it’s over. So it’s a very disappointing feeling.”

UTSA lost 10 players to the transfer portal last spring and replaced them with 10 more signees. As a result, coaches started work last summer with almost an entirely different group. The Roadrunners were good at times on the offensive end. But on the defensive end, they were erratic, though they did play well defensively in a four-game stretch at the end of the regular season.

But then on Sunday, they took to their home floor in the regular-season finale against Temple with a less-than-100 percent Ivy-Curry, and got beat 84-82. The loss was costly. If they had won, they would have had another day to rest before they started the tournament. Instead, they had to play on the first day, and now it’s over.

“Our whole thing this last three weeks has been believe, and we didn’t give up (today),” said Tucker, who finished with 15 points and four assists. “We knew that we (could) compete with this team. We didn’t do enough of it in the first half and we knew we had to bounce back in the second half, so we just came out fighting. I mean, we won the second half, but we dug ourselves into too deep of a hole.”

Freshman guard Zion Stanford paced Temple with a game-high 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting.


Taking advantage of an injury to UTSA’s leading scorer, the Temple Owls built a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the game, hiked the advantage to 16 with 3:20 remaining and then went into the dressing room with a 35-21 edge.

UTSA’s Jordan Ivy-Curry, a 17.1 points per game scorer, was on the bench in a T-shirt to start the game. Ruled out for the game with a shoulder injury, his status for the remainder of the tournament is unclear.

Regardless, the Roadrunners missed his presence. They opened the game hitting only 1 of their first 11 shots. Late in the half, they misfired on 10 in a row. For the first 20 minutes, the Roadrunners were 9 of 37 from the field for 24.3 percent.

The Owls, one of the worst teams in the AAC all season, started fast with a 13-3 lead.

But in the middle of the half, their own poor shooting allowed the Roadrunners to stay in the game. Finally, the Owls put some things together and scored seven straight points. With the burst, they opened a 33-17 lead with with 3:20 remaining.

Guard Zion Stanford led the Owls with three of five shooting for a team-high eight points in the half. Jordan Riley and Matteo Picarelli had six points apiece. Point guard Hysier Miller, a high-level scorer, played mostly in a set-up role.

He finished the half with three points and four rebounds, scoring only four points.

With Ivy-Curry sidelined, the Roadrunners needed PJ Carter to step up his game. But the Owls knew they needed him, as well, blanketing him with coverage even on the perimeter. Carter was 2 for 9 in the half for five points.


The UTSA Roadrunners men’s basketball team opened play in the American Athletic Conference tournament today without injured Jordan Ivy-Curry, the team’s leading scorer.

Fourteenth-seeded UTSA and No. 11 Temple just got underway at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth.

The Roadrunners started the tournament without both Ivy-Curry (shoulder) and Adante’ Holiman (lower leg).

Temple defeated UTSA twice this season. The Owls won 83-77 on Feb. 18 in Philadelphia and won again 84-82 in the regular season finale Sunday in San Antonio. Both finished with 5-13 records in conference play.


UTSA 11-21
Temple 13-19


Eighth-year UTSA coach Steve Henson is facing questions about whether he might have coached his last game with Roadrunners. His contract expires at the end of this month, and he’s had three straight 20-loss seasons.

Henson said he hasn’t had any contract discussions with athletic director Lisa Campos.

“We’ve just been — had our heads down, grinding away, trying to get better. Loved the way our guys played at the end of the season. Lisa and I always talk at the conclusion of the season, so I’m sure we’ll do that again in this case.”

For Henson, it was the second time in his UTSA career that he entered a postseason game without an injured leading scorer. In 2018, guard Jhivvan Jackson sat out four games — two in the Conference USA tournament and two in the CollegeInsider.com tournament — with a knee injury.

Even with Jackson out of the lineup at the end, the Roadrunners finished off a 20-15 season, and Henson was named the C-USA Coach of the Year.

Temple played UTSA twice within the last week under a cloud of suspicion.

Gaming monitors at U.S. Integrity flagged the Owls’ 28-point home loss to UAB on March 7 for irregularities on the betting line in the hours before the game.

Owls coach Adam Fisher side-stepped a question about whether he has addressed the situation with the team, telling reporters in Fort Worth, “I know our university has put out a statement. My focus is on my players.

“I love my guys. We’ve been just trying to prepare for each game and just making sure we do exactly what we’ve done to prepare for each one.”

East Carolina rallies late to down UTSA in AAC semifinals

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Frustrated for most of the game by poor shooting, the ninth-seeded East Carolina Pirates rallied behind guard Danae McNeal in the fourth quarter to stun the No. 4 UTSA Roadrunners 55-54 in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals.

UTSA led by 11 points twice early in the fourth period in its quest to reach the AAC finals in its first year in the conference. But, with McNeal taking over late, East Carolina came back to claim a most improbable victory.

Roadrunners coach Karen Aston said she remains “super proud” of her team despite the loss.

“It’s always, I think, hard to describe what that type of loss feels like for your team,” Aston said. “You feel as a coach responsible, first of all, and heartbroken for them.

“I thought they played really, really good. In particular, the first half, I thought our defense was spectacular, and then I thought they settled in, inside. I thought they started to get a presence in the paint in the second half and we struggled with that.

“Then it just boils down to a five-minute game that we made a couple of turnovers, and then we just didn’t get stops when we needed to. I didn’t think either team was great offensively. We just couldn’t get the stops that we needed at the end of the game.

“Again, heartbreaking.”

For most of the game, held at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, the Pirates seemingly couldn’t hit a shot.

In the second quarter, for instance, they were 3 for 14, as the Roadrunners built a nine-point halftime advantage. As the game went on, East Carolina continued to struggle, with the Pirates trailing by nine at the end of three periods.

With 8:27 left in the game, UTSA took a 45-34 lead when forward Jordyn Jenkins connected on a layup. From there, East Carolina started to mount the comeback. McNeal scored nine points down the stretch, including a go-ahead jumper with 39 seconds remaining.

Setting the stage for McNeal’s clutch offensive play, the Roadrunners had the ball on the side, inbounding, with a one-point lead. But they were called for five seconds, with the turnover giving the Pirates possession.

In response, McNeal brought it up and elevated at free-throw line, burying the jumper for a 53-52 lead. The Pirates never trailed again. At the end, McNeal missed a couple of free throws, giving UTSA one last chance.

Roadrunners guard Aysia Proctor retrieved the ball, weaved through traffic and missed a heave from half court to end the game.


East Carolina 19-13
UTSA 17-14

Coming up

East Carolina will play for the AAC title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament Wednesday night. Game time is at 6 p.m. at Dickies Arena. The Pirates will face either the Rice Owls or the Temple Owls. For UTSA, the season might not be over. A chance exists that the Roadrunners could play in another tournament.


Center Amiya Joyner led the Pirates with 15 points and 13 rebounds. She had four points, three rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal in the fourth period. Khia Miller also had a key bucket in the late run and finished with 14 points. McNeal, a first-team, all-AAC player, finished with 11 points on 4 of 18 shooting.

For the Roadrunners, Jenkins led the team with 14 points on 5 of 16 shooting. Sidney Love scored 10 and Kyra White and Cheyenne Rowe nine apiece. UTSA shot 35 percent from the field for the game. In the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners were 6 of 17 from the field and committed six turnovers.


“It’s hard. We had plans to play tomorrow, and we were all playing for our seniors and playing for ourselves, and it’s a tough outcome and it’s just one of those things that we can’t get back. It’s probably going to stick with us. I know it’s going to stick with me for a little bit, but I’m proud of the team and I’m proud of everybody.” – UTSA’s Jordyn Jenkins

First half

Rowe played only three minutes and went scoreless in UTSA’s American conference quarterfinal victory Monday night against South Florida. One night later, Rowe emerged to take over the game in the second period.

The 6-foot-2 reserve forward went three for three from the field for seven points in the half. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners settled down after a shaky start, played a solid second quarter and went into the dressing room leading the Pirates, 25-16, in the AAC semifinals.

In the early going, the Roadrunners played with some nerves. They turned the ball over three times in the first five minutes. Fortunately for them, the Pirates failed to take advantage. Their shooting was off from the start. UTSA utilized a late burst to take an 11-10 edge after one quarter.

As the second period started, UTSA had settled itself down and found a rhythm. Guard Kyra White nailed two three-pointers. Coach Karen Aston dipped deep into her bench, particularly in the frontc0ourt, and brought in Rowe and 6-foot-4 Nissa Sam-Grant.

Rowe responded with a burst that allowed UTSA to open up a lead. Moving around under the bucket, she would find an open space, receive a pass from the perimeter and take it up strong to score. Defensively, UTSA played well. Fortunately for the Roadrunners, the Pirates weren’t shooting it very well, either. As a result, ECU hit only 3 of 14 in the second quarter and 7 of 31 for the half.

Third quarter

As East Carolina continued to struggle on the offensive end, UTSA took advantage of the situation and kept its lead at eight four minutes into the third period. Sidney Love, who hasn’t looked to score much in Fort Worth, made an aggressive play that seemed to catch the Pirates off guard. Love took it inside and scored a layup, drew a foul and hit the free throw for a 31-23 Roadrunners lead.

Pushing back, the Pirates started to make a move. Amiya Joyner hit a couple of baskets and a free throws. East Carolina pulled to within three.

But the Roadrunners weren’t finished yet, either. Jordyn Jenkins started to heat up. First, she worked inside, scored and drew a foul. Jenkins completed the three-point play. Next, she took it inside again, got fouled and converted two more free throws. She finished the quarter with five points to give her nine for the game.

UTSA took a 41-32 lead into the fourth quarter.


On Jan. 2, East Carolina walloped UTSA, 82-54. In the game played at Greenvlle, N.C., the Pirates scored 31 points off 29 UTSA turnovers, handing the Roadrunners their worst loss of the season. Saddled with an 0-2 record in conference at the time, UTSA didn’t flinch. The team rallied to win 10 of its last 16 in conference to finish 10-8, pulling down the No. 4 seed in the AAC tournament.

East Carolina finished 9-9 in conference and entered the postseason as the ninth seed. The Pirates beat the Memphis Tigers 65-63 on Sunday and downed the top-seeded Tulsa Golden Hurricane 75-71 on Monday to reach the semifinals. With the double bye, UTSA opened tournament play Monday. The Roadrunners rallied in the fourth quarter Monday to edge fifth-seeded South Florida, 58-56.

California cool: Siena Guttadauro’s clutch shooting boosts UTSA

Siena Guttadauro. 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

Sohomore Siena Guttadauro hit two three-pointers in the fourth quarter, boosting the UTSA Roadrunners to a 58-56 victory over the South Florida Bulls at the AAC tournament. – File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

On many game days during Siena Guttadauro’s two seasons with the UTSA Roadrunners, she will take a seat so far down on the end of the bench that it’s hard to find her.

Guttadauro has become much more prominent in the UTSA playing rotation recently, breaking out initially with a career-high 13 points on March 2 in a victory at Wichita State.

The diminutive 5-foot-6 sharpshooter from San Jose, Calif., rose to the occasion again on Monday in Fort Worth at the American Athletic Conference tournament.

With UTSA’s offense struggling to find consistency against the South Florida Bulls’ confounded zone defense, Guttadauro entered the game and made two three-pointers.

Her play in large measure helped lift the Roadrunners to a 58-56 victory. UTSA coach Karen Aston described Guttadauro’s clutch long-range shots as “huge” in the Roadrunners’ victory.

“They were in a zone to try to slow us down on the inside because Jordyn (Jenkins) had started to establish herself a little bit,” Aston told reporters afterward. “Idara (Udo) had a big bucket. (But) we were struggling to shoot the basketball.

“Siena had a really good game at Wichita. (She’s) starting to mature. She spends a lot of time in the gym, and we thought, ‘Let’s try something different here.’ And it was good. I really thought another factor for Siena was her defense.

“There was a specific game plan for each individual defensively as well as our team, and I thought she gave us an added dimension on the defensive end, also.”

Guttadauro entered the postseason having played only 21 of 29 games, averaging just under 10 minutes per game. When she has played, she has been a factor in stretching the defense, knocking down 18 of 50 from beyond the arc for 36 percent.

“Super proud of her,” Aston said. “I mean, she puts in the time. She has to feel good about her performance today.”

The AAC women’s tournament continues with the semifinals on Tuesday and the finals on Wednesday in Fort Worth. The winner of the postseason event receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. UTSA women’s basketball hasn’t qualified for the NCAA in 15 years.

In 2008-09, the Roadrunners made it by earning a Southland Conference postseason title under coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair.


(9) East Carolina defeated (1) Tulsa, 75-71
(4) UTSA defeated (5) South Florida, 58-56
(10) Rice defeated (2) North Texas, 61-59
(3) Temple defeated (14) Tulane, 76-72, 3OT


(4) UTSA vs. (9) East Carolina, Tuesday at 6 p.m.
(10) Rice vs. (3) Temple, Tuesday, 8 p.m.


Wednesday, 6 p.m.

UTSA beats South Florida, 58-56, advances to the AAC semifinals

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Karen Aston. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Karen Aston’s UTSA Roadrunners are two wins away from a conference championship after beating South Florida in the AAC quarterfinals on Monday. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Trailing by five points going into the fourth quarter, the fourth-seeded UTSA Roadrunners rallied late to down the No. 5 South Florida Bulls 58-56 Monday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference women’s postseason tournament.

With the win, UTSA will advance to play the East Carolina Pirates in the semifinals Tuesday in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena.

The Bulls, who lost by 23 to the Roadrunners in San Antonio in January, proved a much tougher opponent in the rematch. Guard Vittoria Blasigh scored 23 points. Forward Evelein Lutje Schipholt produced a double double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and forward Romy Levi scored 11.

In response, the Roadrunners played in the fourth quarter with urgency and pulled it out. Forward Jordyn Jenkins, in her ninth game back after missing most of the season following knee surgery, led UTSA with 20 points. Jenkins and sophomore guard Siena Guttadauro emerged in the clutch with some key plays.

Both scored six points in the last period.

“Siena was huge,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said on the team’s radio broadcast. “I mean, she kind of gave us a deep breath. Jordyn got going better in the second half but I thought the biggest thing was Siena opening some things up for us, hitting those (two) threes.”

Midway through the fourth, momentum started to shift in UTSA’s favor. First, Guttadauro hit a three. After a timeout, Jenkins found a gap in the zone and tossed in a left-handed hook. Finally, Idara Udo scored inside off a feed from Jenkins. UTSA had a 49-45 lead with five minutes left.

Undaunted, the Bulls rallied with four straight points to tie it, with Levy knotting the score on a pullup. Later, UTSA again went to Guttadauro, who nailed another three from the left side. The Roadrunners had a 54-51 lead with 2:51 left.

Forward Daniela Gonzalez emerged late as a scoring threat for the Bulls. She hit two free throws with 2:26 remaining and then she knocked down a three with 48 seconds left to pull South Florida to within two.

A key sequence unfolded on UTSA’s next possession, with guard Kyra White called for charging, a questionable call given the South Florida defender appeared to be on the move as White drove toward the bucket.

Regardless, the turnover gave the ball to the Bulls, who trailed by two with 16 seconds remaining.

UTSA ultimately stopped South Florida twice to close it out. First, Levy couldn’t get off a shot on the three-point line, so she passed to Schipolt, who misfired with an elbow jumper. On the rebound, the ball was batted out of bounds. After an officials’ review, the Bulls gained possession again with one-tenth of a second left.

On the inbounds pass, Jenkins got a hand on it to end the game.

“The first game (of a tournament) is really hard, especially when the other team has already played,” Aston said. “I mean, I thought we were nervous today in shootaround. I’m not surprised we didn’t have some anxiety with the game. But we toughed it out. I think we’ll play better tomorrow.”

Jenkins, who transferred from USC to UTSA before the 2022-23 season, suffered an ACL knee injury last April and didn’t return to play until February 11 this season.

“It’s extremely special,” Jenkins said as she was named Player of the Game by Fort Worth Sports. “I’ve had a long, long road. It’s been a long comeback and I’ve just been excited to get back on the court and win stuff for my team.”

First half

Blasigh started scoring early and kept finding open spaces to get off her shot. With her confidence soaring, she tallied nine of her 16 first-half points in the second quarter as the South Florida Bulls took a 27-25 lead on the UTSA Roadrunners.

The first quarter was played on mostly even terms between the fourth-seeded Roadrunners and the fifth-seeded Bulls. The Roadrunners received a boost from Jordyn Jenkins as she scored seven points in the period, including a three with about a minute remaining. Evelein Lutje Schipholt hit a ju,per for South Florida with three seconds left. UTSA took a 16-15 lead into the second period.

The flow of the game started to tilt toward South Florida. Not only were the Bulls controlling the glass, particularly on the offensive end, but Blasigh was coming alive with her shot. With 2:40 remaining in the half, the Roadrunners took a 24-20 lead as Jenkins scored. From there, the Bulls controlled the game. Blasigh scored seven straight points for South Florida heading into the halftime break.

Third quarter

Just after halftime, South Florida forward Romi Levy came alive. She stole a pass on one end and motored the length of the court to score. Levy added another bucket on a pullup jumper as the Bulls made it a 33-30 game in their favor.

For UTSA, the offense started to bog down a little at this juncture. One missed jumper by one of the Roadrunners’ starting guards led to another possession in which an entry pass was easily stolen. After Schipolt hit two free throws for a 35-33 South Florida lead, UTSA missed another shot and then turned it over. Schipolt knocked down two more free throws, making it a four-point game.

Late in the quarter, Levy heated up again. She swished a three-pointer and then knocked in a long two. The second bucket in that sequence came with 2:20 showing. It gave her nine points in the quarter and boosted the Bulls into a a 42-36 lead. Jenkins scored down low with 1:52 left to keep the Roadrunners in it.

Ultimately, South Florida took a 45-40 lead fourth quarter.


South Florida 19-14
UTSA 17-13

Coming up

UTSA plays ninth-seeded East Carolina Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the AAC semifinals. The winner will advance to the title game, which will be played at 6 p.m. Wednesday. All games at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Is destiny calling for UTSA? Jenkins says, ‘It’s our year’

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins understands as well as anyone that hard work sets the table for any type of success that a basketball team might attain.

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

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins has a good feeling about her team’s chances in the AAC tournament. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Same goes for individual success.

For instance, she didn’t just roll out of bed one day and become the 2023 Conference USA Player of the Year.

She didn’t just snap her fingers after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury on her right knee last April and say that, hey, she would be fine physically as her teammates prepared in summer conditioning to transition into the American Athletic Conference.

It took hours and hours in rehabilitation last summer before Jenkins could even get back on the court to practice her shot.

And then there was the strengthening and conditioning, all of which kept her out of games this season until late February.

No, Jenkins is wise to the way that the game works as the fourth-seeded Roadrunners prepare to play the South Florida Bulls today in the AAC quarterfinals.

Then again, she also has a thought or two about intangibles.

Destiny, for instance.

Is it destiny that the Roadrunners might be in line to win some games and perhaps an AAC title this week?

How else to explain events of last week, the second to last day of the regular season for the Roadrunners.

Jammed in a six-way tie for fourth place, UTSA needed a victory at home against the Rice Owls and a lot of help to pull down the No. 4 seed and a double-bye into the tournament.

How much help? Let’s just say that they needed a number of outcomes in games played around the conference to have a shot.

But, just as the Roadrunners built a double-digit lead on the Owls in the second half, the basketball gods started to shine on them.

First, the Charlotte 49ers lost. Then, the UAB Blazers also lost. With officials scrambling to sort out the final equation, the Memphis Tigers were trailing late in a game Denton to the North Texas Mean.

Then it happened. As UTSA players stood at midcourt after defeating Rice, 60-52, they learned that Memphis also had lost at North Texas. And that, from all indications, that they had secured the No. 4 seed.

Even as fans oblivious to the big picture cheered, the sounds of UTSA players shouting about their good fortune could be heard over all the other noise.

A few days later, I asked Jenkins sort of a convoluted question. I asked her about so many dominoes having to fall for them to get the fourth seed and the double-bye, is it possible that something special is in the cards for UTSA this year?

“Honestly, yeah,” Jenkins said. “After we beat Rice and coach told us we might end up being the fourth seed, it was kind of like, it was meant to happen.

“Even though we had a lot of ups and downs this year, I’ve always felt like this was our year. Even when I was out and even now, I feel like it’s ours to win. And, like, we can do it. Getting that fourth place makes me feel like it’s going to happen.”

She said her own road back to playing in games has been a journey. Initially, it was a shock to learn about the injury’s severity.

“I’m just grateful for our staff and everyone who has been helping me, my teammates. Yea, it’s been a lot of long days in rehab and working out,” she said. “But I wanted to be here and I wanted to play, and I love this team. Yeah, it feels good to play with them, finally.”

Anyone who has been around the Roadrunners knows how much Jenkins loves to play in games. So, when the season started and she couldn’t play, she said she had to rely heavily on those around her.

“There were a lot of days of me being around here, long days, just being surrounded by my team,” she said. “My athletic trainer (Tam Nguyen) and my coaches. They put up with me a lot, even though I may sometimes have a bad attitude.

“But they put up with me and they want what’s best for me. I’ve seen a lot of support towards me. And I recognize that people care about me. I want to make people proud. I want to do them proud. It just feels good to try to return the favor, I guess, and just do everything I can for the sport.”

Regardless, when the medical staff cleared her to play, she had a decision to make. Did she want to play only part of a season? Or, would it be best to save the eligibility and try next season?

“It was mainly about me and how I felt,” she said. “I didn’t want to take any chances or any risks. I did what my body felt like was right to do. I came back on limited minutes and everyone was very careful, just (to) make sure my safety was priority. You know, things have been working out.

“And, I’ve always wanted to play. I feel like if I’m able to play, why not?”

Jenkins smiled when she was reminded that, before the season, during her rehabilitation, that she predicted she would play.

“You know, I wanted to, and basketball is my life,” she said. “I want to win and I want to be here for this team, and I think I’m doing just that.”

Jenkins was a dominant force last year, averaging 20.6 points and shooting close to 50 percent from the field. Last year, it wasn’t unusual to see her out-running guards down the floor, catching long passes and shooting uncontested layups.

This year, it’s been a little different, as she has come off the bench averaging only 20 minutes a game. In that reduced time, she’s still been effective, averaging a team-best 14.5 points and also 7.5 rebounds.

UTSA coach Karen Aston said Jenkins is “in great shape” and praised the training staff for its work during rehabilitation.

“They did a great job in getting her in physical condition (to play),” the coach said. “It’s just game mode, getting used to how teams, you know, one team will play her one way. One will play her that way. If you’ve been away from the game that long, it’s something mentally that you have to get used to.”

Asked about the importance of Jenkins staying engaged with team activities during her comeback, from a team standpoint, Aston said it was more important for Jenkins to do that for herself.

“Injured players have a difficult time feeling engaged,” she said. “I think for her, she would tell you, she had a lot of dark times. Injuries are tough, especially if you came off the year she had last year … (but) staying engaged, for her, was important.”

Even though roles for other individuals on the team changed somewhat following her return, Aston said players have adjusted.

“Our team has an understanding that Jordyn has a real passion for the game,” Aston said. “She loves playing basketball. She loves the competition. The camaraderie. So it’s hard not to welcome back someone who loves the game as much as she does.”

With Jenkins, it’s clear that she understands how the game works. How playing the game requires certain sacrifices. How winning requires chemistry and camaraderie. In that regard, it’s also fun to learn that in spite of all the painstaking realities of preparation for a championship run, that she also believes in things like destiny.

Just as we ended our conversation the other day, I had to ask her about it again. She responded with a smiled and a compelling notion. “It’s our year. It’s our year.”

Women’s basketball: AAC tournament title quest starts Monday for UTSA

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Hungry to prove that they belong as one of the favorites to win the championship, the fourth-seeded UTSA Roadrunners will open in the American Athletic Conference’s women’s basketball tournament today against the No. 5 South Florida Bulls.

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

The return of forward Jordyn Jenkins late in the season gives the UTSA Roadrunners another quality player leading into their first AAC tournament. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Tipoff in the AAC quarterfinals is set for 2 p.m. at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. In terms of which team will hit the floor with more motivation to win, it might be a toss-up.

On one hand, South Florida is a program with quite a bit of pride and tradition and a veteran coach in Jose Fernandez who knows how to win.

On top of that, the Bulls (19-13) may believe they have a score to settle with the Roadrunners (16-13), who beat them 65-42 on Jan. 16 in San Antonio.

On the flip side, while UTSA hasn’t done much in women’s basketball since back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2008 and 2009, the Roadrunners also will come into their first AAC tournament with players who believe they haven’t quite received the respect they deserve.

Despite a 10-8 finish in the conference race, UTSA was shut out of individual honors when the all-conference teams were announced last week. Not one Roadrunners player made the first, second or third team.

Same thing with the all-newcomer team. UTSA didn’t have a representative listed. A few in the Roadrunners’ camp were so taken aback by the snub that they said very little in the way of a public response.

“I’m surprised,” Aston said. “That’s about all I know to to say.”

Clearly, players such as Elyssa Coleman, Kyra White, Sidney Love and freshmen Idara Udo and Aysia Proctor were key contributors on the first winning team at UTSA since 2015 and deserved some mention somewhere.

“I have a lot to say about that but I’m going to just keep it to myself,” Coleman said. “I think I’m going to internalize that. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. Just internalize it and let that power us through the tournament.”

White brushed off the snub as not that important.

“Internally, it’s like, ‘Dang, I wish that teams out there would have seen what I’ve seen all year, looking at my (teammates) and playing with them,” she said. “But at the end of the day, those are the kind of things that aren’t really talked about a lot in our locker room.

“Our main goal is playing in March and holding up the American trophy. Those awards would have just been the cherry on top. So, we just want to go out there and win as a team and have fun together.”

Back in December, the Bulls were a bit shell-shocked when Sammie Puisis, a long-distance shooter and one of the standouts from the team’s 2022-23 title team, made it back into the lineup in December and then exited after one game with a knee injury.

When they arrived in San Antonio in January in the early stages of the conference race, they were still a bit uncertain who they were as a team. In addition, maybe they weren’t quite prepared mentally to face the physical play that they encountered from the home team at the UTSA Convocation Center.

In rebounding, the Roadrunners beat the Bulls on the boards, 55-33, including 20-12 on the offensive end. Moreover, UTSA held South Florida to 21.1 percent shooting, with Bulls stars Romi Levy and Vittoria Blasigh both held to 3 of 16 from the field.

UTSA blew the game open early, building a 21-point lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Blasigh hit a couple of threes late in the period, allowing the visitors to pull within 14 going into the fourth.

But after that, the Roadrunners kept applying the pressure, never allowing the visitors to come closer than 12. They outscored the Bulls 16-7, with White and Proctor each scoring five in the period.

Fernandez said Sunday night after his team’s victory over Wichita State that he likes his team’s position.

“We’re at 19 wins, with the adversity we’ve had,” the coach said. “Tomorrow, we’re going to have to play better. I think our team knows that. Our team understands that … Same thing I told our kids after non-conference, everything’s going to come down to Fort Worth. For everybody in our league. It’s going to be a one-bid league (to the NCAA tournament).

“So, everything we talked about then, is still in front of us.”


UTSA 16-13
South Florida 19-13

Coming up

Monday’s quarterfinals
(9) East Carolina vs. (1) Tulsa, noon
(5) South Florida vs. (4) UTSA, 2 p.m.
(10) Rice vs. (2) North Texas, 6 p.m.
(14) Tulane vs. (3) Temple, 8 p.m.

Heartbreak: Miller’s buzzer beater lifts Temple over UTSA, 84-82

-Video and game story by Jerry Briggs, Special for The JB Replay-

Guard Hysier Miller hit a contested 16-foot jump shot at the buzzer Sunday afternoon, boosting the Temple Owls to an emotion-charged, regular-season closing 84-82 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

Moments earlier, the Roadrunners had a chance to break a tie and take the lead, but a poor offensive possession ended with point guard Christian Tucker hoisting a 3-point attempt that misfired with a little more than 20 seconds remaining.

After Temple called time, the Owls allowed Miller to make the last play. As the clock wound down under 10 seconds, he drifted to his right behind a screen set by teammate Sam Hofman. UTSA played the pick with center Trey Edmonds coming out to contest Miller.

Edmonds had it guarded well, but the shot went up and went in, snapping the net just after the buzzer sounded.

Temple's Hysier Miller shoots over UTSA's Trey Edmonds for the winning basket with time running out. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Temple’s Hysier Miller shoots over UTSA’s Trey Edmonds for the winning basket with time running out. – Photo by Joe Alexander

When it happened, the beleaguered Owls celebrated. They arrived in San Antonio under a cloud of suspicion following reports that gaming monitors were reviewing unusual wagering activity before their last game, a 28-point home loss to the UAB Blazers last Thursday.

But if they were sweating the national publicity and the implication of impropriety, they certainly didn’t show it as they mobbed Miller in front of their own bench.

Some on press row thought Miller’s shot might have grazed the front of the net coming down, instead of going through. But after a review, officials confirmed that the shot would count. As a result, it gave the win to the Owls, who trailed by as many as 13 points and for most of the second half.

With the setback, the Roadrunners had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost an opportunity to gain a first-round bye in this week’s American Athletic Conference tournament. Instead of an extra day of rest, the Roadrunners fell to the 14th (and final) seed and will play the No. 11 Temple Owls — again — on opening day Wednesday in Fort Worth.

UTSA and Temple are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Dickies Arena in their third meeting of the season. The Owls won the first game, beating the Roadrunners 83-77 in Philadelphia on Feb. 18.

In the rematch, Miller and backcourt mate Jordan Riley scored 16 points apiece. Guard Shane Dezonie came off the bench to add 15. Hofman, a starting forward, stepped outside to make four 3-pointers and finished with 12.

UTSA's PJ Carter watches the replay of the final shot of the game. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s PJ Carter watches the replay of Temple guard Hysier Miller’s game-winning shot. Carter led UTSA with a career-high 27 points in the Roadrunners’ regular-season finale. – Photo by Joe Alexander

For UTSA, PJ Carter scored a career-high 27 points. A turning point in Temple’s comeback came when Carter twisted an ankle with about 13 minutes remaining and had to leave the floor to have it treated.

After he returned a few minutes later, he made only one basket — a three that tied the game 82-82 with 1:28 left.

Jordan Ivy-Curry, limited because of an injury he suffered in a victory over SMU on March 2, played only 17 minutes and was held to six points. Ivy-Curry had 33 against SMU.

Other Roadrunners in double figures against the Owls were center Carlton Linguard Jr. with 15 points, Christian Tucker with 13 and Dre Fuller Jr. with 10. Linguard, Fuller and Isaiah Wyatt were celebrated in the pre-game during a ‘Senior Day’ ceremony.

The possibility also exists that the game might have been the last one at home for eighth-year head coach Steve Henson.

Henson, whose contract is up at the end of the month, insisted in the post-game interviews that he isn’t thinking about it.

“It’s all about trying to play better basketball,” he said. “Our guys have done a good job. I’m proud of the way we played. The losing streak (seven games) could have pulled us apart. Could have broken us down. It’s a real credit to the players. They hung in there. Their chemistry was good. Their attitudes were good.

“I’ve said this a few times on the air. We’re not practicing as hard as I would like at this point in the season. It’s been the case for a few weeks. But, they do come in with pretty good energy level. They like being in the gym. They like being around each other.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry, limited by an injury to 17 minutes, totaled six points on two of six shooting. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“That allowed us to weather that really bad stretch, and then all of a sudden something clicked on the defensive end for four ball games.”

The improved play defensively allowed the Roadrunners to play first-place South Florida close in a five-point loss, before they reeled off three straight victories, which included road wins at North Texas and SMU.

“We had won three games,” Henson said. “We came into this one feeling great. It’s all about focusing on the team, trying to go into the tournament with momentum. If we had handled our business today, we would have been feeling really, really good.”

Following with a rhetorical question, Henson asked, “What’s this going to do to us (at practice) tomorrow? I don’t know.

“We have to get right back up and go into Fort Worth with our heads up, knowing that we’ve played well against some of the best teams in the league. We’ve knocked off some really good teams. That three-game stretch was as good as any we’ve had in the last seven or eight years.”


Temple 12-19, 5-13
UTSA 11-20, 5-13

Coming up

American Athletic Conference postseason tournament, starting Wednesday and running through Sunday. All games at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.


A UTSA spokesman relayed a message from the Temple athletic department to San Antonio-based reporters at press row during the first half.

Reporters were told that if they wanted to interview Temple coach Adam Fisher afterward, that he would talk only about the UTSA game. Fisher could not be reached for comment by The JB Replay.

In the wake of Temple’s game against UAB, Sports Illustrated was the first to report that gaming monitors at U.S. Integrity flagged the game to casinos as unusual.

NBC News reported that the line shifted, with UAB going from its status on wagering boards as a 2.5-point favorite to an 8-point favorite.

On Friday, The Athletic reported that three other Temple games this season also had “irregular betting patterns.” Temple’s game against UTSA on Feb. 18 was not among those listed with irregularities.


UTSA pushed out to a 44-39 lead at halftime.

Trying to counter-act UTSA’s switching defense, the Owls pushed the fast break when they could. When slowed into a halfcourt set, they tried to get the ball down low for post-ups, even with their guards.

For the Owls, Riley led with 10 points, followed by Miller with nine.

UTSA, in response, attacked with their guards and their big men. Guard PJ Carter filled it up with 18 points, including three-for-four shooting from the 3-point arc. Carter also drove it in an effort to draw fouls, with the tactic giving him eight trips to the line, where he made seven.

Linguard Jr., a seven-foot forward, also was active. He had nine points and five rebounds in 14 minutes. Edmonds made an early impact, as well, notching five points and seven boards in the half. Fuller had seven points on three of six shooting.

Meanwhile, Ivy-Curry, the team’s leading scorer, played only first-half eight minutes. He had three points on one of three shooting.


Starting lineups
Temple — Hysier Miller, Jordan Riley, Matteo Picarelli, Steve Settle, Sam Hofman
UTSA — Dre Fuller Jr., Isaiah Wyatt, Christian Tucker, Trey Edmonds, Carlton Linguard Jr.

Carlton Linguard Jr. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Power forward Carlton Linguard Jr. produced 15 points and nine rebounds in what may have been his last game at the Convocation Center. He was honored in the pre-game ‘Senior Day’ ceremonies, a sign that he is moving on his career. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Men’s basketball: UTSA can clinch a first-round tournament bye by beating Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA men’s basketball team has endured its share of tough breaks this season. Maybe the trend is shifting in the other direction.

Not only have the Roadrunners won three games in a row leading into today’s regular-season finale against the Temple Owls, but they also apparently have moved into position to control their own destiny and secure a first-round bye in the American Athletic Conference’s postseason tournament.

A few days ago, it appeared that the Roadrunners might have only an outside shot at avoiding being slotted into the bracket for a game Wednesday on Day 1 of the AAC tournament. Since then, a couple of opponents battling in close proximity to UTSA in the standings have stumbled.

On Friday night, the Wichita State Shockers lost at Tulane. On Saturday night, the Rice Owls lost at home to the University of North Texas Mean Green. Consequently, both the Shockers and the Owls have fallen into the bottom four in the AAC standings, while the Roadrunners have moved up to 10th.

Now, a Roadrunners victory Sunday at home against the Owls apparently will give them the 10th seed, an extra day to prepare and a tournament opener on Thursday. Instead of having to win five games in five days to reach the NCAA tournament, they’d get a more manageable four-in-four days task.

Senior Day

Sunday is Senior Day at the Convocation Center. The program is honoring Carlton Linguard Jr., Dre Fuller Jr. and Isaiah Wyatt, who have all played one season for the Roadrunners.

Linguard, a former standout at Stevens High School in San Antonio, returned home to the Alamo City after two seasons at Kansas State. After sitting out last season, the 7-footer appeared in 30 games with 21 starts. Linguard averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Fuller, who grew up in North Carolina, played three seasons at Central Florida before sitting out last year while caring for his mother, who was ill. She passed away last spring. Fuller has averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds

Wyatt, from Ohio originally, played in high school in Texas at North Crowley. UTSA is his fourth school after he attended McLennan College, Southwestern Christian (in Texas) and NCAA Division II Chadron State, Neb. Wyatt, known as a perimeter shooting threat, has averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds.


Temple 11-19, 4-13
UTSA 11-19, 5-12

Coming up

The bracket for the American Athletic Conference tournament is expected to be finalized after the last two games of the regular season — Temple at UTSA and SMU at UAB — are played on Sunday afternoon. The five-day AAC tournament is scheduled to open Wednesday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

UTSA women win, seize a No. 4 seed in the AAC tournament

Idara Udo. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

The American Athletic Conference tournament opens Saturday in Fort Worth, but freshman Idara Udo and the UTSA Roadrunners have earned a double bye all the way through to Monday’s quarterfinals.- Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

For the UTSA women’s basketball team, its winning formula Tuesday night was a lot like so many others this season. Appy pressure on defense. Rebound with a fury. On the offensive end, pound the ball into the paint and make the opponent stand up to a physical style.

Once again, the Roadrunners made it all work. Despite their own offensive struggles, they opened a 12-point lead at halftime, held a 15-point advantage after three quarters and bullied their way to a 60-52 victory over the Rice Owls.

With the victory, the Roadrunners finished the regular season 16-13 and clinched a tie for fourth in the American Athletic Conference at 10-8.

Elyssa Coleman. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Elyssa Coleman produced 14 points and six rebounds in the regular-season finale against Rice despite foul trouble that limited her to 17 minutes. – Photo by Joe Alexander

About 90 minutes after the game was completed, the AAC on its website posted a bracket indicating the Roadrunners would be the No. 4 seed in the five-day AAC postseason tournament, which will open on Saturday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

A double bye will place UTSA in a strong position to claim the conference’s postseason title. In other words, the team will get to skip past play on Saturday and Sunday and will get to start in the quarterfinal round on Monday, March 11.

With such an advantageous placement in the bracket, the Roadrunners will need to win only three games in three days to clinch the AAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Before the conference posted its bracket, UTSA coach Karen Aston said in her postgame news conference that she believes the Roadrunners, picked to finish eighth in the conference’s preseason poll, would get the No. 4 seed. “I think we’re fourth, unless I’m missing something, and I don’t think I am,” she said.

AAC teams receiving double byes into the tournament quarterfinals will be No. 1 Tulsa, No. 2 North Texas, No. 3 Temple and UTSA.

Tulsa and North Texas both won Tuesday night and finished 13-5, while Temple, at 12-5, plays its finale on Wednesday at home against FAU.

Officially, UTSA and South Florida have tied for fourth in the standings at 10-8. But with the Roadrunners having beaten the Bulls 65-42 in San Antonio on Jan. 16, they get No. 4 seed via the two-team tiebreaker, which is based on the one and only head-to-head meeting this season.

“I’m really proud of the way the team played tonight,” Aston said. “I know that they haven’t necessarily been in that situation before, where the stakes were as high as they were today. They knew first of all that if they didn’t win, they had a chance to get in that bottom four and play the first day (on Saturday).

“We’ve been talking about that since Day 1 … that it’s a difficult track if you have to play that first day. So I think that was on their minds and they were ready to play. I could tell they were ready to go at shootaround. I thought the last five minutes, we got a little bit tight, and maybe tried to play not to lose.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins came through in the last minute with five of her 14 points as the Roadrunners fended off a late Rice Owls rally. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“But that’s a learning process.”

Aston said that by posting a winning record in conference play, UTSA has put itself into a position to play in a postseason tournament, no matter what happens to the Roadrunners in Fort Worth at the AAC.

“It could be one of three tournaments,” UTSA’s third-year coach said. “We hope it’s the big one (the NCAA tournament), but the fact is, we’re eligible for postseason and that’s just an unbelievable feat in the time that we’ve been trying to build this program.”

Initially, after UTSA completed the game and secured the victory, players looked almost as exhausted as they were exuberant. It was a physical game. They had the upper hand for most of it, but the Owls made a run at the end behind post Malia Fischer, who produced 30 points and 12 rebounds.

Later, after the Roadrunners sang the school song at halfcourt, players were informed that all the dominoes had fallen their way on the last night of the season, meaning that they likely had attained the double bye. In unison, they celebrated, with some of them smiling broadly, some of them clapping and others just screaming.

UTSA redshirt junior Elyssa Coleman told reporters that she doesn’t think the Roadrunners have a so-called ‘ceiling’ in terms of how far they might advance in the AAC and beyond. “It’s really cool,” she said, “like in my first year (in 2021-22), winning that first conference game was like a Super Bowl win for us.”

Coleman, playing only 17 minutes because of foul trouble, finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Jordyn Jenkins, playing in only her eighth game of the season, produced 14 points and nine boards.

After spending most of the past year rehabilitating a knee injury, Jenkins came up big at the end of the game against the Owls, scoring five points in the final 30 seconds to help the Roadrunners close out the game.

Freshman Idara Udo also played a major role, scoring 10 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. As a team, UTSA outrebounded Rice, 45-41. The Roadrunners held the Owls to 30 percent shooting on 18 of 60 from the field.

Kyra White. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Senior guard Kyra White played 35 minutes and totaled seven points, two assists and two rebounds. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Sidney Love. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Sidney Love had four points, seven rebounds and two assists. – Photo by Joe Alexander


Rice 15-14, 9-9
UTSA 16-13, 10-8

Coming up

AAC women’s basketball championship

Saturday, March 9
Game 1: No. 13 Wichita State vs. No. 12 Florida Atlantic – 4 p.m.| ESPN+
Game 2: No. 14 Tulane vs. No. 11 SMU – 6 p.m. | ESPN+

Sunday, March 10
Game 3 – No 9 East Carolina vs. No. 8 Memphis – Noon | ESPN+
Game 4 – Game 1 winner vs. No. 5 South Florida – 2 p.m. | ESPN+
Game 5 – No. 10 Rice vs. No. 7 UAB – 6 p.m. | ESPN+
Game 6 – Game 2 winner vs. No. 6 Charlotte – 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Monday March 11
Game 7 – Game 3 winner vs. No. 1 Tulsa – Noon | ESPN+
Game 8 – Game 4 winner vs. No. 4 UTSA – 2 p.m. | ESPN+
Game 9 – Game 5 winner vs. No. 2 North Texas – 6 p.m. | ESPN+
Game 10 – Game 6 winner vs. No. 3 Temple – 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Tuesday, March 12
Game 11 – Semifinal 1, Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner – 6 p.m. | ESPN+
Game 12 – Semifinal 2, Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner – 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Wednesday, March 13
Game 13 – Championship, Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner – 6 p.m. | ESPNU

–From the AAC website

Aysia Proctor. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Aysia Proctor hit three of six from the field and had six points and three rebounds. – Photo by Joe Alexander

First half

After misfiring on 10 straight shots in the second quarter, the UTSA Roadrunners started to make a move.

Finally breaking through on the offensive end, they scored 10 points in two minutes. Near the end of the streak, the Roadrunners trapped at midcourt, forced a turnover and turned it into a Jordyn Jenkins fast-break layup.

Pressured again by the Roadrunners, the Owls finally took advantage and turned it into a Malia Fischer layup for the final points of the half. UTSA ducked into the dressing room leading 30-18.

For the Roadrunners, it was a productive half in many ways. They forced the Owls into 7 of 26 shooting from the field, including 0 for 9 from the three-point line. They also harassed the Owls into 11 turnovers.

Then again, it felt like the Roadrunners should have been able to open a wider gap than 12 points at intermission.

UTSA hit only 12 of 32 from the floor, with some of the misses coming on clean looks. Despite Rice’s problems offensively, UTSA never led by more than seven in the first quarter. Their 12-point lead was the largest of the half.

Karen Aston. UTSA beat Rice 60-52 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Tuesday, March 5, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Third-year coach Karen Aston has led the Roadrunners to a 16-13 record overall, including 10-8 in the American. UTSA hasn’t had a winning record in the regular season since 2014-15 when team went 16-14, which ultimately became 16-15 after a Conference USA tournament loss. – Photo by Joe Alexander