Charlotte wins 79-70 and hands UTSA its fifth straight loss

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Playing a slow-down game in their home arena, the Charlotte 49ers emerged Thursday night with a 79-70 victory over UTSA, handing the Roadrunners their season-high fifth straight loss.

The surprising 49ers, who are nothing if not masters of a methodical pace, nearly led the game wire to wire.

The score was tied briefly at 10-10 early in the first half. But other than that, the 49ers kept the Roadrunners at arms length, and they won again to keep a promising season alive in front of the home fans at Halton Arena.

Center Dishon Jackson led the 49ers with 19 points.

Guard Lu’Cye Patterson had 17 and Nik Graves 12 as Charlotte won its second straight and remained in contention for the American Athletic Conference title. The 49ers played solid defense for most of the game, shot 48 percent from the field and marched to their 10th win in their last 11.

As a result, a log-jam remained at the top of the AAC standings, with South Florida leading the 14-team pack at 11-1, followed by Charlotte and 24th-ranked Florida Atlantic tied for second at 10-2. Not bad for a Charlotte team picked in the preseason poll to finish 13th.

For UTSA, the frustration continued.

The Roadrunners aren’t anywhere near the league leaders and haven’t won since Jan. 24, at home against Tulane. Since then, they have fallen, in succession, to South Florida, Rice, Wichita State, East Carolina and now Charlotte. Consequently, they’re tied for 12th place with Wichita State at 2-10, ahead of only the Temple Owls, who are 1-11.

UTSA had its moments against Charlotte. At the end of the first half, they rode the hot shooting of PJ Carter and whittled what had been a 13-point deficit to two at the break. But after intermission, UTSA went cold and stayed cold for the rest of the game, shooting a second-half field goal percentage of only 25.7 percent.

Carter emerged as the only legitimate scoring threat on the night with a career-high 22 points. Even then, the 49ers bottled him up after halftime, holding him to only three points the rest of the way. Christian Tucker had 13 and Dre Fuller Jr. 11. Both made some plays down the stretch, but they weren’t enough.

Jordan Ivy-Curry, UTSA’s leading scorer, couldn’t find a rhythm for the second time in his last three outings. He scored five points on 2 of 10 shooting, nearly matching his 1 for 10 effort from a few games ago against the Wichita State Shockers.

Ivy-Curry wasn’t alone in his struggles. Seven-foot center Carlton Linguard Jr. finished 2 for 9 and scored four points. Guard Adante’ Holiman shot 0 for 3 and went scoreless.

In the first game between the two this season, played at San Antonio, the 49ers won 66-58.

“We played better,” UTSA coach Steve Henson told Andy Everett on the school’s radio broadcast. “In the first half, to put up 44 on them is a pretty big accomplishment. They’re a really good defensive team. (With their) pace of play, that was a lot of points to put up.

“I thought like we looked like ourselves in the first half. Ball was moving pretty good. Beginning of the game, they had a pretty good flow going. We kept telling out guys, ‘Just hang in there.’ And all of a sudden, we felt like our guys turned it up defensively a little bit.”

Henson said even though UTSA didn’t shoot well in the second half, he felt good about his players’ competitive spirit to the final buzzer. “It was one of our better overall efforts in terms of intensity,” he said.


UTSA 8-17, 2-10
Charlotte 16-8, 10-2

Coming up

UTSA at Temple, Sunday, 1 p.m.

UTSA takes down Charlotte 81-80 in double OT on Udo’s winner

UTSA's Idara Udo celebrates after time runs out in the Roadrunners' double-overtime victory. She made the winning basket as UTSA beat Charlotte 81-80 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Idara Udo celebrates after time runs out in the Roadrunners’ double-overtime victory. She made the winning basket as UTSA beat Charlotte 81-80 in American Athletic Conference women’s basketball on Sunday at the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Freshman Idara Udo rebounded a miss and hit a short follow-up for the game winner at the buzzer Sunday afternoon, lifting the UTSA Roadrunners to an 81-80, double-overtime victory over the Charlotte 49ers.

With the victory, the Roadrunners (9-7, 3-2) made a statement in the American Athletic Conference. In winning their third straight, they knocked off the 49ers (11-6, 4-1) who entered the contest leading the AAC standings.

UTSA's Idara Udo grabs an offensive rebound and goes back up to score the winning basket with one second left in the second overtime. UTSA beat Charlotte 81-80 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Idara Udo grabs an offensive rebound and goes back up to score the winning basket with one second left in the second overtime. Udo finished with a career-high 26 points. She also had nine rebounds, including six on the offensive end. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of girls,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said. “We faced a lot of adversity throughout the game … I thought we were resilient. A lot of players made plays.”

The final minute of the game became an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Charlotte’s Keanna Rembert missed the second of two free throws with 48 seconds left to leave the score tied, 77-all, prompting UTSA to call a timeout.

Afterward, former Judson High School standout Kyra White drove and passed off to the side, where Hailey Atwood made the catch and calmly drained a mid-range jumper for a two-point lead.

Following a 30-second timeout by Charlotte, the 49ers came up with their own big play, with Dazia Lawrence feeding Jacee Busick, who knocked down a three. The shot with 13 seconds left lifted the 49ers into an 80-79 lead.

Pushing the ball up the court, UTSA had White coming at the Charlotte defense again. She fired a jumper and missed. In a battle under the boards, Udo snared the rebound and hit the winner from point-blank range.

“I was just thinking of giving my team an advantage,” Udo said. “I had two opportunities earlier in the regular period and the first overtime to capitalize, and I didn’t. So I knew that whenever I had a chance the third time, I was going to capitalize. Third time’s the charm.”

Aysia Proctor. UTSA beat Charlotte 81-80 in double overtime in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA freshman guard Aysia Proctor produced 17 points and 13 rebounds against Charlotte. – Photo by Joe Alexander

When the horn sounded, UTSA players circled Udo and bounced up and down, with the freshman shouting in the exhilaration of the moment.

Asked about the celebration, White’s comments were measured and were delivered with some humility. She brought up the first two games that UTSA played on its AAC schedule, when the Roadrunners lost at Temple and East Carolina.

“It felt good,” White said of the celebration. “I think our first two conference games, honestly, I’m just going to come out and say that we weren’t prepared for the physicality or what the American conference looked like.

“I think now that we’ve got our feet back under us, just keep ’em rolling, to help us going into the next game against a very good team as well.”

Next up for UTSA is a Tuesday night home game against the South Florida Bulls, the preseason favorite in the conference.

Udo led the Roadrunners in scoring with a career-high 26 points, and she also pulled down nine rebounds, including six on the offensive end. Udo, from Plano, hit nine of 13 shots from the field.

Another freshman, guard Aysia Proctor from San Antonio-area Clemens High School, also produced a strong effort. Proctor had 17 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. She hit five of six from the 3-point arc. Elyssa Coleman, who fouled out, finished with 12.

White nearly pulled off a triple double with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. White played a team-high 44 minutes.

For Charlotte, center Tracey Hueston enjoyed a big day of her own. Hueston scored a game-high 27 points. The 6-foot-2 transfer from the University of Pittsburgh stepped outside to make four of four from beyond the 3-point arc.

Kyra White. UTSA beat Charlotte 81-80 in double overtime in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Kyra White nearly had a triple double with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. She played a team-high 44 minutes. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Lawrence and Busick had 12 points each, and Imani Smith had 11. Lawrence entered the game with some notoriety as the AAC’s Player of the Week last week.

She had 24 points in a victory at Rice on Thursday. But UTSA did a good job on her, bringing double-team help even when she was on the perimeter.

Faced with the pressure, she hit only three of 17 from the field. Lawrence’s biggest moment came at the end of the first overtime when she made a 15-footer at the buzzer to tie the game at 68.


Charlotte 11-6, 4-1
UTSA 9-7, 3-2

Coming up

South Florida at UTSA, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

First half

Sparked by a Madison Cockrell-led defense, the Roadrunners outscored the 49ers by seven in the second quarter and took a 29-25 lead at intermission.

Cockrell fueled a 6-0 UTSA run in the opening minute and a half of the second quarter. After Coleman hit a jumper to open the period, Cockrell jumped in front of Olivia Porter and drew a charge.

On the other end, Udo sank a 12-foot jumper. Subsequently, Cockrell forced another turnover, which led to another bucket by Udo and a 13-12 lead for the Roadrunners, their first since early in the first quarter.

Udo led UTSA in scoring at the half with 11 points. She hit four for four from the field. Coleman also contributed with eight points on four of seven shooting.

Lawrence and Hueston led Charlotte with six points apiece. Lawrence was limited to one for seven shooting. UTSA at times ran a double team at Lawrence, even on the perimeter.

Hailey Atwood. UTSA beat Charlotte 81-80 in double overtime in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Senior Hailey Atwood took only four shots in the game but she hit a key jumper off the side with 20 seconds left in the game. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Lawrence-led Charlotte 49ers to test the upstart UTSA women

By Jerry Briggs
Special to The JB Replay

Dazia Lawrence and the Charlotte 49ers are the talk of American Athletic Conference in women’s basketball.

Picked to finish 10th in the league’s preseason poll, the 49ers sit in first place in the AAC with a 4-0 record.

They’re warming up at the UTSA Convocation right now, preparing for a 2 p.m. game against the UTSA Roadrunners women.

Dazia Lawrence, a dynamic guard-forward, leads the 49ers. She averaged 28 points and 5.5 rebounds last week. This week, she torched the Rice Owls for 24 points in a 61-54 victory Thursday night in Houston.

“She’s definitely the head of their team,” UTSA guard Sidney Love said. “We’re just going to have to know that she’s going to hit tough shots. We’re going to have to contain her. We’ll have to adjust to what she can do. But we’ll be all right.”

UTSA has a player in Elyssa Coleman that has been putting up some numbers, as well. Coleman had 32 points and 19 rebounds last week against Wichita State and followed Wednesday night at Florida Atlantic with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

As a result, the Roadrunners have bounced back from an 0-2 start, getting to 2-2 as they prepare to face the 49ers.

“I think we’re coming off two good wins,” Love said. “We started a little slow. But I think we needed that to find a place to pick, to build on. We’re in a good space right now. We’re just building. It’s all positive energy.”

One of the most remarkable aspects of UTSA’s 8-7 season to date has been the team’s resilience in competing without Jordyn Jenkins, the Player of the Year last season in Conference USA.

Jenkins, a USC transfer who averaged 20 points per game last season, hurt her knee last April in the offseason and is still rehabilitating.

That UTSA has continued to progress as a program speaks volumes about the heart of everyone suiting up today against Charlotte.

And, just for the record, Jenkins is in the arena with her teammates as she has been all season, but she isn’t expected to play against the 49ers.

“I like to call it bittersweet, because she’s such a great player,” Love said. “We would do nothing but elevate if we had her on the court. But without her, it’s made people step up and realize that we all need each other.

“We all have to play for each other,” Love said. “We have to be big on the court in certain moments when we need to be big. I just think it’s made the team better, and when she comes back, it’ll be just that much better for everybody.”

Coming up

South Florida at UTSA, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Charlotte shuts down UTSA 66-58 for first road victory

PJ Carter. UTSA lost to Charlotte 66-58 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard PJ Carter scored 13 points off the bench, but his performance wasn’t enough as the UTSA Roadrunners lost at home to the Charlotte 49ers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The Charlotte 49ers continued their surprising early surge in the American Athletic Conference, knocking off the error-prone UTSA Roadrunners 66-58 Saturday night at the Convocation Center.

With the victory, the 49ers improved to 9-7 on the season and to 3-1 in the AAC. UTSA, coming off a strong performance Wednesday in a six-point overtime loss at Memphis, fell to 7-10 and 1-3.

Charlotte big men Igor Milicic Jr. and Dishon Jackson led the 49ers to their first road victory of the season. Milicic, a 6-foot-10 Croatia native, hit three 3-point shots and scored 19.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. UTSA lost to Charlotte 66-58 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry scored 20 points on seven of 18 shooting from the field. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jackson, a transfer from Washington State, had two blocked shots and seven of his 17 points in the second half.

Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry led the Roadrunners with 20 points.

Once again, the Roadrunners fell victim to a team that played a slower pace. On Dec. 21, the Army Black Knights trotted out a similar style and won 63-53 at UTSA. In four outings after the Army disappointment, UTSA averaged 92.5 points.

Asked if Charlotte maintaining its desired pace to the game was the difference, UTSA coach Steve Henson said, “We anticipated that. It’s hard to speed ’em up. We knew it would be a low possession game. Their offense affects that greatly, and then they’re pretty good defensively, too.

“We spent our time in practice trying to handle their splits, the Princeton elements of their offense. And we did a pretty good job of that for the most part. Didn’t give up any back doors. Handled most of their splits.”

On the other end of the floor, the Roadrunners were just too sloppy to win. They committed too many errors that were unforced, especially in the second half.

“The pace, we didn’t anticipate speeding them up much,” Henson said, “but I didn’t anticipate us turning the ball over 17 times. They don’t get out in the passing lanes. They’re not an aggressive team. They don’t trap much, and we were just throwing it all over the gym.”

The story of the game may have been the 49ers’ defense. While UTSA scored 101 points and hit 17 three-point baskets at Memphis, the Roadrunners never could get anything going against Charlotte.

UTSA shot 35 percent from the field and 20 percent on three pointers. The Roadrunners also committed way too many mistakes in a game that wasn’t played at an up-and-down pace.

Three-point shooting? Well, it was subpar, to say the least. Defended well on the perimeter for the most part, the Roadrunners made only five of 25 from the arc.

A key sequence in the second half unfolded when Charlotte center Jackson took it inside to score and was fouled. He knocked down a free throw for a 3-point play.

On the next possession, Charlotte rejected UTSA on a drive at the rim and turned it into three more points, with Daylen Berry running for a layup and drawing another foul.

He hit the freebie, giving the 49ers a 50-37 lead with 12:17 remaining. UTSA never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Considering Charlotte was held without a field goal for the last eight minutes, it was remarkable that the home team couldn’t make it more interesting.

“We do defend pretty well,” first-year Charlotte coach Aaron Fearne said. “And I knew we really had to control the tempo of the game against this team. We knew we couldn’t let this team get out in transition … I was very proud we were able to do that.”


Charlotte 9-7, 3-1
UTSA 7-10, 1-3

Coming up

UTSA at Tulsa, Wednesday, 7 p.m.


With the loss, UTSA fell to 0-2 at home in the American, with the setbacks coming to the UAB Blazers and now the Charlotte 49ers. The Roadrunners have lost three of their last four at home overall. UTSA is 5-4 at home on the season …

Roadrunners starters struggled as a unit against the 49ers. Big men Carlton Linguard Jr. and Trey Edmonds combined for five points and 1 of 8 shooting. Small forward Dre Fuller Jr. scored two points in 12 minutes. Christian Tucker, the AAC’s assist leader, was held to one assist while making five turnovers. Guard Isaiah Wyatt had seven points and five boards.

First half

Milicic scored 11 and Jackson added 10 as the Charlotte 49ers built a 32-27 lead on the cold-shooting UTSA Roadrunners. The 49ers led by as many as 12 points late in the half.

Milicic nailed four-for-five from the field and Jackson four-for-four. Charlotte hit 12 of 26 from the field as a team for 46.2 percent. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners couldn’t get their offense untracked.

UTSA missed six of its first seven shots and finished the half 11 of 32 for 34.4 percent. Three players who came off the bench led the team in scoring.

Charlotte coach Aaron Fearne. UTSA lost to Charlotte 66-58 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Aaron Fearne’s Charlotte 49ers are playing well at just the right time. After a loss to SMU, the Niners have notched consecutive victories over FAU, Tulsa and UTSA to improve to 3-1 in the American. FAU has most of its players back from a team that reached last year’s Final Four. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Charlotte vs. UTSA weekend looms at the Convocation Center

Jordan Ivy-Curry had 22 points and eight assists off the bench for UTSA in a 103-89 men's basketball victory over Prairie View A&M on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry has averaged a team-high 16.3 points in six games since he became eligible at Oregon State on Dec. 17. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Fans in San Antonio will see a double dip of American Athletic Conference college basketball this weekend at the UTSA Convocation Center.

The Roadrunners men will host the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday at 7 p.m. In a quick turnaround for arena staff, a women’s game featuring teams from the same two schools will tip off at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Elyssa Coleman had 32 points, 19 rebounds and 3 blocks as UTSA earned its first American Conference women's basketball win, beating Wichita State 74-60 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Center Elyssa Coleman has totaled 48 points and 29 rebounds in her last two games. – File photo by Joe Alexander

For the Roadrunners men, it’s their first chance to get back on the court since they nearly knocked off a top-15 team on the road. The 13th-ranked Memphis Tigers edged past UTSA 107-101 in overtime on Wednesday.

“I feel like everybody’s in a good mindset right now,” UTSA guard Jordan Ivy-Curry said Friday. “We believed (before), but now we believe even more because we competed with the No. 13 team in the nation.

“It’s just like, we have a lot of hope. We know we can compete with anybody in this conference.

“I feel like we have a ton of confidence going into this game. We have a ton of confidence just playing. I feel like it’s going to be a real good year.”

On Sunday, the UTSA women will come in feeling good after back-to-back wins of their own, one at home against Wichita State last Saturday and the other on Wednesday night in Florida against FAU. The Charlotte women will be a good match, given the 49ers’ undefeated record of 4-0 in conference.

UTSA point guard Sidney Love said the Roadrunners are eager to show what they can do against Charlotte, the AAC’s first-place team.

“We’re in a good space right now,” Love said. “We’re just building.”

Charlotte vs. UTSA


Charlotte (8-7, 2-1) will arrive Saturday night with momentum to face off against fast-improving UTSA (7-9, 1-2). After the 49ers lost their AAC opener at SMU, they won back-to-back games at home against the 24th-ranked FAU Owls and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The 49ers feature a milk-the-clock style offense that feeds off the talents of guard Lu’Cye Patterson and forward Igor Milicic. The UTSA men are a team in transition since Ivy-Curry was inserted into the playing rotation just before Christmas. UTSA is 2-4 since he became eligible, but the record is deceiving given close losses to quality opponents at Oregon State of the Pac-12 conference, at home against UAB and on the road at Memphis. At Memphis, Ivy-Curry hit six 3-pointers and exploded for 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists.


Charlotte (11-5, 4-0) has yet to lose an AAC game after victories against North Texas, South Florida, UAB and Rice. Last week, guard Dazia Lawrence was named as the conference’s player of the week. On Thursday night, she played well again, scoring 24 points in a 61-54 road victory at Rice. Lawrence leads the 49ers in scoring at 18.6 per game coming into the Sunday afternoon matinee. UTSA (8-7, 2-2) opened conference with losses at Temple and East Carolina but has rebounded to win at home against Wichita State and on the road against FAU. After center Elyssa Coleman registered a 32-point, 19-rebound performance against Wichita State, she followed with 16 points and 10 boards against FAU. Coleman, a 6-3 junior from Atascocita, leads the Roadrunners in scoring (12.2 points), rebounding (8.1) and blocked shots (1.8). A trio of players out of San Antonio area high schools are in the backcourt, including Kyra White (Judson), Love (Steele) and Aysia Proctor (Clemens).


Charlotte hits four homers, rallies for a 12-10 victory and a doubleheader split against UTSA

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

Austin Knight hit two home runs, and Cam Fisher and Brandon Stahlman added one apiece as the Charlotte 49ers erased a seven-run deficit in their home park, downing the 24th-ranked UTSA Roadrunners 12-10 Thursday night in Conference USA baseball.

Charlotte outscored UTSA 12-5 after a 2 hour and 48-minute weather delay. With the victory, the 49ers salvaged a split of a doubleheader. The Roadrunners won the opener, 5-3. Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m.

It’s been a wild week for UTSA. The Roadrunners learned on Monday that they had been ranked in the top 25 in the nation for the first time in school history. They were listed at No. 24 in the poll by Baseball America magazine.

By Tuesday, they were on the road, playing a non-conference game on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word. Against UIW, they bolted to a 6-1 lead and held a 6-4 advantage going into the ninth inning, only to see the Cardinals rally for a 9-6 victory on a Rey Mendoza three-run, walk-off homer.

By Thursday, they were in Charlotte, playing two against the 49ers because of forecasted rain in the area. In the first game, the Roadrunners claimed a victory behind the hitting and baserunning of Antonio Valdez and the pitching of Luke Malone and Simon Miller.

In the second game, the Roadrunners started fast, moving out to a 5-0 lead before a weather delay forced the teams off the field. Once play resumed, the Roadrunners tacked on two more and looked to be in control, 7-0.

From there, the UTSA pitching started to falter and the Charlotte bats came alive. The 49ers created big-time momentum with a six-run fourth inning, capped by back-to-back home runs from Stahlman and Knight.

Right after Stahlman ripped a three-run shot, Knight unloaded with a solo shot, trimming UTSA’s lead to 7-6. After the Roadrunners scored once in the top of the fifth on Taylor Smith’s solo home run, the 49ers retaliated with two runs of their own in the bottom half, tying the game at 8-8.

Knight vaulted the 49ers into the lead in the sixth inning, blasting another solo homer to make it 9-8. Though the Roadrunners would come back to tie with a run in the seventh, their pitching just would not hold. The 49ers exploded with three runs in the eighth to make it 12-9.

Isaiah Walker lashed an RBI double in the ninth for the Roadrunners. But that was it, as Charlotte reliever Paxton Thompson retired two in a row to end it.

Thompson (3-1) was the winning pitcher, working 4 and 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, only one of them earned, while yielding three hits. Pitching in relief, UTSA’s Ulises Quiroga (4-1) was saddled with the loss. Charlotte touched him for three runs on four hits in two innings.


UTSA 24-8, 9-2
Charlotte 15-15, 6-5

Coming up

UTSA at Charlotte, Friday, 5 p.m.

Antonio Valdez steals three bases in one inning as UTSA downs Charlotte, 5-3, in series opener

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

Antonio Valdez stole three bases in one inning, sparking the 24th-ranked UTSA Roadrunners to a 5-3 victory over the Charlotte 49ers Thursday in Conference USA baseball.

In the first game of a C-USA doubleheader at Charlotte, UTSA bounced back from a mid-week loss at Incarnate Word behind Valdez, a breakout offensive star in his first year with the team after transferring from Baylor.

Valdez produced three hits, including an RBI triple, plus three stolen bases, including a daring, eighth-inning steal of home. Plus, he also scored twice.

Luke Malone (4-2) pitched into the sixth inning to earn the victory, and Simon Miller closed with 3 and 2/3 of scoreless relief to earn his sixth save. Charlotte starter Wyatt Hudepohl (2-4) worked seven innings and took the loss.

With rain in the forecast in North Carolina, UTSA and Charlotte elected to play twice on Thursday. Game 3 is tentatively set for Saturday afternoon.

Charlotte trailed by three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Will Butcher golfed a two-run homer to left field off Malone, pulling the 49ers to within 4-3. Two batters later, Miller entered the game and issued a walk to put runners at first and second.

The UTSA infield turned a double play to end it. The infield defense did it again in the seventh inning, picking up another twin killing to protect a one-run lead. Second baseman Leyton Barry made slick relay plays to first base to facilitate both defensive gems.

Two innings later, in the top of the eight, Valdez electrified the Roadrunners’ bench with his base running.

After reaching on a fielder’s choice, he stole second base, third base and then stole home to give UTSA a two-run cushion.

On the steal of home, Valdez danced off third and broke for the plate after the catcher tossed the ball back to the pitcher. Sliding head first, he beat the throw to the plate, giving the Roadrunners’ a two-run cushion. Afterward, players met him at the dugout steps with high-fives and shouts of encouragement.

The Roadrunners started the week on Monday by learning that they had been ranked in the top 25 in the nation for the first time. Baseball America moved them up to the No. 24 spot.

On Tuesday night, they played a road game in San Antonio against the University of Incarnate Word and allowed a five-run lead to slip away from them, eventually giving up five in the ninth inning and losing 9-6 on a walk off home run by Rey Mendoza.

It was the third time in the last three weeks that UTSA lost mid-week games and then turned around a few days later to win a C-USA series opener.

Two weeks ago, they lost at UT-Rio Grande Valley and then won at Rice. Last week, they lost at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and then won at home against Western Kentucky. This week, after the stunning collapse at UIW, they played a game in North Carolina on less than a 48-hour turnaround and won again.


UTSA 24-7, 9-1
Charlotte 14-15, 5-5

Coming up

UTSA at Charlotte, today, second game of a doubleheader.

UTSA wins for Germany, Czumbel on Senior Night, downing Charlotte, 78-73

Jacob Germany. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jacob Germany scored 17 points, snared 10 rebounds and blocked two shots in a ‘Senior Night’ victory over the Charlotte 49ers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

For the last four years, Jacob Germany’s parents from Oklahoma have attended each of their son’s home games at UTSA.

Germany, the Roadrunners’ 6-foot-11 center, has come to expect them at the arena about an hour before tipoff. Crazy enough, it didn’t work out that way for what was likely his last home game.

John Buggs III. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

John Buggs III scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half as UTSA pulled away from Charlotte, leading by as many as 13. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Because of a flat tire on their vehicle, Justin and Stacy Germany were not in the building at the standard 60-minute mark. Not to worry.

They arrived just in time to participate in a “Senior Night” ceremony honoring their son and his good friend, Erik Czumbel. Later, they were awarded with a bonus when Jacob helped lead the Roadrunners to a 78-73 Conference USA victory over the Charlotte 49ers.

With the performance, UTSA won its second in a row. In addition, the Roadrunners improved their late-season record to 3-2 in the last five games going into next week’s Conference USA tournament.

“I’m going through a lot of emotions, to be honest,” Germany told reporters in his post-game interview. “I’m excited for the team to win. But I also…it didn’t really hit me until I was doing radio and looked over and saw my mom.”

On his parents’ late arrival, Germany just shrugged in sort of a “that’s life” type shrug.

“They almost didn’t even make it,” he said. “The only day out of the last four years.”

The game was close and competitive in the first half as Charlotte knocked down seven three-point shots, only to see UTSA hammer the ball inside, forging an 18-8 lead in paint points.

With UTSA leading by one coming out of intermission, the teams traded baskets for about five minutes before the Roadrunners hit the 49ers with a decisive 19-5 run. Germany capped the surge by knocking down a 12-foot jumper from the side with seven minutes left, boosting his team into a 66-53 advantage.

Japhet Medor. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Japhet Medor led the Roadrunner with 22 points and five asists. He drew 11 fouls and hit 9 of 14 at the free-throw line. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Charlotte rallied behind guard Brice Williams and center Aly Khalifa to within one point with 2:40 remaining, but UTSA made just enough plays at the end to hold on to the victory, seizing a measure of momentum leading into the postseason.

As much momentum as a team with 21 losses can have, anyway.

“We’re starting to click a little bit,” Germany said. “We stayed practicing the right way. We stayed together. We didn’t veer off. We had a few days where I wouldn’t say we all got better. But we brought each other back…stayed together through thick and thin. You keep doing the right things, and eventually it’s going to pay off.”

Even with the loss, Charlotte (18-12, 9-10) clinched the fifth seed in the tournament and a first-round bye.

Meanwhile, UTSA (10-21, 4-16) finished last in the C-USA standings and thus will take the No. 11 seed into next week. The postseason event — UTSA’s last in the C-USA given its impending move next year to the American Athletic Conference — will be contested from March 8-11 in Frisco, with the winner claiming an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

NCAA Selection Sunday is March 12, when the 68-team will be unveiled.

The Roadrunners did what they needed to do against the 49ers, who play a slow and deliberate Princeton-style offense. They kept the 49ers off the offensive boards and hit a solid 49 percent of their shots from the field. In the second half, their defense was good, with UTSA limiting Charlotte to 43 percent from the field and, more importantly, to four of 13 from behind the arc.

Only a rash of missed free throws in the last five minutes by the Roadrunners kept it from being a double-digit victory.

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat Charlotte 78-73 in Conference USA men's basketball on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final game of the regular season at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Reserve guard Christian Tucker had five points, three assists and two steals in 20 minutes. Coach Steve Henson says Tucker “has been very good” over the last month of the season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“It’s that time of year (when) teams want to get hot,” Germany said. “It’s toward the end of the year when everything starts to matter. It’s March. Literally all this month, it’s all about basketball. It’s a perfect time to get hot.”

Japhet Medor, John Buggs III and Germany were the three players at the start of the year who were expected to lead the team, and all delivered against the 49ers. Driving relentlessly to the rim, Medor finished with 22 points and five assists. Buggs hit four 3-pointers and had 18. Germany notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Combined, the three of them sank 19 of 32 from the field.

In addition, the bench played well, with point guard Christian Tucker producing five points, three assists and two steals in 19 minutes. Forward Lamin Sabally also contributed, throwing down a first-half dunk en route to three points and three rebounds.

A few weeks ago, at the tail end of an 11-game losing streak, players off the bench struggled. Now, the confidence as seen in the likes of Tucker and Sabally and Massal Diouf, a freshman, seems to be growing by the day.

“Losing has so many effects on a team,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “It chips away with your chemistry. It can chip away at your confidence. It can be very dificult for a team. But, yeah, I think there are quite a few guys playing with more confidence. Christian Tucker has been very good in the last month, at least. He gives us another guy that gives us some penetration. He sees the floor pretty well. He makes certain passes even better than Japhet does …. He’s giving us a little different element. It’s been great to have Lamin down the stretch step up and do some of the things we anticipated him doing, as well.

“Confidence certainly is a big part of it.”

Khalifa, a 6-11 forward for Charlotte, presented all sorts of problems for UTSA. He scored 27 points and made a game-high, five three-point buckets. Williams also had a big night with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Igor Milicic, Jr., a 6-10 transfer from Virginia, supplied 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.


UTSA 10-21, 4-16
Charlotte 18-12, 9-10

Coming up

UTSA at Conference USA tournament, March 8-11, at Frisco


Guard Erik Czumbel entered into Senior Night with some trepidation because he knew that his father and mother and twin brother, who live in Italy, couldn’t make it to the game.

Erik Czumbel watches a video greeting from his parents in Italy on the big screen. UTSA men's basketball honored its seniors Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the final home game of the regular season. The Roadrunners beat Charlotte 78-73 at the Convocation Center.

Erik Czumbel watches a video greeting from his parents in Italy on the big screen. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA surprised him with a taped message from the three of them that was played on the video board before the game. A wide smile crossed Czumbel’s face when he heard his father and mother offer congratulations on his four-year career with the Roadrunners.

Czumbel was scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting in 10 minutes, but he finished a plus six in the plus-minus metric that measures a player’s impact on point differential. In the last minute, Henson put him in the game and then took him out moments later so that he could hear the crowd cheer for him one last time.

It’s long been the expectation that Germany would not be back at UTSA next season, but he said in his post-game interview with reporters that some of his teammates have talked to him about the possibility of returning to the team for a fifth year.

“I’ve had some conversations about it but it’s kind of like what I said earlier in the year, I’m kind of just focused on ending the season the right way,” he said. “But if you ask me in a month or so, then I might have a different answer for you.”

UTSA women roll to a 64-50 victory over the Charlotte 49ers

Elyssa Coleman. UTSA beat Charlotte 60-54 in a Conference USA women's basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA sophomore center Elyssa Coleman stepped up to produce 16 points as the Roadrunners beat the defending C-USA champion Charlotte 49ers. It was UTSA’s first victory over Charlotte since 2014. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Forward Jordyn Jenkins registered another double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds Saturday as the UTSA Roadrunners notched a signature victory, knocking off the defending Conference USA champion Charlotte 49ers, 64-50.

Center Elyssa Coleman added 16 points and eight rebounds for the UTSA women, who snapped out of a three-game losing streak and, in the process, downed the 49ers for the first time since 2014.

The Roadrunners (4-11, 2-4) played a smothering 2-3 zone defense and held the visitors to 31.1 percent shooting. The 49ers (7-8, 3-3) were led by guard Dazia Lawrence, who scored 13 points.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Charlotte 60-54 in a Conference USA women's basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins had 23 points and 11 rebounds to follow her 37-point, 11-rebound outing against UTEP on Wednesday night. – Photo by Joe Alexander

But nobody else hit double figures on the day for the C-USA champs, who were limited to 19 of 61 shooting from the field. The zone also worked to limit the 49ers from getting to the free throw line.

They were only five of eight on free throws, compared to 15 of 16 for UTSA. Roadrunners players expressed both satisfaction and relief that they were able to beat the 49ers, an NCAA tournament entry last year.

“We’ve been trying to get over the hump,” Coleman said. “We’ve been losing every game, like, by less than 10, this whole season. So to beat the last conference champion, that means a lot.”

In 2021-22, Charlotte not only had the best record in the conference, but it also swept through the C-USA tournament to win the postseason crown.

“Today was a good win for us,” said UTSA freshman Madison Cockrell, who scored a career-high nine points off the bench. “It got us back on our feet. So, excited for our next game on Monday.”

The Roadrunners open a three-game road swing at Rice University in Houston on Monday. The trip will also take the team to Florida, where it will play at Florida Atlantic on Thursday and at FIU in Miami on Saturday.

With the victory over Charlotte, UTSA improved to 4-2 at home. At the same time, the team has yet to win away from the Convocation Center.

Madison Cockrell. UTSA beat Charlotte 60-54 in a Conference USA women's basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman guard Madison Cockrell enjoyed a career-best nine points on three of three shooting from 3-point distance. With her performance, she affected the game in only 14 minutes – Photo by Joe Alexander

In nine games away from the Convo, the Roadrunners are 0-9, which includes an 0-7 record in true road games and 0-2 on neutral courts.

Seemingly every time UTSA plays away from home, the fouls start to stack up, and the opponent gains an upper hand.

It even happens at home, on occasion, as evidenced by Coleman’s showing Wednesday night against the UTEP Miners. The Miners won 74-67, with the 6-foot-3 sophomore on the bench most of the night.

She eventually fouled out with only two points and three rebounds in 18 mintues. Against the 49ers, she picked up two quick ones in the first quarter and sat down for the rest of the half.

In the third quarter, Coleman turned the tables. She scored eight points and drew a couple of fouls on the 49ers, which she converted into four for four at the free-throw line.

“I was in foul trouble in the first half, which I was trying not to do since I fouled out last game,” she said. “But, things happened. I warmed up on the bench, got my time in the second half and then just did what I needed to do.”

Coleman said she knew she had to stay mentally engaged even while she was just watching.

Maya Linton. UTSA beat Charlotte 60-54 in a Conference USA women's basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Maya Linton pulled down six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. The Roadrunners won the battle under the boards, 43-39. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“You can’t just sit at the end of the bench and go sulk,” she said. “You have to still stay engaged, hype up the people on the floor so they can make a difference.”

Fortunately for UTSA, Jenkins caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 13 points on a variety of shots — inside and out.

For the second straight game, she was rolling, and when it was over, she emerged from her week’s work with a combined 60 points and 22 rebounds against both UTEP and Charlotte.

While Jenkins has been putting up all-conference type numbers all season, only recently has Cockrell, a freshman from Dallas Bishop Lynch, started to play well.

Even though she didn’t score against the Miners, she made an impact with her defense, and then against the 49ers, she did it on both ends of the floor.

Against Charlotte, she knocked down three 3-point shots, including two in the second half, when the Roadrunners kicked the lead up to as many as 22 points.

Afterward, she seemed to delight in talking about her teammates.

“We played amazing today,” she said. “Off the court, everyone came in at shootaround with the right mindset. It was just a great day all around.”

Cockrell hinted that attitude might have been the difference between winning and losing against the 49ers. After a disappointing loss against the Miners, players kept their heads up.

“We did,” she said. “We took (the loss to UTEP). It happened. That’s what it was, and we bounced back today and came back a lot better. Stronger. Harder. Everything.”


Charlotte 7-8, 3-3
UTSA 4-11, 2-4

Coming up

UTSA at Rice, Monday, 7 p.m.


Charlotte has dominated the C-USA series against UTSA ever since the teams started playing in 2014. The Roadrunners won the first meeting in 2014, but the 49ers won the next seven times through last season. Last January, the 49ers romped to a 58-33 victory against the Roadrunners in San Antonio.


Talking about employing a zone defense, Aston said, “Realistically, we were just doing everything we could to keep those guards (Dazia Lawrence and Jada McMillian) out of the paint. They are really, really good.”

First half

Three days after scoring 37 points at home against UTEP, forward Jordyn Jenkins exploded for 13 of her 17 points in the second quarter against Charlotte, lifting the Roadrunners into a 34-20 halftime lead.

On one end of the floor, UTSA played 2-3 zone to frustrate Charlotte. The Roadrunners, with the junk defense, held the 49ers to nine points in the second quarter and 27.6 percent shooting for the half.

On the offensive end, UTSA kept going to Jenkins, who hit six of 12 shots from the field and five of five at the free throw line in the half. Sidney Love added seven points on two of five shooting.

Defending champs in town: UTSA women host the Charlotte 49ers

After losing three games in a row and six of their last seven, the youthful UTSA Roadrunners will host the defending champion Charlotte 49ers today at 2 p.m. in Conference USA women’s basketball.

The Roadrunners are looking for their first victory since New Year’s Eve when they won at home, defeating the UAB Blazers, 71-68.

Since then, they lost at Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky on the road last week.

Hoping to reverse their fortunes at home Wednesday night, they fouled too much and couldn’t make stops when they needed them, falling 74-67 to the UTEP Miners.

Not even a 37-point, 11-rebound performance from Roadrunners forward Jordyn Jenkins could offset a huge deficit in trips to the free-throw line (39-16) and in free throws made (26-11).

Playing defense and keeping opponents off the line have been dual problems for the UTSA women all season. Opponents have hit 228 of 324 at the stripe. UTSA, by comparison is 142 for 202.

Despite their problems, the Roadrunners have played hard and have been in most games for all 40 minutes.

Of their 11 losses, eight have come by seven points or less. Jenkins, averaging a C-USA leading 19.3 points, hit 15 of 22 from the field against UTEP. The 6-foot Washington native has scored 30 or more twice in her last six games.

The headliners for the 49ers include guards Dazia Lawrence and Jada McMillian. Lawrence had 31 points and five steals in the team’s last outing, a 77-67 victory at home last Saturday against Florida Atlantic. McMillian leads the C-USA in assists.

Charlotte guard Mikayla Boykin, formerly of the Duke Blue Devils, announced on Nov. 30 a career-ending injury. In making the announcement, she said she had suffered a fifth anterior cruciate ligament tear.


Charlotte 7-7, 3-2
UTSA 3-11, 1-4


UTSA’s Karen Aston landed her first NCAA Division I coaching job in 2007 at Charlotte.

Under Aston, the 49ers were 86-47 with four national postseason tournaments. In 2009, they reached the NCAA tournament to cap a 23-9 season. They also won 27 games and advanced to the Women’s NIT semifinals in 2011.

Cara Consuegra has coached the 49ers since the 2011-12 season. Under Consuegra, a former star at the University of Iowas, the 49ers have won 20 or more games in three of their last six years.

Last season, Consuegra’s Niners went 22-9 overall and posted the best regular-season record in the conference at 15-3. After claiming the C-USA postseason title, they advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since Aston’s 2009 trip.