UTSA rolls past Bethany, 101-77

UTSA's Nick Allen played with a sore foot but recorded 12 points and 8 rebounds in 18 minutes in the Roadrunners' 101-77 victory over Bethany on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Nick Allen played with a sore foot but recorded 12 points and 8 rebounds in 18 minutes in the Roadrunners’ 101-77 victory over Bethany on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center. – photo by Joe Alexander

The UTSA Roadrunners enjoyed the feeling of a 101-77 victory Monday night over the Bethany College Swedes.

A dozen Roadrunners played and 11 of them scored, as they kicked the lead up to as many as 33 points in the last few minutes at the Convocation Center.

In the aftermath, however, UTSA senior Nick Allen said he recalled a different mood in the dressing room at halftime.

It was a foul mood, in some respects.

Players were mad that they led the NAIA program from Lindsborg, Kansas, by only eight points.

Coach Steve Henson was upset about it, as well, and he let the players know it.

“He was just frustrated because I think he sees what the older guys are seeing,” senior forward Nick Allen said. “Man, we can be so good. Why are we not fulfilling our potential for 40 minutes?’ ”

In response, the Roadrunners clamped down on defense early in the second half to take charge on one end of the floor.

On the other end, they ran their offense well, at one time outscoring the Swedes 16-0 to build a 65-42 lead.

Bethany never got closer than 21 the rest of the way.


Guards Keaton Wallace and Jhivvan Jackson scored 23 points apiece to lead the Roadrunners. The two were aided by Allen, who produced 12 points and eight rebounds and Adokiye Iyaye, who added 11 points off the bench. Byron Frohnen scored 10.


“We felt good about the way we came out and started the second half. We had to get after ’em at haltime a little bit, which we didn’t want to do. We just didn’t quite have enough fight there in the first half.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson


UTSA 4-7
Bethany 7-6

Ties that bind

Bethany is led by head coach Dan O’Dowd, a former UTSA assistant coach. Former UTSA center Edrico McGregor is a Bethany assistant. O’Dowd, who worked under the late Brooks Thompson at UTSA, served as the initial recruiting contact for Allen.

In addition, UTSA coach Steve Henson lived in Lindsborg when he was a toddler.

With his father an athlete and a student-teacher at Bethany, Henson recalled that he once wore a “Swede outfit,” complete with a “fake beard, a helmet and a fake sword.”

Jhivvan Jackson passes to Keaton Wallace, who soars for a first-half alley-oop slam.

San Antonio connections

Bethany point guard Isiah Saenz, from St. Anthony, produced 9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Forward Lavaris Duncan, from Judson, had 12 points and 6 rebounds.

Bethany College coach’s trip to UTSA ‘like coming home’

Bethany College coach Dan O’Dowd chats with his players during Saturday’s shoot-around at UTSA. Video: thejbreplay.com

Dan O’Dowd walked into the UTSA Convocation Center Friday and angled toward the corridor leading into the home team dressing room.

“I started heading in there and, ‘Oh wait,’ ” he said, smiling.

Forgive the first-year head coach of the Bethany College Swedes for making a wrong turn on his first trip back to the ‘Bird Cage.’

Some things you do in life are just reflex, especially if you’re O’Dowd, and you’ve spent 10 years of your career working out of the home of the Roadrunners.

O’Dowd admitted Saturday morning that it’s an emotional visit for him as his Kansas-based NAIA team prepares to play a road game against UTSA tonight.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. between the Swedes and the NCAA Division I Roadrunners.

“You know, San Antonio is home,” O’Dowd said. “My wife and kids are still here. Our oldest finished high school last year. The youngest is a junior and we wanted him to finish school and sports with all the kids he’s grown up with.

“So, it’s like coming home. You know, I spent a lot of time in this gym. It’s just fun to see the changes and improvements that they’ve made.”

O’Dowd, a Colorado native and a Bethany graduate, worked for a decade at UTSA through 2016 under the late Brooks Thompson.

After UTSA, he moved on to work for a year at North Texas, before taking the job at Bethany last May.

Nick Allen, one UTSA’s hottest players at the moment, said it was fun to see O’Dowd again on Friday.

The two were able to catch up in a brief conversation.

“He just wanted to see how I was doing,” Allen said.

It was sort of like Allen’s first meeting with the coach, when O’Dowd visited his high school on a recruiting trip.

Of the first meeting, Allen remembers the coach being “really cool, really relaxed.”

“But you could tell he was serious,” said Allen, from Surprise, Arizona. “He was about his business when he came in. Just a good guy. I don’t know. I didn’t get any bad vibes from him. He’s the one that recruited me here. So I’ve got a lot of appreciation for him, a lot of respect for him.

“He’s a great coach. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here. He’s a good dude. He means a lot to me.”

Dane Pavlovich, Bethany’s dean of athletics and student development, said it’s been fun to watch O’Dowd at work in his first year.

“He’s been a joy to work with,” Pavlovich said. “He also serves as assistant athletic director. So he helps us out with game management for football games and all the different other events.

“He’s really thrown himself into being a part of the Bethany culture. Being an alum, the job isn’t too small for him.

“He’s coached at some of the highest levels of NCAA basketball … but he’s thrown himself into (this job), being a part of the Bethany campus and the Lindsborg community … It’s been a lot of fun.”

O’Dowd, who has worked as an assistant at high-major jobs at Ole Miss and Arizona State, said he’s enjoying being the head coach.

“As an assistant coach for 30 years, you have a special relationship with your players, but you’re not the guy. Being head coach is fun, just the respect factor they have for you is a little bit different,” he said. “But it doesn’t change much. Biggest difference is that as an assistant you’re making suggestions. As a head coach you’re making decisions.

“I’ve been fortunate to work for coaches that prepared me for that. Whether its dealing with the media, going out (and) speaking at fundraisers, everything that I’ve needed to do to be prepared. So, it’s been a lot of fun.”