Jenkins, Coleman return to UTSA women’s basketball for 2024-25

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Forwards Jordyn Jenkins and Elyssa Coleman will return to play for a resurgent UTSA women’s basketball team next season, coach Karen Aston said.

Both players opted into the extra year of eligibility granted to college athletes whose careers were affected by the Covid pandemic, which wiped out the 2019-20 NCAA postseason in both men’s and women’s basketball.

“I’m so excited that these two young women have the desire and commitment to stay at UTSA and help to continue to move the needle,” Aston said in a UTSA news release.

Jenkins averaged 17.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in 12 games after returning from a 10-month knee injury rehabilitation. She also shot 47.9 percent from the field.

Jenkins played two seasons at Southern Cal before transferring. The 6-footer from Kent, Wash., became an all-Pac 12 player at USC as a sophomore in 2021-22. In 22-’23, she averaged 20.6 points in her first year with the Roadrunners and was named Conference USA Player of the Year.

Coleman spent one season at the University of Texas in ’20-21 but did not play because of an injury. Opting to leave the Longhorns, the 6-foot-3 post from the Houston area has been a fixture with the Roadrunners for the past three seasons.

Last season, she averaged 10.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and had 45 blocked shots in 32 games.

UTSA women’s basketball has enjoyed a renaissance over the past three seasons. In the year before Aston’s arrival, the Roadrunners finished 2-18 and 0-14 in Conference USA. With Aston at the helm, the team improved to finish 7-23, 13-19 and 18-15 over the next three seasons.

Last season, the Roadrunners ended a drought of eight years with losing records. After securing the No. 4 seed in the American Athletic Conference postseason tournament, they won a game and then lost in the semifinals.

But with the winning record, they reached the national postseason for the first time since 2009 by accepting a berth in the WNIT. When they defeated Northern Colorado in the WNIT first round, it was the first postseason victory in program history.

UTSA bowed out in the WNIT’s second round with a loss at Wyoming.

Breaking: Jordyn Jenkins is on the floor, warming up for UTSA

Editor’s note: It appears that UTSA forward and 2022-23 Conference USA Player of the Year Jordyn Jenkins will make her season debut on Sunday against the UAB Blazers. Jenkins, who averaged 20.6 points a year ago, is on the floor warming up for the Roadrunners. She hasn’t played yet this year after suffering a knee injury last April. It also appears that UTSA center Elyssa Coleman will not play. Coleman didn’t practice on Saturday and isn’t in uniform.

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA women’s basketball coach Karen Aston says she will have a conversation from time to time with forward Jordyn Jenkins.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA women's basketball lost to UTEP 74-67 in Conference USA on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins is expected to make her season debut for the UTSA women’s basketball team today. – File photo by Joe Alexander

The two will talk about the player’s pre-game routine.

“I’ve told her, ‘Don’t put your uniform on unless you’re ready to play, because I might put you in,’ ” Aston said.

The coach said the two discuss this topic “every day before warmups.”

Presumably, that conversation will take place again Sunday before the Roadrunners hit the floor a 1 p.m. game at the Convocation Center against the UAB Blazers.

On Saturday, it became apparent that a decision is looming on whether Jenkins will try to play in the last few weeks of the season, or whether she will continue her workouts with an eye on not playing, which would allow her to maintain two full seasons of eligibility.

For background, the 2022-23 Conference USA Player of the Year injured a knee last April. The mishap occurred in the weeks after the Roadrunners were eliminated in the semifinals from the C-USA tournament. It was evident then that her recovery would take time, and indeed it has.

A 20-points per game scorer last season, she hasn’t played yet through 21 games. At the same time, she has made steady progress and has stayed steady with her rehabilitation and her commitment to the program. Jenkins has attended every practice that I’ve seen all season. Every game, too.

Lately, her workouts have been encouraging. For the past two weeks, she seems to do a little more each time out. On Saturday, she was banging against male practice players in the post.

Afterward, I asked the coach, “Is No. 32 getting ready to play?

“Um, she looks better,” Aston said. “She’s definitely coming along.”

At that, I followed up with a question on whether the two have talked about the implications of playing the last few weeks of the season and having it count toward a year of her eligibility.

“We talk about it, for sure,” Aston said. “So, we’ll see. I mean, (the season) is winding down.”

Do you think she might play (against UAB), I asked.

“Day to day,” the coach replied.

At that, I glanced at the coach and smiled. The coach, who has a world-class poker face, smiled back — slightly.

“I don’t know,” she said.

With seven games remaining in the regular season remaining, it’s logical that today could be the day, considering the Roadrunners might need her scoring to avoid dropping their second home game in a row.

So, as the coach is fond of saying, “We’ll see.”


UAB 17-6, 8-3
UTSA 11-10, 5-5

Coming up

UTSA at Tulsa, Wednesday, 6:30 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.

Coleman scores 23 as UTSA rolls past the UTEP Miners, 90-66

Elyssa Coleman. UTSA beat UTEP 90-66 in women's basketball at the Convocation Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. - Photo by Joe Alexander

The Roadrunners improved to 5-3 on the season after Elyssa Coleman produced a career-high 23 points, while also snaring eight rebounds, in a 24-point victory over the UTEP Miners Sunday afternoon.- Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Elyssa Coleman and the UTSA Roadrunners hated the feeling that they had a few days ago after losing at home to the Texas State Bobcats.

They made amends on Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center, rolling to a season-high in points with a 90-66 victory over the UTEP Miners.

As Coleman poured in a career-high 23, the Roadrunners shot 58.3 percent from the field and routed the Miners in front of an announced crowd of 926. Coleman also pulled down eight rebounds in perhaps her best game in three years at UTSA.

Siena Guttadauro. UTSA beat UTEP 90-66 in women's basketball at the Convocation Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Siena Guttadauro scored 12 points on four-of-five shooting from 3-point distance. Over her last two games, the sharpshooter from California has scored 23 points on seven threes. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Last Thursday night, UTSA tipped off against the Bobcats after returning home from a four-game road swing. The result wasn’t what the Roadrunners wanted, a 65-57 loss in overtime.

Coleman said the outcome stung the players, who were still angry about it when they left the arena.

“(We) knew that wasn’t our 100 percent (best) effort,” she said. “That’s what we came out here and did today. We showed 100 percent effort.”

Against UTEP, UTSA attacked early and never slowed down. The Roadrunners led 26-13 at the end of one quarter, by 48-31 at intermission and by as many as 29 points late in the game.

Coleman paced the Roadrunners with 11 of 13 shooting from the field, including nine for 10 in the first half when she scored 19 points.

Five of her first-half field goals were from the perimeter, including one from the corner that counted as a three-pointer just before intermission.

“I got lucky,” she said. “I been praying a lot, and it’s Sunday. It’s God’s day. So that’s what I’m (attributing) it to.”

Coleman said UTSA players also found inspiration in a post-game event for Mia Perez, a 10-year-old cancer patient. The Roadrunners had a signing ceremony of sorts to welcome her to the team.

Actually, the players have known Perez since the beginning of last season.

“She’s here almost every home game,” Coleman said. “We’ve seen her at some football games when our whole team goes. We’ll have little events for her when we have time. In the preseason, we probably hang out with her more, probably once every two weeks.”

Sidney Love. UTSA beat UTEP 90-66 in women's basketball at the Convocation Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Point guard Sidney Love had another solid game with 16 points and seven assists. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Coleman said Perez’s presence on Sunday gave the Roadrunners a lift.

“Mia’s perseverance in her journey is nothing that we would ever come close to on the court,” Coleman said. “So I feel like, if she can do that, then what is basketball? It shouldn’t be that hard.”

Several other Roadrunners played well against the Miners, notably point guard Sidney Love, who had 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Kyra White, another starter, had 12 points and seven assists. Siena Guttadauro, playing the role of spark plug off the bench, also pumped in 12 points and hit four of five from the 3-point arc.

As a team, UTSA sank 44.4 percent from three (eight of 18) and 80 percent from the free-throw line (12 of 15).

A player that caught UTSA coach Karen Aston’s eye was 6-foot-4 center Nissa Sam-Grant, who had four points, three rebounds and three blocked shots in 14 minutes.

“I thought she was pretty decent tonight,” the coach said.

Last season, Sam-Grant was in school and practicing with the team, but she did not play in games. Working out in those practice sessions last season, the Canada native first raised eyebrows with her potential.

Nissa Sam-Grant. UTSA beat UTEP 90-66 in women's basketball at the Convocation Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Nissa Sam-Grant posted career highs of 14 minutes and three blocked shots. – Photo by Joe Alexander

But as this season started, she has has not played much — only in five games, in which she has averaged five minutes.

“We kind of expected more at the beginning (of this season), than what she was giving us,” Aston said, “but I think some of that is, she just sat out for a long time. It’s taken her awhile to get into game mode and really kind of push herself.

“Kids get kind of stagnant when they sit out for awhile. I think we’re starting to see some glimpses of what I thought she could do for our team. Hopefully this gives her some confidence.”

Guard Aaliyah Stanton led UTEP with 17 points, three assists and three steals.


UTSA 5-3
UTEP 4-5

Coming up

Houston at UTSA, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.

Kyleigh Aguirre. UTSA beat UTEP 90-66 in women's basketball at the Convocation Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Senior Kyleigh McGuire had four points and four rebounds in seven minutes – Photo by Joe Alexander


UTSA women’s basketball is finally starting to string together some consistent winning over a period of months. Since Jan. 28 of last season, the Roadrunners have fashioned a record of 14-7.

Last spring, they went 9-4 to the end of the season. This season, they have tacked on a 5-3 record. Two of the losses were on the road at Power 5 programs (Arizona State and Texas Tech).

Jordyn Jenkins, who led UTSA with 20.6 points a game last year, still has not played this season as she attempts to come back from a knee injury. Before games, Jenkins has been engaged in some light shooting drills with a coach but does not participate in warmups with her teammates. UTSA coach Karen Aston said “we’re still a little bit away” from her return to practice or games.

“She’s looking real good but we’re not going to rush her,” the coach said. “Too many people rush kids back, and that’s not our intention with her. There’s no timeline right now.”

UTSA senior Hailey Atwood was honored last summer with a Teammate of the Year award by Team Impact for her efforts in befriending Mia Perez. Team Impact is a nonprofit that pairs collegiate athletes with kids with disabilities or severe illnesses. Both Atwood and Perez traveled to Boston last June to be recognized.

The Roadrunners’ scoring total against the Miners was the program’s highest since 2017. UTSA hadn’t hit the 90-point mark in a game since Nov. 10, 2017. On that day, the Roadrunners downed Division III Sul Ross, 97-47. In the previous season, on Feb. 25, 2017, the Roadrunners won at home against a Division I opponent, the FAU Owls, by a score of 97-66.

JB’s video replay

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

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

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

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

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

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


UTSA 4-2
Sam Houston State 3-2

Coming up

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

Under-rated? UTSA women picked to finish eighth in AAC preseason poll

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

Former Judson standout Kyra White played a key role in UTSA’s resurgence at the end of last year. Entering her senior year, she says she wants to see the team finish with a winning record and play into March. — Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA women’s basketball team is a bit of a mystery entering its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. Coach Karen Aston’s third team at UTSA is picked eighth out of 14 teams, according to the AAC’s preseason poll.

Last year, UTSA started slowly but finished strong and completed records of 13-19 overall and 9-11 in Conference USA. Aston’s team played well at the end, beat some of the C-USA’s top teams and won twice in the postseason tournament to reach the semifinals.

Based on the strong showing at the end and the fact that just about all of her players are returning, it was a bit of a surprise to see the AAC coaches pick them so low. But it may be because the jury is still out on Jordyn Jenkins, the Roadrunners’ top player, who suffered an offseason knee injury.

Because of the injury, her status is one of the unknowns going into the last month of practice, though the coaches did vote her onto the AAC’s preseason all-conference second team. In a televised interview Monday morning on ESPN Plus, UTSA coach Karen Aston addressed a variety of topics:

On Elyssa Coleman, the coach said the 6-foot-3 junior from Atascocita High School is growing into a leadership role.

“She’s three years into my system now and she really understands what my expectations are. Part of that is relationship,” Aston said. “You have a relationship with someone that goes back a long way and they trust you. She’s just become an anchor for us. Her shot blocking ability is really good.

“She’s become much better offensively just through growth. But I think if I had to say one thing, it’s that she committed to us, to helping us move the needle in the program, and she has stayed committed to that. That’s been the most valuable to us.”

On Jenkins, the coach was asked about how a power forward coming out of Conference USA as Player of the Year did not receive that type of recognition in the AAC’s preseason awards.

“People didn’t necessarily, I would say, maybe respect what she did last year,” Aston said. “Or recognize (it), so to say. But she’s enormously talented. I mean, there’s no question about it. I’m excited about seeing what we do with Jordyn this year. I’m excited for her. She’s one of those types of players — and I’ve had several — that really loves the gym. She has a passion for the game, and she’s really a joy to coach.”

On how it takes time for young players to communicate on defense:

“There’s not a magical tool for that one,” Aston said. “They grow into that. For example, I have a sophomore point guard (Sidney Love) who started for me last year as a freshman. (Sidney) is a very talented player that has started to come into her own. Sidney, you can hear her voice a little bit this year. She started at the point all of last year. Probably never heard her more than twice. Now you’re starting to hear her more. It’s a maturity process.”

UTSA senior Kyra White was one of Aston’s players who traveled to Dallas for the media function. She talked to an ESPN reporter about the process of transitioning from the C-USA into the AAC.

Said White, “The experience has been really solid so far. Since we’ve got our core team back, it’s just (been) focusing on the next step, trying to find our identity on the floor. Whatever it is. Defense. Offensive rebounds. Running the floor in transition. Just focusing on the little things, to be productive and efficient in the conference this year.”

White, who played in high school at Judson, also was asked about goals. Both personally and for the team. White said she’d like to be all-conference and for the team to come out and post a winning record and keep playing in the month of March.

“For the team, we’d like to have an above .500 record and have some type of postseason play,” she said. “Obviously, the NCAA tournament is the main goal. But really, like I said, with this being my last year, just trying to get over that hump and being able to play in March anyway.”

Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1. South Florida (10) 166
2. East Carolina (4) 159
3. Rice 135
4. SMU 118
5. Memphis 115
6. Tulane 110
7. Tulsa 104
8. UTSA 75
9. Temple 72
10. Charlotte 62
11. Wichita State 53
12. North Texas 47
13. UAB 30
14. Florida Atlantic 28

x-First-place votes in parentheses

Preseason Player of the Year

Danae McNeal, Gr., G, East Carolina

Preseason All-Conference First Team

Amiya Joyner, So., F, East Carolina
Danae McNeal, Gr., G, East Carolina*
Madison Griggs, Gr., G, Memphis
Sammie Puisis, Sr., G, South Florida
Temira Poindexeter, Jr., F, Tulsa

Preseason All-Conference Second Team

Dazia Lawrence, R-Jr., G, Charlotte
Aniya Hubbard, So., G, Florida Atlantic
Malia Fisher, Jr., F, Rice
Aleah Nelson, 5th, G, Temple
Jordyn Jenkins, Sr., F, UTSA

UTSA women have excelled lately even when Jenkins struggles

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA women’s basketball team is built around junior forward Jordyn Jenkins, the Conference USA Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.

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

C-USA Player of the Year Jordyn Jenkins played through foul trouble and scored 22 points in 25 minutes Thursday against Rice in the conference tournament quarterfinals. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Ask anyone why UTSA has been able to forge a 9-3 record over the past six weeks, after starting the season with 15 losses in 19 games, and you will hear all about Jenkins, the best player in the program since Monica Gibbs led the 2008 and 2009 teams to a pair of conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances.

Just this week, however, fans have started to realize that UTSA is not a one-woman show.

The Roadrunners have started to blossom into a team that can play championship-caliber basketball even when Jenkins isn’t on her game or is saddled with foul trouble. Just yesterday, Coach Karen Aston’s ball club pulled itself out of a 15-point deficit to win its second game in two days at the C-USA tournament, rallying to beat the Rice Owls, 62-54.

In victories over Florida Atlantic and Rice in the past two days, Jenkins has played only 21 and 25 minutes, respectively. When she was not on the floor, the team did not cave in as sometimes happened back in November and December. The team keeps playing. Thus, UTSA will play tonight in Frisco against the WKU Lady Toppers in the C-USA semifinals.

Here is a look at a few players not named Jordyn Jenkins who have elevated the team into one of the four still alive and vying for the C-USA title:

Freshman point guard Sidney Love

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

Sidney Love keeps the defense honest with her ability to drive to the bucket. She’s also cut down on turnovers drastically over the last four games. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Love is playing with confidence and doing what she does best, which is scoring. Utilizing her quickness and ability to dribble drive either to the right or left, the freshman from Steele High School hit eight of 16 shots from the field against Florida Atlantic and five of eight against Rice. She’s scored 33 points in the tournament, none more important than the 11 in the fourth-quarter comeback yesterday against Rice.

Junior guard Kyra White

Ms. Versatility is also one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever seen. White handles the ball, distributes, plays defense, rebounds. Everything. Even with a shaky first-half performance against Rice, she pulled herself together and continued to play hard in the third and fourth quarters. She even got a few shots to go down. Looked to me like she just willed it to happen, and it did.

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

Kyra White produced nine points, eight rebounds and five steals against the Rice Owls. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore center Elyssa Coleman

The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Atascocita has 18 points, 17 rebounds and six blocked shots in two games at Frisco. Going back to the start of UTSA’s 9-3 push toward respectability, she’s been a defensive force. Not quite as fast as Jenkins, she can run the floor well and always causes problems for opponents driving the ball. Coleman isn’t always highly involved in the offense, but when she is, she seems to deliver. She was four of eight from the field against Florida Atlantic and four of 11 against Rice.

Guard Hailey Atwood

Hailey Atwood has emerged as Coach Karen Aston’s go-to defender against the opponent’s best perimeter threat. Atwood also brings a tremendous amount of energy. She started off slowly this year as she worked her way back in injury rehabilitation, but she is now entrenched as a valued starter. Other players in the rotation during the tournament have included Deb Nwakamma, Siena Guttadauro, Maya Linton, Queen Ulabo and a cameo yesterday by Madison Cockrell. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Kyleigh McGuire or Alexis Parker tonight against WKU, either.

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

UTSA sophomore Elyssa Coleman is a post player who made the C-USA’s all defensive team. — File photo by Joe Alexander


Looks to me like center Nissa Sam-Grant will be a solid contributor next year. She is 6-4 and can run pretty well. She’s a transfer who sat out all this season.

C-USA women’s tournament

Friday’s semifinals

No. 1 Middle Tennessee (26-4) vs. No. 4 UTEP (20-10), 4:30 p.m.
No. 2 WKU (18-12) vs. No. 6 UTSA (13-18), 7 p.m.

Saturday’s championship game

Friday’s winners, 4:30 p.m.

Making history: UTSA’s Jenkins wins Conference USA Player of the Year honors

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Junior Jordyn Jenkins has emerged as the first player from the UTSA women’s basketball program to earn Player of the Year honors in Conference USA.

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 averaged a C-USA best 21.1 points per game. – File photo by Joe Alexander

In announcing postseason honors Tuesday afternoon, the C-USA also listed Jenkins as Newcomer of the Year and all-conference first team. In addition, her teammates Elyssa Coleman made the C-USA’s all defensive team and Sidney Love was named to its all freshman team.

The Roadrunners picked up three awards in men’s basketball, with Jacob Germany and Japhet Medor being named all conference honorable mention, while D.J. Richards made the all freshman team.

Jenkins led the C-USA in scoring (21.1) en route to lifting the team to a sixth seed in the tournament and a 7-3 record in the second half of a 20-game conference schedule.

She also led the conference in field goal percentage (49.4) while ranking second in rebounding (7.5) and fifth in blocked shots (1.2).

It is the third time in conference history that one player has earned both Player and Newcomer of the Year. SMU’s Keena May was the last player to do it in 2013. It’s the first time is the first time a Roadrunner has earned the C-USA Player of the Year since starting play in the conference in 2013-14.

Jenkins joined Loryn Goodwin as UTSA players who have earned Newcomer of the Year. Goodwin, a guard, achieved her honor in 2017.

In an interview with The JB Replay on Monday afternoon, Jenkins said she was happy with the way she played this season in her first at UTSA after transferring from Southern Cal.

Asked if she’d be disappointed if she didn’t win Player of the Year, she answered, “My whole life, I’ve never really been into awards. Probably because most of the time, I haven’t really got any.

“I’ve always been on the back of that,” Jenkins said. “You know, I’m grateful for whatever. It’s just about how you perform.”

During the same interview session, UTSA coach Karen Aston said, “I’ll be real surprised if she doesn’t get it. When you look at her numbers, they’re pretty staggering. Her performances have been worthy of the award.”

Taiwo, TCU women turn back the UTSA Roadrunners, 74-67

The TCU women’s basketball team knew it had been in a game Wednesday night after spending 40 minutes on the painted floor at Schollmaier Arena with the UTSA Roadrunners.

Playing at home in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs held the Roadrunners to four of 15 shooting in the third quarter to take control of the proceedings, en route to a 74-67 victory.

Tomi Taiwo’s fourth 3-pointer of the game with 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Frogs a 12-point lead. The Roadrunners never got closer than six the rest of the way.

Saddled with foul trouble early, Jordyn Jenkins led the Roadrunners with 16 points. Elyssa Coleman had 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Off the bench, freshman Siena Guttadauro scored 11 and Deb Nwakamma 10.

Kyra White, playing point guard most of the night for the Roadrunners, had a solid all-around game with eight points, five assists and four rebounds.

Taiwo had 18 points and three steals to lead the Horned Frogs.

All told, it was a solid effort for the Roadrunners, who are two games into their second season under Coach Karen Aston.

The Roadrunners, despite foul trouble, played the Frogs of the Big 12 Conference on even terms in the first half. Guttadauro and Nwakamma each had eight points and a couple of three-pointers off the bench before intermission.

TCU led 23-16 after the first period and, after a competitive second period, held a 37-36 edge on UTSA. Playing better defensively, the Frogs boosted the lead to 54-47 entering the final quarter.


TCU 2-1
UTSA 0-2

Coming up

Abilene Christian at UTSA, Sunday, 2 p.m.