UTSA women grind out a 69-68 victory over FAU in postseason tournament opener

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

What the UTSA Roadrunners may have lacked in artistic style, they made up for with gritty determination on Wednesday afternoon at The Star in Frisco.

Freshman Sidney Love hit two free throws with six seconds left, lifting the sixth-seeded Roadrunners to a 69-68 victory over the No. 11 Florida Atlantic University Owls at the Conference USA tournament.

Love produced 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as UTSA won its tournament opener and advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinals against the Rice Owls.

“This game was exactly like I thought it would be,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said. “Two teams that were pretty evenly matched…Really, really super even. Both teams I thought played their hearts out.”

UTSA was off its game early, turning the ball over with unforced errors to allow last-place FAU to stay close.

“There was a little bit of an ebb and flow to it,” Aston said. “As far as turnovers were concerned, maybe the difference in the game might have been us not turning it over in the second half near as much.”

With C-USA Player of the Year Jordyn Jenkins of UTSA in foul trouble, FAU led by one point going into the second quarter.

Just before halftime, Love hit three straight baskets for the Roadrunners, who went into halftime leading 28-24.

In the second half, Jenkins started to find a rhythm and UTSA threatened on a few occasions to run away with it.

Back-to-back threes by Jenkins and Siena Guttadauro lifted the Roadrunners into a 12-point lead midway through the third.

After fending off an FAU push, UTSA answered with its own surge, forging a 10-point advantage in with seven minutes remaining when Kyra White drilled a long three off the wing.

Down the stretch, the Owls would not fold, as guard Alexa Zaph stroked her fifth t of triple of the game.

Another big play for FAU came when Joiya Maddox tied the score on a three-point play.

Then, as the clocked ticked under one minute, the Owls followed with another brazen attack on the basket. Forward Janeta Rosentale drove the right side of the paint for a go-ahead bucket with 15 seconds left.

Trailing by one at that point, the Roadrunners called time, got themselves organized and put the ball in Love’s hands.

The former standout at San Antonio-area Steele High School promptly drove into the paint and was fouled. She made both free throws with 6.2 seconds left to boost the Roadrunners’ winning streak to five games.

Not bad for a player in her first collegiate postseason game.

Love said in a zoom interview that the game is easier for her now than it was back in November and December.

“It’s just ‘play basketball’ and don’t over-think anything,” she said. “Don’t worry about too much. With tournament play, it’s even more thrilling. I just want to do the best for my team.”

For FAU, Zaph was pretty thrilling herself. She scored 19 points and hit five of seven from beyond the arc.

Hubbard, also one of the conference’s top freshmen, scored 17 on five of 15 shooting. In the end, the Owls (12-18) couldn’t close it out against the Roadrunners (12-18) and lost their ninth game in a row.

Jenkins, who led C-USA in scoring with a 21.1-point average, finished with 18 points in only 22 minutes.

As usual, the junior transfer from USC was efficient, as she knocked down seven of 11 shots from the field.

At the end, Jenkins set the table for Love with two big plays, scoring from the low post with two minutes left and then sinking two free throws with 34 seconds remaining.

“We really honestly just played good enough to win,” Aston said. “I told them before the game, when you get into tournament play it doesn’t have to be pretty.

“You know, you’re trying to win. Whatever you have to do, to do that. I thought they took that to heart, and, I’m just super proud.

“We won a game here last year, and you want to build on that and have a chance to win more than one. We’ve given ourselves a chance to do that now.”

C-USA women’s tournament
At The Star, in Frisco

Wednesday’s results

Charlotte 72, FIU 59
UAB 75, North Texas 71
UTSA 69, Florida Atlantic 68

Thursday’s quarterfinals

No. 1 Middle Tennessee State (25-4) vs. No. 9 Charlotte (12-18), 11 a.m.
No. 4 UTEP (19-10) vs. No. 5 Louisiana Tech (19-11), 11:30 a.m.
No. 2 WKU (17-12) vs. No. 10 UAB (14-16), 1:30 p.m.
No. 3 Rice (22-7) vs. No. 6 UTSA (12-18), 2 p.m.

Surging UTSA women open C-USA tourney today against Florida Atlantic

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

Coach Karen Aston (right) says junior guard Kyra White has taken ‘complete ownership of our program’ in a 7-3 run to close the team’s 20-game Conference USA schedule. – File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA coach Karen Aston says it’s been amazing for her to watch the growth of her team over the last five weeks of the season. She says she’s excited about the “vibe” from the fans on campus.

Starting today in Frisco, Aston hopes to expand the interest even more when her sixth-seeded Roadrunners play the No. 11 Florida Atlantic University Owls in the first round of the Conference USA women’s basketball tournament.

Leading the way will be forward Jordyn Jenkins, who was named Tuesday as UTSA’s first Player of the Year in the C-USA, and former Judson High School standout Kyra White.

Both transferred from Southern Cal in the offseason to join Aston in a rebuild of a team that has been down for years.

“I really do believe word of mouth is getting out and that people are starting to believe in our program,” said Aston, in her second year at UTSA. “When you have a player like Jordyn, in particular, that chose to come here and take a chance on our vision … (and) you see Kyra White come home and take complete ownership of our program, it’s really fun to watch.”

The Roadrunners (11-18, 9-11) and the Owls (12-17, 5-15) will play today at 2 p.m. at The Star, the multi-purpose training site for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

If UTSA wins, it would advance to take on third-seeded Rice (22-7, 13-7) on Thursday in the quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Friday night and the finals on Saturday afternoon, with the C-USA postseason champion earning an NCAA tournament berth.

Aston says she wants her players to believe they can win their way into the NCAAs.

“I want ’em to believe,” she said. “Absolutely. I think we’ve played well enough to believe. We’ve got to go out and do it, and we understand that, but I think we’ve played well enough. This isn’t a fluke, as far as how well we’re playing, and I think they need to believe that.”

Confidence built gradually over the past month for the Roadrunners, who posted a 7-3 record in the second half of the 20-game C-USA schedule. During the run, UTSA posted victories over three teams that finished in the top five in the standings, including No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee State.

C-USA tournament
Today’s openers at Frisco

Women — (8) FIU vs. (9) Charlotte, 11 a.m.; (7) North Texas vs. (10) UAB, 1:30 p.m.; (6) UTSA vs. (11) FAU, 2 p.m.

Men — (8) Western Kentucky vs. (9) UTEP, 5:30 p.m.; (7) FIU vs. (10) Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m.; (6) Rice vs. (11) UTSA, 8:30 p.m.

Seedings in parentheses

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.

SFA Ladyjacks to test Aston’s Roadrunners at ‘The Sawmill’

Coach Karen Aston at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Karen Aston has added some talented new players to the roster for her second season at UTSA . – Photo by Joe Alexander

The second season in Karen Aston’s tenure at UTSA opens in one of the most iconic locales in the state for women’s basketball.

Aston’s Roadrunners are set to play today in East Texas at Nacogdoches. They’ll tip off at 5:30 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum, affectionately known as “The Sawmill,” the home of Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks.

Leading a team with a revamped roster, including eight newcomers and five freshmen, Aston will face a daunting challenge. The Ladyjacks have won 100 games over the past four seasons. They’ve won back-to-back regular-season championships.

The first of the two titles came in the program’s last year in the Southland Conference, in 2020-21, followed by another championship last season in the Western Athletic Conference. After both seasons, the Ladyjacks reached the NCAA tournament.

Last year, SFA finished 28-5. In an interview last week, Aston suggested that it wasn’t ideal for her team, with so many freshman, to play against such an established program in the opener.

“I mean, for this particular team, would it have been better to have a home opener and settle in a little bit, since we didn’t have an exhibition game,” she said. “Yeah, I definitely think that. We had an exhibition scheduled and then it got canceled.

“I think it would have been good for this team to play under the lights (at home). But, you know, it didn’t work like that, and we’ll do our best to be as competitive as we can be.”

Last year, as the former coach of the Texas Longhorns laid the groundwork for her program in San Antonio, it was a struggle for much of the season. Aston’s Roadrunners lost by 27 points at home to SFA in the opener. They went on to finish 7-23.

This season, the Roadrunners have upgraded the talent level, adding transfers Jordyn Jenkins and Kyra White from Southern Cal. Freshman Sidney Love, the player of the year in San Antonio at Steele last season, is also expected to play a significant role.

Elyssa Coleman and Queen Ulabo lead the returning players.

“Well I think the players are ready to play, regardless of what goes good or bad,” Aston said. “Really, at this point, you just need to play. The monotony of practice and what you’re doing every day in practice is sort of at an all-time high until you play a game and get in front of a crowd and see if the things you’ve been working on are, you know, (whether) you can be successful with those things.

“Do you need to make changes? I mean, none of those assessments can be made until you get in there and play a real game.”

UTSA’s Aston practicing patience during fall camp workouts

Coach Karen Aston at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Karen Aston is monitoring the progress of her five talented freshmen 20 days out from a Nov. 7 season opener at Stephen F. Austin. – Photo by Joe Alexander

With five talented freshmen among eight newcomers on her team, UTSA women’s basketball coach Karen Aston has known for some time now that she would need to be patient during the fall preseason camp.

Aston is going through one of those stretches now. Exactly 20 days out from a Nov. 7 season opener at Stephen F. Austin, the coach is making the most of the time allotted to teach the game.

“We had a full scrimmage last week against the guys and there (were) some glaring weaknesses that we needed to address,” she said Tuesday morning. “I think the last couple of practices, we’ve done that.

“It’s like plugging holes,” Aston said. “You figure out something that you need to get better at, and you work on that, and then another (issue) comes up.

“We just have so many new faces, with so many freshmen, the information overload is upon them with the wear and tear of preseason practices. In 20 days, regardless of whether we’re ready or not, it’s like, we got to start playing.

“You got to go and start to get the feel of what this is going to be like. You can talk about it in practice, but, when they get in the games, it starts to resonate a little more.”

Guard Sidney Love from San Antonio-area Steele leads the UTSA freshmen. She is seeing the floor quite a bit during workouts and, with an advanced offensive game, looks to be bidding to start the opener.

Others are guards Madison Cockrell, Siena Guttadauro and Alexis Parker and forward Maya Linton.

A few days ago, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich talked about how he planned to throw some of his young players “into the frying pan” to see what they could do.

“That’s exactly what’s going to happen with us, with these freshmen,” Aston said. “Some are moving along a little quicker than others.

“Some are better in some areas. Some can shoot the ball really well but they don’t exactly know the pace or the physicality, so they’ll come around, each one of them probably on their own clock.”

Though Aston hasn’t named names exactly on her projected starting five, Love likely is in serious contention to start.

“I think she’s starting to figure some things out,” Aston said. “I thought she went through a pretty rough patch last week on probably just the load of practice, the pressure, all of that.”

Love has been better this week as two older, more experience players — Kyra White and Hailey Atwood — step up their repetitions in practice after sitting out team drills for much of camp in August and September.

As both work their way into shape, Love is responding.

“Having (junior transfer) Kyra White and Hailey back at practice has helped her tremendously,” Aston said. “It should help all the young ones, because (the freshmen) have been plugging along without any role models, so to say.

“I think having those two back has really helped (Love). It’s taken a little pressure off her shoulders.”

For much of the early fall workouts, Love handled most of the load at point guard.

White, a San Antonio-area Judson grad and a 5-9 junior transfer from Southern Cal, initiated the offense quite a bit at Tuesday’s workout. With White at the point, Aston had Love on the wing at a shooting guard.

“Moving her to the two and sometimes lightening that load, has been really good for her,” Aston said. “She seems to be having a better week this week because Kyra’s back.”

A ‘wonderful surprise:’ UTSA women listen to an NIL proposal

A financial proposal under the new Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rule in college sports was presented Tuesday morning to members of the UTSA women’s basketball team.

Roadrunners coach Karen Aston said it’s the first deal of its kind for her team as a group.

Details weren’t immediately available, but it sounded as if it might involve an appearance or appearances. At the end of practice, Aston invited two men attending the workout to talk to her players at center court.

The two spelled out the terms to the players and invited them to participate. Afterward, some players were reading the paperwork on the court.

“That’s a huge deal for this program, to have somebody invest in our young women,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said. “No matter what the amount and what the transaction is, or whatever you want to call it, just to have people that really care about women’s basketball and athletics in this city is something that I think could catch fire.

“It takes somebody to step up to the plate and be generous … and we’ll go from there. Like I said, I hope it catches fire.”

Aston declined to disclose the details, saying she wanted to go through the “proper channels” before she makes any statements in that regard.

“I knew they were coming to practice but I didn’t know they were presenting that,” she said. “That was a wonderful surprise for our coaching staff and our players. I’m happy for ’em. Again, every little bit matters.”

Aston said her team has individuals with “small building blocks of NIL,” but as for the whole entire team, “that was unexpected.”

“It was very generous,” she said.

In basketball-related developments, senior Hailey Atwood and junior transfer Kyra White have stepped up their level of activity in practices. Both took part in team drills.

Since the fall semester started, players have attended workouts and have worked out mostly on their own. Tuesday, both were involved in team sets on a limited basis.

“They’ve been in some halfcourt stuff,” Aston said. “They’re limited right now to half court. Kyra is a little bit ahead of Hailey. As far as being able to go a certain amount of minutes. But it’s definitely progress.”

Aston said she’s encouraged because both are experienced players. White played 77 games the past three seasons at Southern Cal. Atwood played 27 games and started 12 for the Roadrunners last season.

As a team, the coach said she likes the way the group is progressing defensively.

“I feel like any time you work on skills and actions in the summer and fall your defense is typically a little bit behind, and it is,” Aston said. “But we’ve concentrated (on it) the last couple of days, so I think we’ve made a little progress.”

The Roadrunners open their season on Nov. 7 against Stephen F. Austin.

Aston says freshman Sidney Love is in the mix to start at point guard for UTSA

Sidney Love at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sidney Love was the player of the year in the San Antonio area last season at Cibolo Steele High School. She averaged 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as a senior. – Photo by Joe Alexander

As Karen Aston moves into her second season as head coach in charge of the UTSA women’s basketball program, a compelling narrative has emerged during early practices for the Roadrunners.

A freshman could lead them.

Aston said Tuesday that freshman Sidney Love from Cibolo Steele High School is in the running to start at point guard.

Love is battling in early fall semester practices with senior Deborah Nwakamma, as well as with freshmen Madison Cockrell and Siena Guttadauro.

“I think right now Sid is the person that we’re going to lean on the most at that position,” Aston said. “I think Deb can play it also. Deb is probably more calm at that position right now and knows more what’s going on. But I would love to play her at the two.

“We just got to let Sid take her lumps and grow and learn the position. She’s doing a good job. I think she’ll get there.”

A long dry spell for the UTSA women’s basketball program could be nearing an end

Kyra White and Jordyn Jenkins

Kyra White (left) and Jordyn Jenkins have started fall workouts with the UTSA Roadrunners after transferring from Southern Cal. White played in high school locally at Judson. Jenkins, from Kent, Wash., received all-Pac 12 honors last season. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Driving cautiously from my home to the UTSA campus one morning last week, gray clouds hung low on the horizon as I splashed through puddles on the road during the first substantial downpour in San Antonio in several months.

Surprisingly enough, when I finally reached my destination at UTSA women’s basketball practice, the precipitation continued. As soon as a spirited five-on-five session began, different players started to rain shots from all over the place.

Coach Karen Aston at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Karen Aston is preaching patience as the Roadrunners to ty mesh six returning players with eight newcomers. – photo by Joe Alexander

Not all of them splashed through the nets.

But one of them, a three out of the corner, was hoisted decisively at the end of a transition play. It snapped the cords. More than a few mid-range jumpers rattled in. A big center displayed solid footwork in advance of banking in a couple from close range.

Granted, this was one practice. It was the one and only practice involving the UTSA women that I’ve seen in more than a year.

But Karen Aston acknowledged in a telephone interview on Friday that she, too, has detected a marked uptick in offensive potential since she revamped the roster for her second season as head coach.

“Definitely, I think we’re going to be able to put the ball in the basket a little more frequently than we could last year,” Aston said. “Again, last year’s team gave me (100 percent). I think we squeezed everything we could out of ‘em.

“I thought they were one of the most enjoyable teams I’ve ever coached. One of the most coachable teams I’ve ever (worked with), but we struggled to score the ball. This team will do that a little bit easier.”

Sidney Love at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sidney Love (center) was the player of the year in the San Antonio area last season at Steele High School. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Could it be that Aston’s rebuild of a historically downtrodden program is moving along at a faster pace than you might expect? Could it be that a drought of seven-straight seasons with losing records might be coming to an end?

It could be. As a team, the Roadrunners are decidedly bigger and more athletic than usual, and they also have more than a few players with offensive ability, which always helps. The coach has 14 players on her team, eight of them newcomers, including heralded Southern Cal transfer Jordyn Jenkins.

The other day, I noticed that Jenkins was hitting shots with regularity from 15 feet and in. Returning center Elyssa Coleman and wing player Queen Ulabo also looked as if they had been in the gym quite a bit this summer.

“Two things are going to help us be better,” Aston said. “The returners seem so much more comfortable right now in who they are and what we expect from them, as opposed to last year, (when) nobody knew. Also, the two kids from USC (Jenkins and Kyra White) are going to come in and give us some experience and maturity from playing at a high level.”

Jenkins, a power forward, and White, a wing player and a former a prep standout at Judson High School, should provide an instant boost to the Roadrunners.

Another local favorite could be Steele High School-ex Sidney Love, last year’s player of the year in the San Antonio area. Love leads a group of three promising freshmen point guards, which also includes Texan Madison Cockrell and Californian Siena Guttadauro.

Queen Ulabo at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Senior Queen Ulabo has assumed a new role, moving from the post to the perimeter. Ulabo is considered one of the most improved returning players on the roster. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I think the biggest challenge for this group is the point guard situation,” Aston said. “We’ve got young kids. They’re talented, and I love how they compete. (But) they’re all freshmen with the exception of (senior) Deborah (Nwakamma) … They’re going to have their highs and lows.”

Last year, as Aston began the painstaking task of turning around a traditionally downtrodden program, the Roadrunners finished 7-23. They completed the Conference USA regular season at 3-14.

In doing so, they shot a frightful 33.2 percent from the field, which ranked last in the C-USA and 346th out of 348 teams nationally. Based on what I saw the other day, though, this team could be dramatically better on the offensive end.

It’ll all start with Jenkins, an athletic, 6-foot forward from Kent, Wash. Last year, she emerged as an all-Pac 12 Conference performer, while averaging 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Trojans.

Last week, I watched her score about five baskets in a very short period of time during five-on-five work.

“Jordyn Jenkins is really talented,” Aston said. “She can do a lot of things. She’s versatile at the forward position. And in my opinion, if she sticks this thing out, and does the things she’s capable of doing, I think she’s a pro. I think there’s potential (for her) to be a pro. No question about that.”

Returning players who have caught Aston’s eye in terms of individual improvement in their games have been Coleman, Ulabo, Nwakamma and Hailey Atwood.

“They just look so much more confident in themselves and what they’re doing,” Aston said. “Their skills are better. It’s hard for me to pick one of those returners because they’ve all improved a lot. A whole lot.”

How good can the team be?

“Obviously with eight new players it’s going to be a process,” Aston said. “I mean, it’s almost like it was last year, where chemistry will have to be built … Patience is going to be important for us.”

Elyssa Coleman at UTSA women's basketball practice at the Convocation Center on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore center Elyssa Coleman averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds last season. Coleman produced 21 points and 11 rebounds in a C-USA tournament victory over UTEP. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA women rally past UAB, 68-60, in overtime

The UTSA women’s basketball program celebrated New Year’s Day on Saturday with a comeback victory over the UAB Blazers.

Trailing by 10 points with seven minutes left in regulation, the Roadrunners rallied to win 68-60 in overtime at the Convocation Center.

The Blazers, at one point, appeared well on their way to victory when Lindsey Dullard sank a 3-pointer for a 45-35 lead with 7:06 left in the fourth period.

From there, the Roadrunners staged a dramatic rally, outscoring the Blazers 18-8 down the stretch to send the game into overtime.

A follow shot by UTSA’s Elena Blanding with 56 seconds remaining tied it, 53-53.

Relying on defense, the Roadrunners stopped UAB from scoring twice down the stretch and nearly won at the end, only to have Leslie Hunter misfire on a three at the buzzer.

In overtime, UTSA rode the shooting of Jadyn Pimentel and Charlene Mass to a five-point lead.

Undeterred, UAB came from behind, pulling to within 62-60 on a Margaret Whitley three with 29 seconds left.

UTSA steadied itself by scoring the game’s last six points, as Pimentel, Chantel Govan and Hailey Atwood sank a pair of free throws each to clinch it.

It was a signature win for the Roadrunners and the first for Coach Karen Aston at UTSA in a C-USA contest.


UAB 8-5, 1-1
UTSA 4-9, 1-1


UAB: Zakyia Weathersby 14 points, Margaret Whitley (13), Lindsey Dullard (10). Weathersby, 16 rebounds.

UTSA: Jadyn Pimentel, 21 points, LaPraisjah Johnson (16), Chantel Govan (11). Johnson, 11 rebounds, including six offensive.

Coach Karen Aston secures her first victory at UTSA

Karen Aston won her first game as coach of the UTSA Roadrunners Sunday afternoon at the Convocation Center, and all she could talk about afterward was what the victory meant for her players.

“I don’t have any personal satisfaction,” she said. “This is about them.”

Building an eight-point lead at halftime and a 10-point spread after three quarters, UTSA held on down the stretch to knock off the UIW Cardinals, 66-60.

It’s been almost a calendar year since the UTSA women last won a game, so that was what was most meaningful to Aston, a former coach at Texas.

“It’s huge,” Aston said. “It’s huge for them. This is a business where you go to practice every day and … (you) try to do the right thing. You want them to get the rewards for that, and they don’t always come. So when you do get them, you want to celebrate.”

Freshman center Elyssa Coleman, a transfer from Texas who is coming off two knee surgeries, led the Roadrunners with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-3 post hit 6 of 10 shots from the field

Another transfer, LaPraisjah Johnson, added 14 points and hit several key free throws in the final few minutes. San Antonio’s Charlene Mass had 14 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

The Roadrunners had not won a game since last Dec. 15, at home, against Northwestern State, La., and Mass, a junior from Veterans Memorial High School in the Judson school district, admitted that it feels good to end the drought.

“It’s just the epitome of what we want to do for this program,” she said. “We’re just going to continue to work hard, stay humble and grind.”

For the Cardinals, guard Destiny Jenkins put on a show with some long-range shooting. Jenkins knocked down five 3-point baskets, including a few of them off the glass, in scoring 21 points.


UIW 1-3
UTSA 1-3

Coming up

Nov. 28 — at Minnesota