Roadrunners beat the Memphis Tigers to win another road series

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Mason Lytle homered twice for the first time this season and tied a season-high with four RBIs on Sunday as the UTSA Roadrunners moved into first in the American Athletic Conference by beating the Memphis Tigers, 7-5.

The Roadrunners won the finale of a three-game series in Memphis on the strength of hitting by Lytle and James Taussig and the pitching of Fischer Kingsbery, who worked four scoreless innings to close the game.

Lytle went two for four on the day. He homered to lead off the game in the top of the first and added a go-ahead two-run blast in the sixth. Taussig highlighted a three-hit day with a two-run double in the first inning and a solo home run in the seventh.

Kingsbery blanked the Tigers in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Allowing no runs on only two hits, he lowered his earned run average to 1.90. Kingsbery struck out five and walked two.

UTSA won two of three over Memphis for its fourth straight series victory in AAC play. Also, the victory pushed the Roadrunners (9-3) into sole possession of first place over the East Carolina Pirates (8-4) in the AAC standings. The Pirates lost 8-7 at home to the Charlotte 49ers.

For Memphis, Will Marcy went four for four, scored a run and produced an RBI. Duane Stuart hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to lift the Tigers into a 5-4 lead. Lytle answered in the top of the sixth with a two-run shot of his own, pushing the Roadrunners ahead 6-5.

Third baseman Ty Tilson made one of the better defensive plays of the day for UTSA in the bottom of the eighth when he took away a hit with a diving grab of a hard-hit ground ball. Tilson came up throwing to get the force at second base. Kingsbery finished the inning by fanning Shane Cox looking.

Series recap

Friday: UTSA wins, 9-6
Saturday: Memphis wins, 12-5
Sunday: UTSA wins, 7-5
UTSA wins series, two games to one


UTSA 21-15, 9-3
Memphis 18-19, 6-6

Coming up

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at UTSA, 6 p.m.


The Roadrunners improved to 11-4 in their last 15 games. They also remained undefeated at 4-0 on Sundays in AAC play. In UTSA’s inaugural season of play in the conference, it owns series victories over East Carolina (2-1), Tulane (3-0), Charlotte (2-1) and Memphis (2-1).

UTSA won the Tulane and Memphis series on the road …

Ulises Quiroga (4-0) pitched the first five innings to earn the victory. He gave up five runs, all earned, on six hits. Quiroga walked three and struck out four. He yielded home runs to Pierre Seals in the second inning and to Stuart in the fifth. Kingsbery earned his second save of the season. For Memphis, reliever Logan Rushing (0-2) was tagged with the loss …

Mason Lytle had a season high-tying four RBIs, matching the four he had in a series closing victory at Tulane on March 30 …


An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that the Roadrunners were tied for first with the East Carolina Pirates in the AAC. Sorry about the error. Here is a look at the top of the standings:

UTSA 9-3, 21-15
East Carolina 8-4, 27-8
South Florida 7-5, 21-15
Wichita State 7-5, 21-16

No. 13 Memphis survives upset bid, downs UTSA 107-101 in OT

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA men’s basketball team came within a few plays Wednesday night of registering what would have been one of the biggest victories in program history.

The Roadrunners had Coach Penny Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers reeling for much of the game. Memphis fans were stunned when UTSA had a two-point lead with a chance to close out the 13th-ranked team in the nation in the final seconds of regulation.

Just about that time, though, Roadrunners center Massal Diouf was whistled for a moving screen.

A questionable whistle? Replays suggested it could have been a no-call. Regardless, the Tigers knocked down the ensuing two free throws to tie and eventually pushed the game to overtime, when guard Jahvon Quinerly took over and won it for his team, 107-101

Quinerly scored nine points in the extra period, the Tigers survived an inspired upset bid by the Roadrunners and eventually escaped what might have been a disastrous loss for a team looking for a high seed in the NCAA tournament.

UTSA guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, nicknamed ‘Juice’ for a reason, led the Roadrunners with 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists. In an epic shooting performance, he hit six of UTSA’s 17 three-point buckets.

For Memphis, forward David Jones notched a double double with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Quinerly, a transfer from Alabama, finished with 25 points, four rebounds and four assists. Memphis went to the free throw line 43 times and made 30 of them.

As a result, the Tigers improved to 76-10 at home in six seasons under Hardaway, including 8-0 this season.


UTSA 7-9, 1-2
Memphis 14-2, 3-0

Coming up

Charlotte at UTSA, Saturday, 7 p.m.


In his postgame interview with Andy Everett on KTKR-AM 760, UTSA coach Steve Henson took responsibility for the play that resulted in the foul call on Diouf and praised the effort of his players.

“Proud of our guys,” Henson said. “They did a lot of things well in this game. Look at those turnovers (only eight by UTSA). Memphis thrives off turnovers. They need ’em. We reduced ’em. We did a heck of a job in that regard. Players stepped up.

“(Forward) Chandler Cuthrell came in and gave us a huge lift. Different guys did some terrific things in the game. We got to make one more play in regulation and win the game. I made a terrible (decision).”

On the key play, Ivy-Curry had the ball at the top of the circle, guarded by Jones. As Diouf ran out from the post area to set the screen, Jones turned and was picked as the Ivy-Curry pass zipped inside to forward Dre Fuller Jr.

Fuller was about to dunk it for a four-point lead when officials called the foul, stopped the action and sent Jones to the line on the other end.

“We had the ball in Juice’s hand,” Henson said. “I sent Massal out, not trying to pick. Early in the game, we were picking with the five man (the center) involving (Memphis center Malcolm) Dandridge to get by him. In that (last) case, I just wanted to get Massal out of the paint.

“That’s on me. We didn’t get the shot there.”

Quinerly, interviewed in the postgame by a reporter for ESPN, said he is proud of his teammates for sticking together and winning the close games.

“I’m just proud of the guys,” he said. “Another close one. I think our last five have been close games. We found a way to pull it out. So, I’m proud of the guys.”

Coming in, few observers gave UTSA much of a chance against Memphis.

The Roadrunners, picked to finish last in the American Athletic Conference, entered the FedEx Forum rated 285th in the nation on the NCAA’s NET computer. Memphis, picked to finish second in the AAC, was 47th on the NET.

“I know everybody talks down on this conference,” Quinerly said. “But this is a conference where anybody can win on any given day … You know, we got a lot to work on. I’m just happy we were able to pull this one out today.”

Several players emerged to play well for the Roadrunners. Six hit double figures. In the backcourt, alongside Ivy-Curry, Christian Tucker had 14 points, seven assists and a couple of steals.

Forward Chandler Cuthrell, meanwhile, had 13 points in 14 minutes and hit three from distance. Three others finished with 10 points, including starting big men Carlton Linguard Jr. and Trey Edmonds and also guard PJ Carter.

In all, the Roadrunners knocked down 17 of 45 from the three-point arc.

Just in time: Shots are starting to fall for UTSA’s Dre Fuller Jr.

Dre Fuller Jr. UAB beat UTSA 78-76 in the men's basketball American Conference opener on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Over the last three games, Dre Fuller Jr. has come alive as an offensive threat for the UTSA Roadrunners, who play on the road tonight against the Memphis Tigers. – File photo by Jerry Briggs

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Quietly, one of the key players in the UTSA Roadrunners’ rotation has started to ratchet up his production.

Averaging 16.3 points and 4.6 rebounds over his last three games, Dre Fuller Jr. is doing it with such ease and smooth efficiency that it has almost gone unnoticed.

In that stretch, the 6-foot-6 graduate student from Fayetteville, N.C., has hit 51.5 percent of his shots from the field and 57.9 percent from three-point distance.

He capped the surge with a 23-point effort on the road against Rice last Saturday, a welcome sign for UTSA, which will play perhaps its toughest road game of the season tonight at the FedEx Forum against the 13th-ranked Memphis Tigers.

An all-around player with multiple skills, offensively and defensively, Fuller had been mired in a bad shooting funk, hitting only 7 of 36 from long distance in six games prior to his last three.

Because Fuller does so many things for the Roadrunners, coaches kept his playing time fairly level during the slump, which may have aided the turnaround.

Fuller said he appreciates it that UTSA coach Steve Henson hung in there with him as he worked things out.

“It showed he has the confidence in me,” Fuller said. “He sees me in here every day. So he knows how serious I take it. After the games, he’s telling me, ‘Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Let the game come to you.’ ”

Last year, Fuller went through some hard times while caring for his ailing mother.

He left Central Florida after three seasons, enrolled briefly at Florida Atlantic and then exited Division I basketball altogether when it became apparent that he needed to go home to help his mom.

All last year, he’d play pickup ball wherever he could and then visit with family. Tragically, his mom eventually passed away in March.

Since then, Fuller has been through an emotional roller coaster, first signing with the Roadrunners and then reporting to the UTSA camp in the summer and trying to get his game back together.

Fuller enjoyed a promising start to the season, scoring 16 at Minnesota in the second game and then pitching in a career-high 24 at Houston Christian.

Pretty soon, though, his shot started missing the mark. Fuller was 0 for 6 from three against Incarnate Word. Then 1 of 8 from the field against Lamar. At Oregon State, Fuller was two for 10 afield and 1 of 7 from three.

Frustration mounted.

“I wouldn’t go talk to (the coach),” Fuller said. “(But) I had to ask somebody, ‘What going on?’ He told me. He said, ‘Your day will come.’ (He said) just keep working. What you do in the game, it’s all going to fall in place.

“Listening to family, they’re telling me the same thing. I just tried to settle my body down and just keep playing.”

Heeding the advice has worked. Against Prairie View A&M, he started slowly, taking four 3-point shots and making three of them. Against the UAB Blazers in the American conference opener, he hit six of 12 afield, including another three from long distance.

Then he exploded against Rice on Saturday, knocking down eight of 17, including five of nine from three. Seven-foot power forward Carlton Linguard Jr., a transfer from Kansas State, came alive as well, scoring 24 points on four of eight shooting from distance.

“Those two guys, Dre and Carlton, can and do impact the game in so many other ways,” Henson said. “(If) they make two or three threes in a game, that just adds to it.

“We don’t have to have that for those two guys to make an impact. And now both of those guys have had games where they’ve made four or five (from beyond the arc). And then we’re really in good shape.”

While Fuller sat out last year for personal reasons, Linguard was at UTSA, working on academics to regain his eligibility and rehabilitating some nagging injuries.

Maybe it’s just taken both of them some time to get into their groove? Henson said part of it may stem from coaches just now finding out how all the pieces fit together.

“As we’ve gone along, we’ve learned more about our guys,” he said. “We’ve kept our play book pretty simple. This team doesn’t need or want a big play book. They make enough basketball plays that, we keep it simple, and they can move the ball.

“You call somebody’s number and expect that we’re going to get him the ball in a spot two or three times a game, they like that. We’ve kind of been able to do that.

“We’ve got a handful of plays, we just know, we have to call it two or three times a game, every single night, and something good usually happens.”

Fuller said he likes the flow of the game now because so many of his teammates are getting involved on a nightly basis.

“We have a lot of guys that, once people scout us, they’re like, ‘Ok, there’s not just one person scoring. Everybody is scoring,’ he said. “That’s what makes us a tough. But, like I say, we’re still learning every day. We got 13 new guys.

“(We’re) still learning and hopefully we’ll start picking it up real soon.”


UTSA 7-8, 1-1
Memphis 13-2, 2-0

Coming up

Charlotte at UTSA, Saturday, 7 p.m.

UTSA men will face 13th-ranked Memphis on the road

Carlton Linguard Jr. UTSA defeated Incarnate Word (UIW) 90-80 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Carlton Linguard Jr. scored a career-high 24 points against the Rice Owls last Saturday. He’s averaging 10.8 points and 6.1 rebounds going into Wednesday night on the road against Memphis. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Clearly, the UTSA Roadrunners can live with slightly erratic ball handling on occasion, such as last Saturday afternoon when they committed 17 turnovers and still won on the road against the Rice Owls.

In defeating the Owls 89-82 in overtime, UTSA knocked down 14 3-point field goals, competed well on the boards and came up with some key defensive stops for a historic first victory in the American Athletic Conference.

But as the team prepared this week for a Wednesday night AAC road test against the 13th-ranked Memphis Tigers, limiting turnovers emerged as a key focus.

“We have to take care of the basketball,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “On the year, we’ve been respectable in that area. Coming off a game when where we did turn it over a lot — we had too many against Rice — we got to take care of it.”

The coach expressed the idea that if they aren’t careful in making good decisions, it could be a long night for the Roadrunners (7-8, 1-1) against the Tigers (13-2, 2-0) at the FedEx Forum.

“We want some pace,” Henson said. “You know, we’re not afraid to get up and down the floor. That’s kind of who we are. We’re good in that regard, but we can’t have chaos. We can’t have them running off turnovers.”

Fifteen games into the schedule, the Roadrunners remain as something of a mystery.

Though they played poorly a few weeks ago in losing to Army at home, they have notched three decent games in a row, scoring 103 points in a win over Prairie View A&M, losing by two at home to UAB and then rallying from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat Rice.

Against Rice, 7-foot power forward Carlton Linguard Jr. and Dre Fuller Jr. led the way offensively. Both of them streaky shooters, Linguard scored a career-high 24 points and Fuller added 23. Moreover, Fuller knocked down five 3-pointers and Linguard four.

A few weeks ago, Fuller was at the end of a shooting slump in which he had hit only seven of 36 from the arc over a span of six games. In his last three outings, he has heated up considerably, making 11 of 19.

Linguard, by contrast, has been a respectable percentage shooter from distance (.349) for the season. But in three games before Rice, he had made only 1 of 13 from outside the arc. Against the Owls, he knocked down 4 of 8, including three straight at one point in the first half.

“He’s super talented,” Henson said. “When he knocks down a few shots early, his confidence just grows. We have several guys like him who are a little too hard on themselves at times when things don’t go right and they have a setback. But he’s a talented guy.”


Dre Fuller Jr. has seen a lot of the Memphis Tigers over the years.

As a player for the UCF Knights from 2019-2022, he played against the Tigers seven times. Memphis was 6-1 against UCF in that stretch, but Fuller had his moments, including 14 points in 25 minutes in the AAC tournament at Fort Worth in 2022. Fuller has played at the FedEx Forum in Memphis three times.

“What stands out is the atmosphere,” said Fuller, in his first season at UTSA. “Like, their home court is crazy. It’s loud. It’s going to be rocking in there. Every turnover or missed shot, they’re going to be screaming.

“So, one thing for sure (I remember) is the home court advantage. All I remember is that they play hard and run. We got to match their energy. If we match their energy and play a little bit harder, then we’ll be good.”

Memphis is 120-54 under sixth-year coach Penny Hardaway, including 75-10 at home.


UTSA 7-8, 1-1
Memphis 13-2, 2-0

Coming up

Charlotte at UTSA, 7 p.m.