AAC men’s tournament: UTSA’s season comes to an end with a first-round loss to Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Trailing by 14 points at halftime, the UTSA Roadrunners rallied to contest an American Athletic Conference first-round tournament game, battling with the Temple Owls into the final minute. But in the final seconds, they couldn’t get a three-pointer to fall, missing twice, and their season came to an end.

Christian Tucker. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Christian Tucker produced a team-high 15 points and passed for four assists against the Temple Owls. – File photo by Joe Alexander

The Owls escaped with a 64-61 victory.

A poor first-half performance doomed the Roadrunners. They couldn’t get their offense rolling, hitting only 24 percent from the field and shooting only 1 for 13 from three-point distance. They were playing without injured leading scorer Jordan Ivy-Curry, so nothing came easily.

UTSA played hard in the second half, winning the 20-minute segment, 40-29. Christian Tucker led the charge with his floor leadership, ball-handling and passing. They had a couple of opportunities to take the lead down the stretch and were denied each time.

The final minute was hectic. Hysier Miller drained a three for Temple with 49.6 seconds remaining, boosting the Owls into a 64-58 lead. The Roadrunners answered almost immediately, with PJ Carter hitting a three of his own with 41.9 seconds left.

At the end, UTSA’s defense kept Temple from scoring, eventually forcing Miller into an over-and-back violation at halfcourt with 18 seconds left. With the ball on the side, the Roadrunners worked it first to Carter, who fired a three that was rebounded under the bucket by Carlton Linguard, Jr.

Linguard Jr. flipped it out to Tucker, who passed to Isaiah Wyatt at the top of the circle. With Miller contesting, Wyatt’s shot was off the mark, ending the Roadrunners’ season with an 11-21 record.

It was the third straight 20-loss season for the Roadrunners.

The Owls, who went 3-0 against the Roadrunners this season, will move on to play the sixth-seeded SMU Mustangs Thursday night. All games are being played at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Steve Henson. Rice beat UTSA 80-76 in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Steve Henson said after the game that he expects to speak with athletic director Lisa Campos soon. His contract expires at the end of the month. – File Photo by Joe Alexander

Afterward, UTSA coach Steve Henson addressed questions about his future. Since his contract expires at the end of the month, it’s been a topic of discussion in his last two post-game news conferences. He said Wednesday that he hasn’t talked to his athletic director about the contract.

Even though the stakes were high for the Roadrunners in the tournament, Henson said Ivy-Curry just couldn’t play.

“Juice injured his arm/shoulder against SMU, very end of the (SMU) game (on March 2),” he said. “It was extremely swollen. We had a week off after that one, I think. We had several day days off, anyway, and he tried to get a ton of treatment and tried to practice a little bit. We put him in the game on Sunday (at home against Temple) and he was pretty immobile.

“His arm’s extremely swollen up, and he just couldn’t contribute the way he wanted to and the pain was continuing to increase. It’s really hard to get the swelling out of there, so he just wasn’t able to play.”

Noting that the first-half performance just wasn’t good enough, Henson nevertheless said he was proud of his players.

“In the first half, just offensively we couldn’t get anything going,” he said. “We really struggled on the offensive end. We held ’em to 40 percent from the field. We won enough battles on that end. We just couldn’t get anything going. They were physical with us.

“And then at halftime we kind of flipped it. We started executing better, we started defending much better, and kind of turned the tables on ’em a little bit, made a nice run there.”

In each of the last two seasons, the Roadrunners have lost close games in their conference tournament openers. Last year in Frisco, it was a one-point loss to the Rice Owls at the Conference USA tournament. Japhet Medor hit a shot at the end that would have won the game, but it was waved off on review. This year, it was an equally gut-wrenching one-possession game at the end against the Temple Owls.

“Just extremely disappointed,” Henson said. “The nature of post-season play, it just ends. You’re out there and you’re fighting your tails off and guys are in the huddle playing with a lot of emotion, talking with a lot of emotion, rallying each other, pumping each other, and then that horn goes
off and it’s over. So it’s a very disappointing feeling.”

UTSA lost 10 players to the transfer portal last spring and replaced them with 10 more signees. As a result, coaches started work last summer with almost an entirely different group. The Roadrunners were good at times on the offensive end. But on the defensive end, they were erratic, though they did play well defensively in a four-game stretch at the end of the regular season.

But then on Sunday, they took to their home floor in the regular-season finale against Temple with a less-than-100 percent Ivy-Curry, and got beat 84-82. The loss was costly. If they had won, they would have had another day to rest before they started the tournament. Instead, they had to play on the first day, and now it’s over.

“Our whole thing this last three weeks has been believe, and we didn’t give up (today),” said Tucker, who finished with 15 points and four assists. “We knew that we (could) compete with this team. We didn’t do enough of it in the first half and we knew we had to bounce back in the second half, so we just came out fighting. I mean, we won the second half, but we dug ourselves into too deep of a hole.”

Freshman guard Zion Stanford paced Temple with a game-high 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting.


Taking advantage of an injury to UTSA’s leading scorer, the Temple Owls built a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the game, hiked the advantage to 16 with 3:20 remaining and then went into the dressing room with a 35-21 edge.

UTSA’s Jordan Ivy-Curry, a 17.1 points per game scorer, was on the bench in a T-shirt to start the game. Ruled out for the game with a shoulder injury, his status for the remainder of the tournament is unclear.

Regardless, the Roadrunners missed his presence. They opened the game hitting only 1 of their first 11 shots. Late in the half, they misfired on 10 in a row. For the first 20 minutes, the Roadrunners were 9 of 37 from the field for 24.3 percent.

The Owls, one of the worst teams in the AAC all season, started fast with a 13-3 lead.

But in the middle of the half, their own poor shooting allowed the Roadrunners to stay in the game. Finally, the Owls put some things together and scored seven straight points. With the burst, they opened a 33-17 lead with with 3:20 remaining.

Guard Zion Stanford led the Owls with three of five shooting for a team-high eight points in the half. Jordan Riley and Matteo Picarelli had six points apiece. Point guard Hysier Miller, a high-level scorer, played mostly in a set-up role.

He finished the half with three points and four rebounds, scoring only four points.

With Ivy-Curry sidelined, the Roadrunners needed PJ Carter to step up his game. But the Owls knew they needed him, as well, blanketing him with coverage even on the perimeter. Carter was 2 for 9 in the half for five points.


The UTSA Roadrunners men’s basketball team opened play in the American Athletic Conference tournament today without injured Jordan Ivy-Curry, the team’s leading scorer.

Fourteenth-seeded UTSA and No. 11 Temple just got underway at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth.

The Roadrunners started the tournament without both Ivy-Curry (shoulder) and Adante’ Holiman (lower leg).

Temple defeated UTSA twice this season. The Owls won 83-77 on Feb. 18 in Philadelphia and won again 84-82 in the regular season finale Sunday in San Antonio. Both finished with 5-13 records in conference play.


UTSA 11-21
Temple 13-19


Eighth-year UTSA coach Steve Henson is facing questions about whether he might have coached his last game with Roadrunners. His contract expires at the end of this month, and he’s had three straight 20-loss seasons.

Henson said he hasn’t had any contract discussions with athletic director Lisa Campos.

“We’ve just been — had our heads down, grinding away, trying to get better. Loved the way our guys played at the end of the season. Lisa and I always talk at the conclusion of the season, so I’m sure we’ll do that again in this case.”

For Henson, it was the second time in his UTSA career that he entered a postseason game without an injured leading scorer. In 2018, guard Jhivvan Jackson sat out four games — two in the Conference USA tournament and two in the CollegeInsider.com tournament — with a knee injury.

Even with Jackson out of the lineup at the end, the Roadrunners finished off a 20-15 season, and Henson was named the C-USA Coach of the Year.

Temple played UTSA twice within the last week under a cloud of suspicion.

Gaming monitors at U.S. Integrity flagged the Owls’ 28-point home loss to UAB on March 7 for irregularities on the betting line in the hours before the game.

Owls coach Adam Fisher side-stepped a question about whether he has addressed the situation with the team, telling reporters in Fort Worth, “I know our university has put out a statement. My focus is on my players.

“I love my guys. We’ve been just trying to prepare for each game and just making sure we do exactly what we’ve done to prepare for each one.”

Heartbreak: Miller’s buzzer beater lifts Temple over UTSA, 84-82

-Video and game story by Jerry Briggs, Special for The JB Replay-

Guard Hysier Miller hit a contested 16-foot jump shot at the buzzer Sunday afternoon, boosting the Temple Owls to an emotion-charged, regular-season closing 84-82 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

Moments earlier, the Roadrunners had a chance to break a tie and take the lead, but a poor offensive possession ended with point guard Christian Tucker hoisting a 3-point attempt that misfired with a little more than 20 seconds remaining.

After Temple called time, the Owls allowed Miller to make the last play. As the clock wound down under 10 seconds, he drifted to his right behind a screen set by teammate Sam Hofman. UTSA played the pick with center Trey Edmonds coming out to contest Miller.

Edmonds had it guarded well, but the shot went up and went in, snapping the net just after the buzzer sounded.

Temple's Hysier Miller shoots over UTSA's Trey Edmonds for the winning basket with time running out. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Temple’s Hysier Miller shoots over UTSA’s Trey Edmonds for the winning basket with time running out. – Photo by Joe Alexander

When it happened, the beleaguered Owls celebrated. They arrived in San Antonio under a cloud of suspicion following reports that gaming monitors were reviewing unusual wagering activity before their last game, a 28-point home loss to the UAB Blazers last Thursday.

But if they were sweating the national publicity and the implication of impropriety, they certainly didn’t show it as they mobbed Miller in front of their own bench.

Some on press row thought Miller’s shot might have grazed the front of the net coming down, instead of going through. But after a review, officials confirmed that the shot would count. As a result, it gave the win to the Owls, who trailed by as many as 13 points and for most of the second half.

With the setback, the Roadrunners had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost an opportunity to gain a first-round bye in this week’s American Athletic Conference tournament. Instead of an extra day of rest, the Roadrunners fell to the 14th (and final) seed and will play the No. 11 Temple Owls — again — on opening day Wednesday in Fort Worth.

UTSA and Temple are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Dickies Arena in their third meeting of the season. The Owls won the first game, beating the Roadrunners 83-77 in Philadelphia on Feb. 18.

In the rematch, Miller and backcourt mate Jordan Riley scored 16 points apiece. Guard Shane Dezonie came off the bench to add 15. Hofman, a starting forward, stepped outside to make four 3-pointers and finished with 12.

UTSA's PJ Carter watches the replay of the final shot of the game. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s PJ Carter watches the replay of Temple guard Hysier Miller’s game-winning shot. Carter led UTSA with a career-high 27 points in the Roadrunners’ regular-season finale. – Photo by Joe Alexander

For UTSA, PJ Carter scored a career-high 27 points. A turning point in Temple’s comeback came when Carter twisted an ankle with about 13 minutes remaining and had to leave the floor to have it treated.

After he returned a few minutes later, he made only one basket — a three that tied the game 82-82 with 1:28 left.

Jordan Ivy-Curry, limited because of an injury he suffered in a victory over SMU on March 2, played only 17 minutes and was held to six points. Ivy-Curry had 33 against SMU.

Other Roadrunners in double figures against the Owls were center Carlton Linguard Jr. with 15 points, Christian Tucker with 13 and Dre Fuller Jr. with 10. Linguard, Fuller and Isaiah Wyatt were celebrated in the pre-game during a ‘Senior Day’ ceremony.

The possibility also exists that the game might have been the last one at home for eighth-year head coach Steve Henson.

Henson, whose contract is up at the end of the month, insisted in the post-game interviews that he isn’t thinking about it.

“It’s all about trying to play better basketball,” he said. “Our guys have done a good job. I’m proud of the way we played. The losing streak (seven games) could have pulled us apart. Could have broken us down. It’s a real credit to the players. They hung in there. Their chemistry was good. Their attitudes were good.

“I’ve said this a few times on the air. We’re not practicing as hard as I would like at this point in the season. It’s been the case for a few weeks. But, they do come in with pretty good energy level. They like being in the gym. They like being around each other.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry, limited by an injury to 17 minutes, totaled six points on two of six shooting. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“That allowed us to weather that really bad stretch, and then all of a sudden something clicked on the defensive end for four ball games.”

The improved play defensively allowed the Roadrunners to play first-place South Florida close in a five-point loss, before they reeled off three straight victories, which included road wins at North Texas and SMU.

“We had won three games,” Henson said. “We came into this one feeling great. It’s all about focusing on the team, trying to go into the tournament with momentum. If we had handled our business today, we would have been feeling really, really good.”

Following with a rhetorical question, Henson asked, “What’s this going to do to us (at practice) tomorrow? I don’t know.

“We have to get right back up and go into Fort Worth with our heads up, knowing that we’ve played well against some of the best teams in the league. We’ve knocked off some really good teams. That three-game stretch was as good as any we’ve had in the last seven or eight years.”


Temple 12-19, 5-13
UTSA 11-20, 5-13

Coming up

American Athletic Conference postseason tournament, starting Wednesday and running through Sunday. All games at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.


A UTSA spokesman relayed a message from the Temple athletic department to San Antonio-based reporters at press row during the first half.

Reporters were told that if they wanted to interview Temple coach Adam Fisher afterward, that he would talk only about the UTSA game. Fisher could not be reached for comment by The JB Replay.

In the wake of Temple’s game against UAB, Sports Illustrated was the first to report that gaming monitors at U.S. Integrity flagged the game to casinos as unusual.

NBC News reported that the line shifted, with UAB going from its status on wagering boards as a 2.5-point favorite to an 8-point favorite.

On Friday, The Athletic reported that three other Temple games this season also had “irregular betting patterns.” Temple’s game against UTSA on Feb. 18 was not among those listed with irregularities.


UTSA pushed out to a 44-39 lead at halftime.

Trying to counter-act UTSA’s switching defense, the Owls pushed the fast break when they could. When slowed into a halfcourt set, they tried to get the ball down low for post-ups, even with their guards.

For the Owls, Riley led with 10 points, followed by Miller with nine.

UTSA, in response, attacked with their guards and their big men. Guard PJ Carter filled it up with 18 points, including three-for-four shooting from the 3-point arc. Carter also drove it in an effort to draw fouls, with the tactic giving him eight trips to the line, where he made seven.

Linguard Jr., a seven-foot forward, also was active. He had nine points and five rebounds in 14 minutes. Edmonds made an early impact, as well, notching five points and seven boards in the half. Fuller had seven points on three of six shooting.

Meanwhile, Ivy-Curry, the team’s leading scorer, played only first-half eight minutes. He had three points on one of three shooting.


Starting lineups
Temple — Hysier Miller, Jordan Riley, Matteo Picarelli, Steve Settle, Sam Hofman
UTSA — Dre Fuller Jr., Isaiah Wyatt, Christian Tucker, Trey Edmonds, Carlton Linguard Jr.

Carlton Linguard Jr. Temple beat UTSA 84-82 in the Roadrunners' final home game of the men's basketball season on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Power forward Carlton Linguard Jr. produced 15 points and nine rebounds in what may have been his last game at the Convocation Center. He was honored in the pre-game ‘Senior Day’ ceremonies, a sign that he is moving on his career. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Men’s basketball: UTSA can clinch a first-round tournament bye by beating Temple

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA men’s basketball team has endured its share of tough breaks this season. Maybe the trend is shifting in the other direction.

Not only have the Roadrunners won three games in a row leading into today’s regular-season finale against the Temple Owls, but they also apparently have moved into position to control their own destiny and secure a first-round bye in the American Athletic Conference’s postseason tournament.

A few days ago, it appeared that the Roadrunners might have only an outside shot at avoiding being slotted into the bracket for a game Wednesday on Day 1 of the AAC tournament. Since then, a couple of opponents battling in close proximity to UTSA in the standings have stumbled.

On Friday night, the Wichita State Shockers lost at Tulane. On Saturday night, the Rice Owls lost at home to the University of North Texas Mean Green. Consequently, both the Shockers and the Owls have fallen into the bottom four in the AAC standings, while the Roadrunners have moved up to 10th.

Now, a Roadrunners victory Sunday at home against the Owls apparently will give them the 10th seed, an extra day to prepare and a tournament opener on Thursday. Instead of having to win five games in five days to reach the NCAA tournament, they’d get a more manageable four-in-four days task.

Senior Day

Sunday is Senior Day at the Convocation Center. The program is honoring Carlton Linguard Jr., Dre Fuller Jr. and Isaiah Wyatt, who have all played one season for the Roadrunners.

Linguard, a former standout at Stevens High School in San Antonio, returned home to the Alamo City after two seasons at Kansas State. After sitting out last season, the 7-footer appeared in 30 games with 21 starts. Linguard averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Fuller, who grew up in North Carolina, played three seasons at Central Florida before sitting out last year while caring for his mother, who was ill. She passed away last spring. Fuller has averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds

Wyatt, from Ohio originally, played in high school in Texas at North Crowley. UTSA is his fourth school after he attended McLennan College, Southwestern Christian (in Texas) and NCAA Division II Chadron State, Neb. Wyatt, known as a perimeter shooting threat, has averaged 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds.


Temple 11-19, 4-13
UTSA 11-19, 5-12

Coming up

The bracket for the American Athletic Conference tournament is expected to be finalized after the last two games of the regular season — Temple at UTSA and SMU at UAB — are played on Sunday afternoon. The five-day AAC tournament is scheduled to open Wednesday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Temple grinds out a 56-48 victory over the UTSA women

Jordyn Jenkins. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins produced 15 points and 10 rebounds, but the Temple Owls won 56-48 in a physical battle Thursday night at the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The first-place Temple Owls held UTSA without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter Thursday night, riding a strong defensive effort to a 56-48 victory over the Roadrunners at the Convocation Center. The win was the fourth in a row for the Temple women. It also gave the Owls a 2-0 sweep over the Roadrunners in the season series.

Moreover, it was the first time in five games this season that the Roadrunners played a team in first place in the American Athletic Conference standings and lost. Over the past five weeks, UTSA had claimed victories in such situations over Charlotte, North Texas and UAB, all at home, and North Texas again on the road last Sunday in Denton.

Elyssa Coleman. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Center Elyssa Coleman (white jersey, No. 0) had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Roadrunners. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Leading by seven after the first quarter, the Roadrunners couldn’t capitalize on the fast start. The Owls kept hitting the offensive boards and finding their way to the free-throw line. On the night, Temple won the rebounding battle, 48-42, including a 22-10 edge on the offensive glass. The Owls also made a living at the line, knocking down 18 of 28 to UTSA’s 9 of 15.

“We got obliterated on the boards, and that’s really the story of the game,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said on the team’s radio broadcast.

Temple led by two at halftime and by three at the end of three periods. Oddly enough, the Owls missed 11 shots in a row at one point in the third and still led 43-40 going into the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, UTSA came unraveled. The Roadrunners misfired on their first six shots. Meanwhile, the Owls were doing just enough on the offensive end to start pulling away. After corralling a defensive rebound, they rushed it up the court. Guard Tiarra East passed to Denise Solis, who knocked down a jumper for a 51-41 lead with 3:31 remaining.

UTSA never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

“We just couldn’t make a perimeter shot to loosen anything up at all,” Aston said. “And then they just got to the point where they didn’t want to shoot it because they were having maybe not a good night. I thought the 22 offensive boards were the difference in the game. We just couldn’t put our foot down on them, at all. Just one of those (nights). They outplayed us.”

Temple women's basketball coach Diane Richardson. Temple defeated UTSA 56-48 in American Athletic Conference women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Temple women’s basketball coach Diane Richardson watched as her team forced 17 turnovers and outrebounded UTSA 22-10 on the offensive glass. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins came off the bench to produce 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Roadrunners. Center Elyssa Coleman had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Idara Udo, another member of the Roadrunners’ frontcourt, produced nine points and five boards. UTSA’s starting backcourt, meanwhile, struggled to find a rhythm. Three backcourt starters combined to shoot five for 21 from the field.

Guard Tiarra East led the Owls with 18 points, including 10 in the second half when she made eight of 10 at the free-throw line. Five-foot-six Aleah Nelson added 11 points and Demi Washington had 10.

Starting forward Rayne Tucker and Solis, a reserve center, came up big on the boards for Temple. Both had eight rebounds apiece and combined for seven on the offensive glass. Both Solis and Ines Piper, a forward, came off the bench to grab four offensive boards apiece.

Perhaps most frustrating for UTSA, Temple shot just 26.9 percent from the field and still managed to win. And a big win it was for the Owls, who are in the pole position coming down the stretch for the AAC regular-season title . Temple leads the race at 10-4, followed by North Texas and Tulsa at 9-5.

UAB and Rice are next at 9-6, followed by Charlotte and South Florida, both 8-7. East Carolina, SMU and UTSA are next at 7-7.


Temple 16-10, 10-4
UTSA 13-12, 7-7

Coming up

FAU at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Third quarter

As the game evolved into a defensive struggle, the Owls shot only two of 19 from the field in the third period. But they made up for it with numerous trips to the free-throw line. The Owls hit 9 of 13 at the line to forge a 43-40 lead on the Roadrunners. Conversely, UTSA did not get to the line in the quarter.

First half

Trailing by seven after the first period, the Owls retaliated with a 19-10 outburst to take a 30-28 lead at halftime. Guard Tiarra East and forward Ines Parker ignited a Temple rally in the second quarter.

East scored six points in a row for the Owls at one juncture. Roadrunners forward Jordyn Jenkins scored seven in the period to keep the Roadrunners in it. Jenkins hit three of five from the floor in the quarter, while the Roadrunners as a team managed only four of 15 afield.


The UT System on Wednesday approved a funding plan for UTSA’s proposed Volleyball and Basketball Training Facility. According to the UT System’s agenda, posted online, the facility will cost $35 million. Broken down, $15 million will come from Revenue Financing System Bond Proceeds, $10 million from designated funds and $10 million in grants from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. The facility will be built adjacent to the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence on the west end of campus. Construction is expected to start in 2025, with ‘substantial’ completion by August 2026 and ‘final’ completion in November of 2026.

UTSA women host first-place Temple tonight at the Convocation Center

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Undefeated in games against first-place teams in the American Athletic Conference, the UTSA women hope to win again against another league leader tonight when they host the Temple Owls at 6:30 at the Convocation Center.

Temple (15-10 overall) has won three in a row and five out of its last six to take the lead in the 14-team AAC race at 9-4. UTSA (13-11) has won two of its last three to move into sixth place at 7-6.

Over the past five and a half weeks, the Roadrunners have earned a reputation for beating AAC leaders, knocking off Charlotte, North Texas, UAB and North Texas again.

Most recently, they came away with their biggest road victory of the season when they downed North Texas 66-63 on Sunday afternoon in Denton. Forward Jordyn Jenkins, in her third game back after sitting out the first 21 recovering from a knee injury, led the way with 29 points off the bench.

In facing the Owls, the Roadrunners will meet a team that handed them a loss in their first AAC game. On Dec. 30, the newcomers to the conference played the Owls in Philadelphia and took a beating. Temple won 71-58 after dominating the fourth quarter, 20-12.

Afterward, UTSA coach Karen Aston credited the Owls’ guard play as making a difference in the outcome.

“Their guards were tough,” Aston said after the game. “(They had) tough-minded guards, with the ability to rise up and make really tough shots.”

Backcourt players Aleah Nelson, Tiarra East and Demi Washington lead the Owls in scoring for the season. Against the Roadrunners in the first meeting of the season, guards Terriyonna Gary and Tristen Taylor played well late in the game.


Temple 15-10, 9-4
UTSA 13-11, 7-6

Coming up

FAU at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Temple snaps a 10-game losing streak by downing UTSA, 83-77, in AAC men’s basketball

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Leading by three with two minutes left, the Temple Owls broke it open down the stretch thanks to a Steve Settle three pointer, and then they went on to snap a 10-game losing streak with an 83-77 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

In an American Athletic Conference played game at Philadelphia, the Owls shot 45 percent from the field and knocked down eight threes to win for the first time since Jan. 7. UTSA has now dropped six straight and hasn’t won since Jan. 24.

Guard Hysier Miller scored 20 points to lead four Temple players in double figures. Settle finished with 16, followed by Jahlil White with 15 and Jordan Riley 12.

UTSA played the second half without floor leader Christian Tucker, who was disqualified just before halftime for leaving the bench area. Jordan Ivy-Curry led the Roadrunners with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. PJ Carter hit three three-point baskets and finished with 13. Dre Fuller Jr. had 11 points and four rebounds.

The Roadrunners shot 42.7 percent from the floor and made six three-point baskets.

First half

In a blow to the Roadrunners’ chances to win, guard Christian Tucker was ejected just before halftime. It all started when Temple guard Hysier Miller was trapped in the corner adjacent to the UTSA bench. Guarded closely by Roadrunners’ guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, Miller pushed off. Ivy-Curry fell backward and went down on the floor.

Tucker, who was not in the game at the time, stood up in front of the bench. Then he came out on the court, extending his hand to help Ivy-Curry get up. But, by rule, he was ejected, leaving UTSA short-handed for the second half. The Roadrunners went into the dressing room leading 41-34 after Ivy-Curry hit a free throw awarded on a technical foul against Miller for pushing off.


UTSA 2-11, 8-18
Temple 2-11, 9-17

Coming up

South Florida at UTSA, Wednesday, 7 p.m.


Christian Tucker had one point, two rebounds and two assists at the time of his ejection. For the season, he was averaging 12 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists.

Fourth-quarter defense sparks Temple women past UTSA, 71-58

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The Temple Owls, trailing by two points early in the fourth quarter, increased the defensive pressure down the stretch and ran past UTSA 71-58 Saturday in the Roadrunners’ inaugural game of women’s basketball in the American Athletic Conference.

In a game played in front of an announced crowd of 1,324 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, UTSA just didn’t play well enough in crunch time to win in the AAC opener for both teams.

The Roadrunners, who reached the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament last March, had their chances. They trailed by five points going into the fourth quarter, came out with confidence and tallied seven straight to take a 53-51 lead.

From there, the Owls started to force the Roadrunners into mistakes. Temple blocked a shot, defended well in the paint to draw an offensive foul, and then forced two more turnovers to spark a 13-2 run.

Temple guard Tiarra East took advantage of the mistakes, hitting a long three and scoring seven points overall during the critical run.

Sidney Love stopped the Owls’ momentum briefly when she drove to the bucket, drew a foul and hit a free throw to bring the Roadrunners to within 64-58 with 4:10 remaining. Love’s defensive pressure then forced a 10-second violation at halfcourt.

But with momentum turning, UTSA committed the first of two straight turnovers, leading to four straight Temple points from guard Terriyonna Gary.

At that juncture, Temple had assumed complete control of the game, leading by 10. Gary, who scored six points in the fourth period, knocked down two free throws with with 2:53 remaining to make it 68-58. In all, UTSA committed nine of its 20 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

UTSA coach Karen Aston credited Temple’s play in the backcourt as a key factor in the game’s outcome.

“Their guards were tough,” Aston said on the team’s radio broadcast. “(They had) tough-minded guards, with the ability to rise up and make really tough shots.

“You know, right now, we don’t have that. We’re dependent on a couple of our guards right now to make a whole lot of plays.

“We just really need to keep trying to develop our kids and see if we can get some more to contribute. We just don’t have enough right now on the perimeter that can counteract that kind of activity.

“I mean, they had two guards (Gary and Tristen Taylor) come off the bench and make big shots.”

As a team, the Owls did a good job as they limited offensive production from the Roadrunners’ guard trio of Love, Kyra White and Aysia Proctor. Together, the three were pressured into shooting 11 of 34 from the field.

White, a senior, led the Roadrunners with 16 points, three rebounds and three assists. Love was held to eight points and Proctor seven. UTSA starting center Elyssa Coleman finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. Off the bench, forward Idara Udo scored 10.

Gary, a Temple senior from Brooksville, Fla., led the Owls in scoring with 14 points in 23 minutes off the bench. She knocked down five of eight from the floor.

Starting guard Aleah Nelson produced 13 points and four assists, while forward Rayne Tucker had a double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

East, another backcourt starter, had 11 points and four steals. Forward Ines Parker was also a defensive pest with two steals, to go along with 10 points.


UTSA 6-6, 0-1
Temple 7-6, 1-0

Coming up

UTSA at East Carolina, Tuesday, 5 p.m.


Injured UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins, the 2022-23 Player of the Year in Conference USA, hasn’t played this season. The 6-foot forward is rehabilitating a knee injury … After losing at Temple, another bit of adversity awaits the Roadrunners. They’re scheduled to return to San Antonio and then fly out Monday to North Carolina, where they will play on Tuesday in Greenville against the East Carolina Pirates. East Carolina won the AAC postseason title last year and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

On a mission: UTSA women carry a winning record into AAC play

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

UTSA sophomore point guard Sidney Love averages 12.2 points to lead UTSA in scoring. She also shoots 87 percent at the free-throw line to lead the American Athletic Conference. -File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

History beckons for a surprisingly resilient UTSA women’s basketball team preparing to take its first steps on a hardwood court in the American Athletic Conference.

Transitioning to the AAC after 10 seasons in Conference USA, the well-traveled and road-tested Roadrunners (6-5) will carry a winning record into a two-game AAC road swing.

They’ll play Saturday in Philadelphia against the Temple Owls (6-6) and Tuesday in Greenville, N.C., against the East Carolina Pirates (7-3).

Kyra White. UTSA beat New Mexico State 58-55 in women's basketball on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Kyra White ranks among UTSA team leaders in scoring (10.6), rebounding (5.5) and assists (4.1).- File photo by Joe Alexander

“I’m excited to start American play,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said Thursday afternoon. “It’s always exciting to get to a place where the stakes are higher … I’m excited to get it started.”

Like UTSA, both Temple and East Carolina are programs that have seen hard times recently and have taken steps to upgrade.

Aston understands the challenge that awaits.

“These road games, you can look at it two different ways,” she said. “I mean, we do start (conference) on the road against experienced teams that have kind of taken their lumps in the American, and now they’re on the other side of it.

“But on the flip side, the good thing about it is, we get these out of the way when we’re not in school. I think that’s a huge factor for us.”

As one of six new women’s basketball programs in the AAC, UTSA is no longer the cupcake on everyone’s NCAA Division I schedule.

In fact, the Roadrunners have six victories against D-I competition and have registered a winning overall record at the Christmas break for the first time in 10 years.

Coming off eight straight losing seasons, the Roadrunners are listed at No. 144 in the NET rankings, which puts them in the top half of programs in Division I.

For the fans, it’s been remarkable to see the dramatic changes under Aston, who is in her third year as coach.

“Like night and day,” UTSA senior Kyleigh McGuire said in a Dec. 13 interview. “When coach Karen came in here, she had a mission, and she recruited people and staff that fit into that plan and would buy in at 100 percent — and never let up.”

Led by guards Sidney Love and Kyra White and center Elyssa Coleman, the team has veteran talent and savvy at those three key positions.

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

Center Elyssa Coleman has emerged in her junior year as a force inside with 10.3 points per game, all while leading UTSA in rebounding (7.4) and blocks (1.7). – File photo by Joe Alexander

In addition, the Roadrunners also are getting major contributions from two freshmen in guard Aysia Proctor and forward Idara Udo.

Forward Jordyn Jenkins, the Player of the Year in Conference USA last season, hasn’t played yet due to a knee injury. But, her absence from the lineup hasn’t had too much of a negative effect on the team, all things considered.

In four games against Power 5 competition, UTSA came out of it winless at 0-4, but three of the losses were by single digits. Once, the lost by five at Texas Tech. On another day, they lost at home by two to Houston.

Also, road games haven’t bothered them too much. They’re 4-3 record on the road so far. Before Christmas, the Roadrunners took on a daunting challenge with two games in the north west corner of the United States and came out of it with a split.

Despite poor shooting, they were within five points against the Pac-12’s Oregon Ducks with four minutes remaining, couldn’t sustain the momentum and lost by 13. A few days later, playing at Seattle, they jumped out to an early lead, ballooned it to 23 in the second half and eventually downed the Seattle Redhawks, 75-64.

Granted the RedHawks are 1-9, but this time two or three years ago, the Roadrunners weren’t winning many games on the road against anyone.

“It’s always good to win your last game before you go home for the holidays,” Aston said of the victory at Seattle. “It always bodes well for the break and how you feel about taking a few days off. I think the break was much needed for us. We had a lot of travel in nonconference play.

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

UTSA freshman Aysia Proctor from Clemens High School has supplied scoring (9.4) and rebounding (5.5) off the bench. She also isn’t shy about playing on the road, as she scored 20 points at Oregon. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I thought we had a chance at Oregon, so it was disappointing we didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. But on the other side of it, when I watched the film, I thought we did some really good things. We just didn’t make shots.”

Rebounding kept UTSA close against Oregon, as it has all season.

“A lot of that was because we didn’t make shots and we had a lot of offensive rebounds,” the coach said. “But, they’re big. They have size. We haven’t seen anything like that. It was a little bit shocking in the beginning, but we adjusted in the second half.

“You know, there’s been a couple of these games that, had we showed up a little better in the first half, we’d have had a chance to win.”

Perhaps most promising for the Roadrunners leading into AAC competition is the play of Proctor and Udo, the two precocious freshmen.

Proctor, a 5-8 guard from San Antonio-area Clemens High School, is averaging 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.1 minutes. She has scored in double figures in three straight games, including 19 against Houston and 20 against Oregon.

Against the Ducks, she was the only UTSA player shooting it with authority against a quality opponent, and she also pulled down 11 rebounds in the game.

Udo, a physical 6-1 post player from Plano, is averaging 6.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 18.7 minutes. Against Seattle, she came off the bench for 19 points and nine rebounds.

“It’s always good to have more people in your rotation,” Aston said. “Those two have established themselves, definitely, in the rotation at this point.”

Aston said she is not surprised at how much the two freshmen have accomplished.

“Honestly, I thought they would contribute to our team,” the coach said. “We recruited players that maybe added something to the table that we didn’t have previously.

“I mean, Aysia can really score the ball, and she’s learning in all the other areas of the game. But the flat-out truth is, she can score the basketball. And we need somebody who can score it, and she adds that, and I thought she would.”

In many ways, both Proctor and Udo have softened the blow for the team in trying to make up for the loss of Jenkins.

Proctor has stepped in to establish herself as an offensive threat, a 50.5 percent shooter from the field, while Udo has held her own as a defender-rebounder who can also score.

Idara Udo (No. 25) had a key blocked shot with 7 seconds left. UTSA beat New Mexico State 58-55 in women's basketball on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Idara Udo had a key blocked shot with 7 seconds left as UTSA beat New Mexico State 58-55 on Nov. 10. – Filer photo by Joe Alexander

Aston lauded Udo’s work ethic.

“She’s taken advantage of the opportunity, and she has made the absolute most of it every single day,” the coach said. “What she does in the games is based on what she does every day in practice. I think that bodes well for her career.

“Anytime a player comes to play in practice every day, you can’t help but play ’em (in games).”


During UTSA’s game at Seattle on Dec. 19, an ESPN broadcaster described Jordyn Jenkins‘ playing status as “day to day.” Asked after practice on Thursday if anything was new on UTSA’s 20 points per-game scorer from last season, Aston declined comment. The coach has said previously that UTSA doesn’t want to rush anything in her rehabilitation. Jenkins, who has been described as a player with pro potential, injured her right knee in April.

UTSA leaders


Sidney Love 12.2
Kyra White 10.6
Elyssa Coleman 10.3
Aysia Proctor 9.4

Field goal percentage

Aysia Proctor 50.5
Elyssa Coleman 44.0
Idara Udo 43.3
(35 or more attempts)

Three-point percentage

Siena Guttadauro 33.3
Kyra White 30.0
Sidney Love 24.0
(21 or more attempts)

Free-throw percentage

Sidney Love 87.0
Kyra White 64.7
Maya Linton 63.0
(17 or more attempts)


Elyssa Coleman 7.4
Idara Udo 6.4
Aysia Proctor 5.5
Kyra White 5.3


Kyra White 46
Sidney Love 33


Sidney Love 17
Maya Linton 15
Kyra White 10


Elyssa Coleman 19
Kyra White 15
Idara Udo 12

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

Karen Aston’s UTSA Roadrunners will play the Temple Owls Saturday in Philadelphia in the program’s inaugural game in the American Athletic Conference. – File photo by Joe Alexander