Tucker ties conference, school records with 14 assists as UTSA routs Tulsa

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat Tulsa in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Junior point guard Christian Tucker produced 12 points and a school- and conference-record tying 14 assists UTSA rolled as past Tulsa, 89-73. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Don’t look now, but with the postseason in men’s college basketball looming in only a few weeks, a UTSA Roadrunners team plagued for months by poor defense, erratic offense and bad vibes in general has started to find a rhythm.

Humming to the beat of record-tying point guard Christian Tucker, they’re even starting to show a little bit of swagger.

To some around the American Athletic Conference, this may come as quite a surprise. Not too long ago, the Roadrunners dropped four straight games. Then seven straight. All the while, they were sinking fast in the standings.

But after claiming a two-point road win at North Texas last weekend, they followed it up on Wednesday night at home by trouncing the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 89-73. “Two in a row and we’re not done yet,” Tucker told the team’s radio broadcast.

Steve Henson. UTSA beat Tulsa in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Steve Henson’s Roadrunners will take a two-game winning streak into Dallas for a meeting with SMU on Saturday. – Photo by Joe Alexander

As UTSA avenged its worst loss of the season, Tucker emerged as the spark that ignited the offense, passing for a conference and school-record tying 14 assists.

His artistry in driving into the teeth of the defense and then whipping passes to the perimeter led, in large part, to the Roadrunners hitting 14 three-point baskets.

“All credit to my coaches and teammates for putting me in that position,” he told broadcaster Andy Everett on The Ticket, AM-760. “I give all the credit to them. They make me look good when I’m giving them the ball and they’re making shots.”

On Jan. 17, the Roadrunners met the Golden Hurricane for the first time as members of the American. For UTSA, its trip to Oklahoma wasn’t a pleasant experience. Tulsa revved its offense after intermission and routed UTSA 54-30 in the second half, en route to a 107-78 victory.

But that was then, and this is now, with UTSA using every day at practice to improve, and then applying it on the court.

The Roadrunners have actually played well in their last three games. A week ago, with AAC-leading South Florida coming into San Antonio, they showed up and played one of their best defensive games, collapsing late in a 66-61 loss. Last weekend, the defense held up again. This time, the Roadrunners won 64-62 as they bottled up North Texas for the team’s first road win in Denton since 2015.

Tucker blocked a shot in the final seconds as UTSA players celebrated the end of the seven-game skid. Now, they’ve done it again. While the game against Tulsa wasn’t a defensive masterpiece, it was a good showing nonetheless against a team that likes to push the pace faster than most.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. UTSA beat Tulsa in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordan Ivy-Curry scored 20 points to lead the Roadrunners, his third game in the last four with 20 or more. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“Pretty good on the defensive end,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “Obviously, offensively, we were really clicking. Got back to what we were doing earlier in the year with Tuck just serving it up to people. He was terrific.”

Six players scored in double figures, led by Jordan Ivy-Curry with 20 points. Chandler Cuthrell had 14. Tucker and Dre Fuller Jr. added 12 apiece. Tre Edmonds had 11 and PJ Carter 10 for the Roadrunners, who made 44 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.

Eleven of UTSA’s 14 triples came in the first half.

For Tulsa, redshirt freshman PJ Haggerty showed why he has been billed as an honors candidate nationally, as he scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 35 minutes.

Haggerty, a TCU transfer, deftly scored from all three levels. Either the native of Crosby, Tex., was pulling up from 22 feet, or he was driving it, drawing fouls. He went to the line 18 times and made 12 of them.

At the same time, many of the players who hurt the Roadrunners earlier in the season weren’t quite as proficient this time around. Isaiah Barnes, Cobe Williams and Tyshawn Archie all scored 17 points apiece against UTSA at Tulsa. In San Antonio, none of them reached double figures.

“Defensively, that’s three games in a row,” Henson said. “I don’t know if our points per possession will be quite as good as the last two ball games. But it was pretty good. They didn’t have a whole lot of rhythm. They didn’t do what they typically do.”

First half

The UTSA Roadrunners played one of their better halves of the season, knocking down 11 three-point baskets en route to a 53-34 halftime lead.

Chandler Cuthrell. UTSA recorded a 103-89 men's basketball victory over Prairie View A&M on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Chandler Cuthrell, shown here in a file photo, came off the bench to sink four three-point shots. He scored 14. – File photo by Joe Alexander

After missing their first eight shots in the game, the Roadrunners surged, hitting 16 of 35 from the field and 11 of 21 from three in the half. Ivy-Curry paced UTSA with 12 points, while Cuthrell had 10 and Dre Fuller Jr. nine. The three of them combined for eight field goals from behind the three-point arc, including three each by Cuthrell and Fuller.

Tucker had seven points and 10 assists for the Roadrunners, who were attempting to win a second consecutive game this season for the first time since December.


Tulsa 14-14, 5-11
UTSA 10-19, 4-12

Coming up

UTSA at SMU, Saturday, 2 p.m.


With games against SMU and Temple remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Roadrunners remain tied for last in the AAC with Wichita State. They’re one game in the loss column behind Tulsa, Tulane and Temple. The Roadrunners last won consecutive games in November and December, in the opening weeks of the season, when they won three in a row. In that stretch, they beat UIW on Nov. 25 before downing Lamar on Nov. 30 and then Arkansas-Fort Smith on Dec. 10.

Originally, Issy Washington set the UTSA single-game school and Convocation Center records for assists with 14 on Nov. 29, 1986. Playing for Coach Ken Burmeister in only the sixth season of basketball at the school, Washington established the standard in a 113-67 victory over Jarvis Christian College. SMU’s Kendric Davis set the AAC single-game record of 14 on Jan. 7, 2021. Davis set the mark at home, at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, in a 76-69 loss to Cincinnati.

Women’s basketball

In Memphis, Tenn., the UTSA women ran into a team that seems to be peaking for the AAC tournament. The Memphis Tigers won their fourth in a row by muscling past the Roadrunners, 60-53, at the Ella Roane Fieldhouse. Guard Alasia Smith led the Tigers with 12 points and 17 rebounds. For UTSA, Jordyn Jenkins paced the Roadrunners with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Three UTSA standouts — Jenkins, Elyssa Coleman and Idara Udo — all fouled out of the game. Despite mounting foul problems, UTSA made a run to lead by one point at the end of three periods, but Memphis wouldn’t fold. The Tigers outscored the Roadrunners 18-10 in the final quarter with forward Hannah Riddick notching six of those points.


UTSA 14-13, 8-8
Memphis 12-15, 8-8

Coming up

UTSA at Wichita State, Saturday, 2 p.m.


UTSA will be investing $57 million in new facilities and capital projects over the next five years, it was announced Wednesday afternoon. The investment includes funding secured for a volleyball and basketball training center and also for upgrades to baseball and softball facilities. Baseball and softball are slated to get player development centers. In addition, the university is planning to add a nutrition performance center for all student-athletes. Football will get a covered football pavilion.

Christian Tucker. UTSA beat Tulsa in American Athletic Conference men's basketball on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Christian Tucker leads the American Athletic Conference with an 88.6 free-throw percentage and also ranks tied for second with 5.15 assists per game. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Down by 13 at home, Tulsa rallies late to beat UTSA, 74-70

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Temira Poindexter and Mady Cartwright sparked a huge fourth-quarter rally Wednesday night as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, playing at home, stormed from behind to edge the upset-minded UTSA Roadrunners, 74-70.

In an American Athletic Conference women’s basketball thriller, the Roadrunners fell behind by nine points in the first half, but then started to play well and steadily built what evolved in a 13-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the game.

At that point, the Golden Hurricane heated up and turned the game around with a 20-3 run over the next six and a half minutes. When Poindexter hit two free throws with 29 seconds left, the Golden Hurricane’s lead ticked up to four points at 73-69.

On the other end, UTSA’s Madison Cockrell missed a three with 16 seconds left. The rebound went to forward Idara Udo, who was fouled, and she hit one free throw to make it a three-point game.

On her one miss, Kyra White grabbed the offensive rebound to give the Roadrunners hope, but she also missed a three with 13 seconds remaining. For Tulsa, Katia Gallegos responded by driving, drawing a foul and knocking down one free throw with seven seconds left for the final point.

With the win, Tulsa (18-7 overall, 8-4 in the American) registered a possible momentum-turning victory after losing two of its last three. UTSA (12-11, 6-6) came into the game feeling good, winning at home Sunday and knocking the UAB Blazers out of first place.

Now the Roadrunners face a Sunday afternoon road game against the AAC heavyweight North Texas Mean Green. UTSA coach Karen Aston said on the postgame radio show that her team let one get away against Tulsa.

“We didn’t manage the clock very well,” she said. “We started shooting too quick … just didn’t have an understanding that we have four and a half minutes left. We needed to move the ball and make them play a little bit longer. Youth played a part in that, but credit to Tulsa. They did what they had to do to win.”

The story of the game was the fourth-quarter rally by the Golden Hurricane. During the 20-3 run, Poindexter, a 6-foot-1 junior from Sapulpa, Okla., took over. She scored eight points in the stretch. Cartwright also contributed during the run with six points.

For the game, Poindexter led the Golden Hurricane with 20 points. Guard Delanie Crawford added 15 and Cartwright had 13. Together the threesome knocked down seven of Tulsa’s nine three-point baskets. Tulsa shot 50 percent from the field for the game, including 55 percent in the fourth period.

UTSA’s backcourt of Sidney Love and Kyra White led the Roadrunners in scoring. Love totaled 16 points and White had 15. Forwards Jordyn Jenkins and Idara Udo had 11 points apiece. Jenkins, in her second game back after sitting out most of the season, also had seven rebounds. Freshman guard Aysia Proctor scored 10.

Generally, UTSA played well on the road on the home floor of one of the better teams in the conference. From midway through the second quarter to midway through the fourth, the Roadrunners went on an extended roll, outscoring the Golden Hurricane 40-18.


UTSA 12-11, 6-6
Tulsa 18-7, 8-4

Coming up

UTSA at North Texas, Sunday, 2 p.m.

First quarter

Tulsa’s Caranda Perea hit a long jumper and a three-pointer in the last minute of the first quarter. Capping a hectic period, UTSA’s Kyra White followed a missed shot with a three of her own. Tulsa emerged with a 22-19 lead going into the second,

Second quarter

Playing fast and running the break, the Golden Hurricane pushed out to a couple of nine-point leads before the Roadrunners rallied at the end. Sidney Love missed a jumper in the final seconds as UTSA went into the dressing room down by only four at 38-34.

Guard Delanie Crawford sparked Tulsa in the half with a team-high 12 points and seven rebounds and three assists. Temira Poindexter had eight points on three of six shooting.

For UTSA, freshman Idara Udo had eight points and four boards. Also, Sidney Love had seven points and Jordyn Jenkins, in her second game back after sitting out the first 21 in knee rehabilitation, scored six.

Third quarter

UTSA stepped up the defensive pressure and started forcing turnovers. Meanwhile, Sidney Love and Kyra White started to turn it on offensively. The Roadrunners outscored the Golden Hurricane 21-13 in the period.

A highlight came late when Maya Linton got a steal on one end. On the other, Kyra White dribbled down court on the break, made a Euro-step move at the bucket and twisted in a layup. The Roadrunners will take a 55-51 lead into the fourth quarter.

Tulsa makes 16 triples and routs UTSA, 107-78, in American conference men’s basketball

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Freshman PJ Haggerty scored seven points in a 21-4 burst in the first six minutes of the second half, and the home team Tulsa Golden Hurricane continued on to rout the UTSA Roadrunners 107-78 Wednesday night in the American Athletic Conference.

Tulsa’s opening burst after intermission expanded what had been a five-point lead at intermission and made it 22-point spread with 14:01 remaining. The Roadrunners never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.

With Tulsa shooting 59 percent from the field and knocking down 16 three pointers, the Golden Hurricane (10-7, 1-4) broke a four-game losing streak. In giving up a season-high in points in regulation play, the Roadrunners (7-11, 1-4) lost their third game in a row and their seventh in their last nine.

Haggerty. the second-leading scorer in the American, finished with 25 points. He came in averaging 18.8. The 6-foot-3 freshman from Crosby, Texas, also produced six rebounds and seven assists. He hit nine of 12 shots from the field, including four for four on three-point attempts.

For UTSA, Jordan Ivy-Curry scored 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

The Roadrunners shot the ball reasonably well in the first half, hitting 48 percent from the field, to stay within five points at intermission. But in the second half, the offense came undone, as the team hit only 9 of 33 for 27.3 percent.

First half

In a fast-paced half, the Golden Hurricane hoisted 15 three-point attempts and hit 10 of them to take a 53-48 lead on the Roadrunners at intermission.

Haggerty knocked down three for three from beyond the arc to lead the Golden Hurricane, who hit 63.6 percent from the field in the half. Another freshman, Isaiah Barnes, knocked down two from distance, as did Tyshawn Archie and Cobe Williams.

The Roadrunners also played well offensively, with Jordan Ivy-Curry and Christian Tucker scoring 12 points apiece.

The lead in the game went back and forth for the first eight minutes before the Golden Hurricane ran off on a 17-5 burst. Barnes emerged as a principal in the outburst by scoring nine points in a row for Tulsa.

Barnes capped the streak by rebounding his own miss and hitting a put-back for a 44-32 lead with 4:31 remaining. In response, the Roadrunners went off on a 12-0 run of their own. Two free throws by Tucker tied the game 44-44 with 2:16 left.


Tulsa’s 107 points ranked as an opponent season high in regulation against the Roadrunners. Minnesota beat UTSA 102-76 on Nov. 10 in the second game of the season. On Jan. 10,
the 15th-ranked Memphis Tigers downed the Roadrunners 107-101 in overtime, in a game that was tied at 94 at the end of the second half … Guard Adante’ Holiman has missed four straight games with an ankle sprain.


UTSA 7-11, 1-4
Tulsa 10-7, 1-4

Coming up

Florida Atlantic at UTSA, Sunday, 2 p.m.
Tulane at UTSA, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.
UTSA at South Florida, Jan. 27, 3 p.m.

AAC men’s basketball: UTSA set to tip off at Tulsa

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

One of the new members of the American Athletic Conference will play against one of the old guard tonight at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla. The UTSA Roadrunners are looking for a road victory against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

Both teams are struggling. UTSA (7-10, 1-3)) has lost two straight and six of its last eight. Tulsa (9-7, 0-4) has dropped four in a row, all in the AAC. At the same time, both squads will send out players capable of pushing the pace and scoring at a high rate.

UTSA has guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, who is averaging 16.9 points in seven games since he became eligible, in addition to Christian Tucker, Dre Fuller Jr., Carlton Linguard Jr. Tulsa will counter with the likes of PJ Haggerty, Cobe Williams and Isaiah Barnes.

It’s a critical time of the season for the Roadrunners, who have played well at times but have failed to generate much consistency. For instance, they led for much of the game at 15th-ranked Memphis on Jan. 10 and then lost 107-101 in overtime.

In their next outing, they returned home on Saturday and couldn’t get the offense cranked up in a 66-58 loss to the Charlotte 49ers, another indication that the Roadrunners tend to play sub-par basketball when the opposing team takes the posture of a slower pace.

To generate momentum, the Roadrunners need to play well tonight, because they will host a 2023 Final Four entry, the Florida Atlantic Owls, on Sunday. They’ll play host to another strong team from the AAC, the Tulane Green Wave, on Jan. 24.

Coached by Eric Konkol, a former UTSA nemesis when he worked at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs like to run with Haggerty, Williams and Barnes leading the team in scoring. Konkol, in his second season with the Golden Hurricane, struggled in his first year in Tulsa with a 5-25 record, including 1-17 in conference.

Konkol, a former Tulsa student assistant, had his team off to a 9-3 start this season before adversity struck.

The Golden Hurricane suffered a setback on Jan. 2 when it was announced that high-scoring guard Keaston Willis was lost for the season with a broken bone in his left foot. Willis, who played in San Antonio at the University of the Incarnate Word from 2019-21, is expected to seek a medical redshirt to return in 2024-25.

Tulsa has since lost to Memphis, East Carolina, Charlotte and Tulane. Three of the losses were by seven points or less. In its last game, played at home on Sunday, the Golden Hurricane played well but fell to Tulane 94-87 in overtime.

Haggerty, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Crosby, Texas, scored 25 points. He also had five assists and two steals.


UTSA 7-10, 1-3
Tulsa 9-7, 0-4

Coming up

Florida Atlantic at UTSA, Sunday, 2 p.m.
Tulane at UTSA, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.
UTSA at South Florida, Jan. 27, 3 p.m.