Wichita State rides fast start to an 84-64 victory over UTSA

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The Wichita State Shockers sank their first eight shots from the field Wednesday night, setting the tone for a fairly easy 84-64 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners in the American Athletic Conference.

In a matchup of struggling teams in the AAC, the Shockers raced to a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the game at Wichita, Kan.

UTSA tried to play with tempo but kept turning it over and eventually fell behind by 20 points at halftime. The Shockers, who entered the night tied for last place in the AAC, led by as many as 26 late in the second half.

“We got whooped tonight, no way around it,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said on the team’s radio broadcast. “Guys are dejected, frustrated. It’s the way they should feel. It was bad. We got to go back, get to class in the morning get in the weight room. Get in the film room and work. We need two good practices to play better on Saturday.”

UTSA hosts East Carolina on Saturday at 3 p.m.

In the team’s first visit to Wichita as a member of the AAC, it was a frustrating night for everyone. Henson, a Kansas native and a former star guard at Kansas State University, grew weary of the officiating in the second half and drew a technical foul with 7:15 left in the game.

The Roadrunners’ problems were plentiful. The Shockers’ played well defensively, holding the visitors to 32 percent shooting from the field in the first half and 38 percent for the game.

UTSA’s bread and butter, the 3-point shot, was not falling even with open looks. The Roadrunners hit only 5 of 22 from deep.

Dre Fuller Jr. led the Roadrunners with 13 points, including 11 in the second half. Adante’ Holiman had 12 points and Trey Edmonds 10.

Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, UTSA’s leading scorer, was held to five points on one for 10 shooting. Christian Tucker, the team’s second leading scorer and the assist leader in the AAC, had a tough night. He finished with two points, five rebounds, one assist and six turnovers.

UTSA’s Carlton Linguard Jr. hit his first shot attempt, a long three, to give the Roadrunners a 3-0 lead.

From there, Linguard could not keep it going as he finished one for four from the field and one for three from long distance. The Roadrunners’ stretch power forward finished with five points and five rebounds.

For Wichita State, guard Colby Rogers led a balanced Shockers offense with 18 points and six rebounds. Backcourt mate Harlond Beverly, a transfer from the University of Miami, Fla., added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. Big man Quincy Ballard finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Guard Xavier Bell also had 11 points.

Records

UTSA 8-15, 2-8
Wichita State 10-13, 2-8

Coming up

East Carolina at UTSA, Saturday, 3 p.m.

Notable

Wichita State center Jacob Germany, a former four-year player at UTSA, played four minutes off the bench. He went scoreless on zero for two shooting. It was only his seventh game played for the Shockers this season. When Germany entered the transfer portal last spring, the lefty from Kingston, Okla. left UTSA ranked among the school’s career leaders — ninth in points with 1,293, fourth in rebounds with 779 and tied for third in blocks with 105.

Men’s basketball: UTSA takes to the road to play Wichita State

The UTSA Roadrunners will play on the road tonight against the Wichita State Shockers, with both teams looking for brighter days after a difficult first half in the American Athletic Conference men’s basketball race.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Wichita, Kan., at the 10,506-seat Charles Koch Arena.

UTSA has dropped two straight and six of its last seven games to fall into 12th place in the 14-team American. Wichita State is also struggling.

The Shockers have dropped two in a row and 10 of their last 11. Wichita State is tied for 13th (and last) in the conference with the Temple Owls. For the Shockers, five of their eight conference losses have been by single digits.

Coming up

UTSA at Wichita State, 6:30 p.m.

Records

UTSA 8-14, 2-7, Wichita State 9-13, 1-8

Notable

UTSA coaches will see a familiar face in warmups. Wichita State senior forward Jacob Germany played four seasons for the Roadrunners, earning honorable mention All-Conference USA honors in each of the last two.

The lefty from Kingston, Okla. ranks among the UTSA’s career leaders, ranking ninth in points with 1,293, fourth in rebounds with 779 and tied for third in blocks with 105. He averaged 12.3 points during the 2022-23 season and was second in the C-USA in both rebounding (8.3) and double-doubles (9).

Germany entered the transfer portal last spring and signed with Wichita State. Germany has played in six of 22 games for first-year Shockers coach Paul Mills. He’s averaging 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds.

Mills came to Wichita State from Oral Roberts, where he worked for six seasons. He led the Golden Eagles to the NCAA tournament two of the last three years. In his first season at Wichita State, his leaders include the likes of Colby Rogers and Xavier Bell, Harlond Beverly, Kenny Pohto, Dalen Ridgnal and Quincy Ballard.

Rodgers leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Ballard plays in the post and averages 7.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. Ridgnal, Pohto and Ballard rank as the Shockers rebound leaders.

Wichita State’s latest heartbreak was at Memphis on Saturday. For the second straight game, the Shockers lost after leading by double figures, falling, 65-63, on David Jones’ game-winner with 2.3 seconds left. Wichita State held a 14-point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Coleman dominates as UTSA claims its first AAC victory

Elyssa Coleman had 32 points, 19 rebounds and 3 blocks as UTSA earned its first American Conference women's basketball win, beating Wichita State 74-60 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Center Elyssa Coleman led the UTSA Roadrunners to their first victory in the American Athletic Conference Saturday at the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

For the past few seasons, center Elyssa Coleman has made a name for herself as one of the steadiest players on the UTSA Roadrunners, a reliable source of defense, blocked shots and rebounds.

On Saturday afternoon, the 6-foot-3 junior from Atascocita stepped it up, unleashing a dominant performance on both ends of the floor with career highs of 32 points and 19 rebounds. She also had three blocks.

Karen Aston. UTSA beat Wichita State 76-60 in American Conference women's basketball on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Karen Aston said she thinks her team played with more ‘purpose’ in downing the Wichita State Shockers. – Photo by Joe Alexander

As Coleman asserted herself, the Roadrunners made history by winning their first American Athletic Conference game, running away in the fourth quarter and downing the Wichita State Shockers 74-60 at the Convocation Center.

“It’s always a good thing to win, but getting our first American win is a big deal for us,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said. “A bigger deal is that we played with a lot more purpose, I guess is the best way I can describe it.

“I thought we were very good defensively in the first and the fourth. Which has kind of been a little bit of our personality, defensively, is to turn it back on and clamp down in the fourth, and I thought we did a good job with that.

“In particular, I thought our post players did a great job on theirs. Really it’s a team defensive concept when you’re trying to stop that high-low game that they play … Just excited to get a win.”

In UTSA’s first home game in 23 days, Coleman scored her career high in points on 14 of 20 shooting from the field. UTSA’s San Antonio-area backcourt of Sidney Love and Kyra White also played well for the Roadrunners.

While Love was notching 16 points and six assists, White showed up all over the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Roadrunners (7-7, 1-2).

Sidney Love. UTSA beat Wichita State 76-60 in American Conference women's basketball on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Point guard Sidney Love had 16 points and six assists against only one turnover. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Shockers (5-10, 1-2) couldn’t hit a shot early in the game and fell behind by 10. But they rallied to win the second and third quarters and made it competitive. Aniya Bell led Wichita State with 16 points. Daniela Abies had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

In UTSA’s first 13 games this season, Coleman averaged 10.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Her 14th outing was 14K golden, particularly the fourth quarter, when she scored 15 points on seven of 11 shooting.

“I think coach has been on us to just give it our all and really sell out,” Coleman said. “Me and my position coach (Cameron Miles) were talking yesterday about how I wasn’t playing my best and wasn’t putting out my full effort and (would) still get decent games, stat-wise.

“(We talked about) what would happen if I actually put my all into it. So, that’s what I tried to do.”

All sports at UTSA became members of the AAC last summer after 10 seasons in Conference USA. UTSA women’s basketball entered its season last fall without much fanfare, picked eighth in the 14-team league.

Though they played well in nonconference, going 6-5, they failed to gain traction when they entered AAC competition last weekend. In a pair of road games, they were humbled, once at Temple in Philadelphia and also at East Carolina, in Greenville, N.C.

Kyra White. UTSA beat Wichita State 76-60 in American Conference women's basketball on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Kyra White produced 12 points and season-highs of nine rebounds and eight assists. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Game 2 on the conference slate was particularly grim, as they lost to the Pirates by 28. As a result, they first tried for a little while to process the disappointment, and then they attacked workouts coming into the Wichita State game with intensity and resolve.

“I feel like we were definitely due for a win, especially on our home court,” Love said. “In a new conference, you just want to build on something. None of us wanted to go 0-3. We decided to play like we wanted to get a win, and we did that tonight.”

Records

Wichita State 5-10, 1-2
UTSA 7-7, 1-2

Coming up

UTSA at Florida Atlantic, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Notable

UTSA’s schedule has been tilted toward road games — nine of 14 away — and yet the Roadrunners have come out of it at 7-7 in wins and losses. They are 3-2 at home and 4-5 on the road. Eight of their next 14 games will be at home.

Guard Aysia Proctor sat out her first game of the season at East Carolina with an injury. She bounced back to start and play 22 minutes against Wichita State. It wasn’t her best performance, but she contributed with six points, three rebounds and two assists.

Wichita State is led by first-year head coach Terry Nooner, who played guard for Roy Williams at Kansas from 1997-2001. It’s the first head-coaching job for Nooner, who worked for Karen Aston at Texas in 2019-20.

He has also served as an assistant at Kansas, Maryland, Alabama and Southern Illinois, as well as one season as a player development coach with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

First half

Playing with defensive aggression early, the Roadrunners surged into an early lead of double digits and then held off the Shockers at the end of the half for a 33-30 advantage at intermission.

Love scored 10 points and Coleman produced nine and 11 rebounds for the Roadrunners. UTSA jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first five minutes and held Wichita State to eight points in the first quarter.

After that, the Shockers found their groove. They surged behind Abies and Bell in the second quarter to make it a one possession game in the final seconds of the half.

Bell found the range from long distance, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 11 to lead the team. Abies battled inside for nine points and seven rebounds. She was four-for-five from the field.

Elyssa Coleman had 32 points, 19 rebounds and 3 blocks as UTSA earned its first American Conference women's basketball win, beating Wichita State 74-60 at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Elyssa Coleman takes aim at the rim against the Wichita State Shockers. She finished with career highs of 32 points and 19 rebounds. Her scoring total topped her previous best of 23 against UTEP last Dec. 3. Her previous best rebound total was 13 on Dec. 17 at Oregon. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA women set to host Wichita State on Saturday afternoon

Madison Cockrell. UTSA beat Charlotte 60-54 in a Conference USA women's basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore guard Madison Cockrell says the UTSA Roadrunners took “to heart” their first two losses in the American Athletic Conference. She says that, as a result, players know that they need to change some things to get back on course. – File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

After an 0-2 start in the American Athletic Conference, players on the UTSA women’s basketball squad felt the harsh sting of disappointment.

First, they dropped a 71-58 decision at Temple last Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia in the first AAC game in program history.

Next, they journeyed to Greenville, N.C., and were humbled again, falling 82-54 to the East Carolina Pirates.

Even though the Pirates won the AAC postseason title last season and were a preseason pick to finish second in the conference this year, the Roadrunners were downcast.

A proud group of athletes, they wanted and expected to be better, and they just weren’t.

“For me, I definitely thought about it throughout the night and the next day,” UTSA sophomore Madison Cockrell said. “I know for my teammates, it was the same thing. But we can’t dwell on the past. We can only learn from our mistakes and move forward and get ready for our next game.”

The Roadrunners will get that opportunity on Saturday afternoon when they play host to the Wichita State Shockers.

Tipoff between UTSA (6-7, 0-2) and Wichita State (5-9, 1-1) is set for 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Cockrell said she feels good about the team’s preparation the past few days.

“I think our last few practices, we have been executing and working on practicing how we’re going to play in the game,” she said. “We took our first two conference losses to heart, and we are starting to change things.”

At that, she smiled, and nodded her head in the affirmative.

“(We’re) going hard every day in practices,” she said. “Playing hard. Paying attention to details. Studying the scout. Getting ready for Saturday.”

When the game in Greenville got away from the Roadrunners Tuesday afternoon, UTSA coaches elected to play some players who haven’t seen much time this season.

Cockrell, who notched a season high of 17 minutes and produced career highs of 13 points and three steals, caught the attention of the UTSA coaches.

So did freshman guard Emma Lucio, who notched a season high of 21 minutes. Lucio, from Edinburg, finished with three points, three rebounds and two assists.

“Opportunity is what you do with it,” UTSA coach Karen Aston said Friday morning, “and I thought those two kids did something with their opportunity the other night, and they’re going to get rewarded with more playing time tomorrow.”

Following Friday’s practice, a few other personnel questions loomed.

First, will Aysia Proctor be able to play against the Shockers? Well, maybe.

Asked Friday morning about Proctor’s status for Wichita State, Aston was non-committal, offering only that, “she’ll be fine.” By Friday afternoon, a positive sign on Proctor emerged at practice when the freshman from Clemens took part in five-on-five drills.

The second question is one that has been percolating for months now. It involves standout forward Jordyn Jenkins, who hasn’t played at all this season.

Jenkins went through light shooting drills both on her own and briefly with the team Friday afternoon. At the same time, Jenkins, who won Conference USA Player of the Year honors in 2022-23, did not take part in any of the team’s five-on-five contact work.

She is rehabilitating an injured knee.

Notable

The UTSA men are also looking for their first AAC victory. The Roadrunners will try to get it Saturday afternoon in Houston against the Rice Owls. The Roadrunners (6-8, 0-1) and the Owls (6-8, 0-1) are set to play at the University of St. Thomas, with tipoff set for 2 p.m. The game was moved off the Rice campus because of water damage at Tudor Fieldhouse. Injured UTSA guard Adante’ Holiman isn’t expected to play. Holiman turned his ankle in the second half of Tuesday night’s 78-76 loss to the UAB Blazers in San Antonio.

Correction

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the score of UTSA’s Tuesday night game in Greenville, N.C. The score has been changed in the story to reflect East Carolina’s 82-54 victory over UTSA in women’s college basketball.