A scoring mentality: UTSA’s White adds jump shot accuracy to her overall game

Kyra White. UTSA women's basketball beat Florida International 85-79 for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Former Judson standout Kyra White scored 44 points on 18 of 31 shooting from the field in two home games last week. — Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Kyra White says she isn’t doing anything different, from a technical standpoint, when she shoots her jump shot.

She says her recent hot streak is just a matter of months of practice finally producing results.

That, and a heightened sense of confidence.

“We’re just working on getting to my spots and having the scoring mentality,” she said after practice Tuesday. “I believe that, in the beginning of the season, I was just looking to be a play maker. Making plays for my team. Now that I’m figuring out that my shot is going in, all this extra work is coming to the surface, and I’m just feeling a lot of confidence right now. My teammates trust me to shoot the ball, so I’m going to continue to go out and do that.”

All season, White has been one of the Roadrunners’ best players.

On the ball at point guard or on the wing, the former Judson High School standout has facilitated the offense, averaging 4.5 assists. She’s crashed the boards, averaging 4.3 rebounds. And she’s also supplied offense when needed, producing 7.6 points.

Lately, though, the offense has been eye opening.

In two games at home last week, White scored 44 points — 22 each in victories over the FAU Owls and the FIU Panthers — all while knocking down a combined 18 of 31 from the field.

The 5-foot-9 junior, a transfer from Southern Cal, sparked a UTSA comeback by taking five jumpers and making all of them in the third quarter of UTSA’s 85-79 victory over FIU on Saturday afternoon.

UTSA assistant Jamie Carey says there’s no secret to White sizzling at 58 percent in the two home games after shooting just 33 percent for the season.

“It’s gym time,” Carey said. “It’s a perfect example of what hard work does. She’s in the gym every day before practice, every day after practice. When you put in that time, your confidence does grow. I mean, I think (her shot) is coming off her hand cleaner. There’s a lot that she’s doing really well, but you don’t accomplish that if you haven’t been in the gym.”

White arrived at UTSA last fall with some fanfare as one of the key players on Judson’s 2019 state championship team. But in three seasons at Southern Cal to start her collegiate career, she averaged only 1.8 points and 1.6 assists in 18.1 minutes.

Last season, she shot 47.6 percent on 10 of 21 shooting. But her playing time had been reduced from 24.9 minutes in 2020-21, down to 12.2.

This year, back home in the San Antonio area, she has flourished.

“I’m just so blessed to be with an amazing program, with amazing girls and amazing staff,” she said. “We’re in March and I’m playing basketball. You gotta love it.”

Coming up

UTSA at Charlotte, Thursday, 5 p.m.
end of regular season
UTSA at Conference USA tournament, March 8-11, at Frisco

Surprising UTSA women hope to keep it going against FAU

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

The UTSA women’s basketball team has a dual mission tonight — make amends for a poor performance earlier this season and keep alive its late-season push in the Conference USA standings.

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

Jordyn Jenkins has scored 528 points, 55 shy of the UTSA school single-season record held by Tammy Rogers, who produced 583 in 1990-91. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Surprising UTSA is 4-3 in its last seven games going into tonight’s home test against the struggling Florida Atlantic University Owls. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Last month, the Roadrunners traveled to Florida and got swept in a two-game C-USA road series, losing at FAU 81-66 and at Florida International, 51-48. A week later, on Jan. 26, they returned home and dropped another close game to North Texas, 54-51.

After losing to the Mean Green, UTSA dropped to 4-15 and 2-8 in the conference.

Since then, the ball club has caught a tail-wind, winning four out of seven games, including victories over Louisiana Tech (on the road), Middle Tennessee and Rice (both at home) and North Texas (on the road).

As a result, the Roadrunners have improved to 8-18 on the season and 6-11 in the C-USA.

The latest victory may have been the most dramatic. Playing in Denton on Monday night, UTSA squandered a nine-point fourth quarter lead before riding Jordyn Jenkins to a 68-67 decision over North Texas in overtime.

In boosting veteran coach Karen Aston to the 300th victory of her career, Jenkins hit 12 of 20 shots from the field, including three of five from 3-point distance. The 40-point showing not only was her career-high, but with 11 rebounds, she also notched her ninth double-double of the year.

If history is any indication, FAU could be a problem tonight for UTSA despite Jenkins’ talents. The Owls dominated the Roadrunners last month, with guard Aniyah Hubbard lighting it up for 21 points. The 5-8 guard also had four rebounds, three assists and four steals.

Defensively, the Owls were effective, holding the Roadrunners to 31 percent shooting. They also out-rebounded the visitors, 27-21. The margin wasn’t that much, but it was one of the few times during the conference schedule that an opponent out-rebounded UTSA.

Lately, FAU has fallen on hard times, losing four straight, dropping the Owls to 12-13 and 5-11, a half game below the Roadrunners in the C-USA standings. Right now, UTSA is ninth in the standings and FAU 10th.

All 11 C-USA teams qualify for the C-USA tournament next month in Frisco, but, generally the higher a team can finish in the regular season, the easier it is to win games and advance.

It’s likely that UTSA will need to win four games in four days to win the C-USA title and make the 64-team NCAA field.


FAU 12-13, 5-11
UTSA 8-18, 6-11

Coming up

FAU at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.
FIU at UTSA, Saturday, noon


UTSA hasn’t won as many as nine games in a season and six games on its conference schedule since the 2017-18 season, when the Roadrunners finished 9-21 and 6-10…Jordyn Jenkins, a UTSA newcomer after transferring from Southern Cal, is 55 points shy of the school record held by Tammy Rogers.

UTSA milestones: Jenkins scores 40 as Aston wins her 300th game

By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay

UTSA coach Karen Aston opened her postgame news conference five nights ago with a wry smile and a joke.

“My first thought is, we just need to play at home, and just skip going on the road,” Aston said. “(Playing at home) makes a huge difference for our team, for some reason.”

Her point was clear.

For the most part, the Roadrunners have been a much better team at home this season than they have been on the road.

But her message also carried another, more subtle, message. Ever the competitor, Aston has grown weary of losing on the road.

Her players heeded the message Monday night in Denton, downing the North Texas Mean Green 68-67 in overtime and handing the coach a milestone 300th career victory.

Responding to social media posts about a career 40-point, 11-rebound performance from junior forward Jordyn Jenkins, Aston applauded the effort with a post on her Twitter feed.

“Front row seat for this one,” she said simply.

Aston had to like another aspect of her team’s showing in Denton, as well.

The Roadrunners put on a rebounding clinic, winning the boards, 46-28, as the coach improved to 300-187 in her career.

Jenkins had her ninth double-figure rebound game of the season, while center Elyssa Coleman snared eight boards and guard Kyra White seven.

With the victory, the resurgent UTSA women completed a three-games-in-five-days stretch with a 2-1 record. They also improved to 4-3 over their last seven games, including a 2-2 record on the road.

In the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners led the Mean Green by nine points with eight minutes remaining, only to see the home team rally to tie and force overtime. Guard Quincy Noble scored eight points in the quarter for North Texas.

UTSA had a chance to win but couldn’t get off a shot on its last possession in the final seconds.

As the game transitioned to overtime, UTSA responded. Jenkins scored eight points, six of them on three buckets going toward the basket and two on free throws with five seconds left that boosted the Roadrunners into a four-point lead.

Jordyn Carter hit a three for North Texas for the final points. The Mean Green were led in the game by Noble, who scored 27 points. Tommisha Lampkin had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Jenkins, a first-year player for the Roadrunners, has stacked multiple eye-opening performances in her first season in Conference USA after playing two years in the Pac-12 for the USC Trojans.

With her 40 points, she was one off Tesha Smith’s school record set six years ago. She did it by hitting 12 of 20 from the field and three of five on 3-point attempts. At the free throw line, she was 13 of 16.

Jenkins, from Kent, Wash., also has scored in the 30s twice and in the 20s eleven times. She has nine double doubles, with double-figure points and rebounds.

Jordyn Jenkins
Top three scoring games at UTSA
40 on the road at North Texas on Feb. 20, 2023. UTSA won 68-67 in overtime.
37 at home vs. UTEP on Jan. 11, 2023. UTEP won 74-67.
35 on the road at Houston on Dec. 19, 2022. Houston won 93-89 in overtime.

UTSA single-game record
41 points by Tesha Smith vs. Florida Atlantic, Feb. 25, 2017.

Coach Aston’s milestone

In defeating North Texas, a program that she once coached, UTSA coach Karen Aston improved to 300-187 in 15 years, good for a winning percentage of .616. Aston has worked previously at Charlotte, North Texas and Texas.


UTSA: 8-18, 6-11
North Texas: 10-17, 7-10


Aston is in her second season at UTSA, improving ever-so-gradually a program that finished 7-23 and 3-14 in the C-USA in 2021-22, her first year at the school. UTSA hasn’t won as many as eight games overall and six games in conference in five years. In 2017-18, UTSA finished 9-21 and 6-10.

Coming up

Florida Atlantic at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Florida International at UTSA, Saturday, noon.
UTSA at Charlotte, March 2, 5 p.m.
End of regular season

Conference USA tournament

March 8-11 at Frisco

New Year’s Eve matinee: UTSA women hope to end 2022 on a high note against UAB

Sidney Love. The UTSA women's basketball team lost to Louisiana Tech 62-57 in the Roadrunners' Conference USA opener on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Sidney Love and the UTSA Roadrunners host the UAB Blazers today at the Convocation Center. Love is a freshman from Steele High School. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Another major test looms today for the UTSA women’s basketball team.

The Roadrunners, improved but still a work in progress in their second season under Coach Karen Aston, host the UAB Blazers in a New Year’s Eve contest at noon in the Convocation Center.

UTSA (2-8, 0-1 in Conference USA) is coming off its first home loss of the season Thursday night.

To recap, the Roadrunners hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer and led by five points at the half. They led by three at the end of three quarters. But they couldn’t hold on, falling 62-57 to all C-USA guard Keiunna Walker and the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

The Blazers (8-3, 0-2 in Conference USA) likely don’t have a player with Walker’s credentials. But they do feature two capable backcourt players in senior Margaret Whitley and freshman Denim DeShields.

Whitley and DeShields are the sparks for a team that leads Conference USA in scoring. The Blazers and Rice Owls both average 77.4 points per game.

Whitley, DeShields and forward Lyndsey Robson all play big minutes, with the three averaging 25 minutes or more. They’re 1-2-3 in scoring, respectively, for the Blazers and 10th-year coach Randy Norton.

DeShields comes from a notable athletic family, with her father, Delino DeShields, Sr., having played 13 years in the major league baseball. Her brother, Delino Jr., is in the major leagues and her sister, Diamond, makes her living in professional basketball in the WNBA.

To beat UAB, UTSA will need to guard the three-point line. The Blazers lead the conference in shooting from beyond the arc at 37.8 percent, with Whitley hitting at an eye-opening 48.3 clip.

Lately, the Blazers have been frustrated in losing their first two conference games — both on the road — to the Charlotte 49ers and the UTEP Miners. The Blazers were stymied in a 76-58 loss at UTEP Thursday night on the first game of a road trip through Texas.


UTSA 2-8, 0-1
UAB 8-3, 0-2

Coming up

UTSA at Middle Tennessee State, Jan. 5
UTSA at Western Kentucky, Jan. 7

Monster rally in Houston boosts UTSA leading into C-USA play

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins averages 20.6 points per game to rank 16th in the nation and first in Conference USA. The Roadrunners open C-USA play by hosting the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters Thursday night. – File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

More than a week has passed since a remarkable women’s college basketball game unfolded at the Fertitta Center in Houston.

In the beginning, the Houston Cougars roamed the passing lanes and pounced on just about every pass thrown by the young UTSA Roadrunners.

An early lead for Houston ballooned to 10. Then to 15. As UTSA kept throwing the ball away, the advantage for the home team widened to 21.

It was only the second quarter, and it looked as if the Cougars might win by 30 or 40 or more. Well, let’s just say that it didn’t quite work out that way.

With UTSA junior forward Jordyn Jenkins putting on a show en route to a career-high 35 points, the Roadrunners opened eyes by unleashing a monster rally, coming all the way back into a few second-half tie scores, before losing 93-89 in overtime.

In one sense, the Houston game is ancient history. It was played nine days ago. Before Christmas. Back before the arctic blast.

In the present tense, the weather has warmed again, and UTSA (2-7) is back home at the Convocation Center, hoping to start a winning trend to coincide with the start of Conference USA play.

Eager to put all those pre-conference losses behind them, Roadrunners are preparing to host the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (7-4) on Thursday night, before they entertain the UAB Blazers (8-2) on Saturday afternoon.

Their last game, nonetheless, remains top of mind.

Coaches and players keep talking about Houston. Aston played the tape of it for her players’ again on Tuesday morning.

The video showed two versions of the Roadrunners.

One of them failed to answer the call after the opening tip, committed numerous turnovers and eventually fell behind, 39-18, midway through the second quarter.

The other played with heart and rallied on a 32-11 streak over a 13-minute stretch that spanned the end of the second and most of the third periods.

That same team battled to the end, with standout performances from several players, including double-digit scoring efforts from Jenkins, Elyssa Coleman, Kyra White and Alexis Parker.

“We re-watched (the tape) this morning,” Aston said late Tuesday afternoon. “What I still don’t know is, what turns their motors on? I mean, I don’t know if they were nervous to start the game, or what.

“They looked a little bit frozen, and then — somewhere in the midst of the second quarter — we got our motors running.”

White, a junior from Judson, said the team still feels positive vibes from the Houston game, even though it will go down as a loss in the record book.

And even though UTSA lost some close games earlier in the season with inconsistent play in the fourth quarter, she said she has a good feeling about the team overall.

“Our last game was Houston, and we lost in overtime, but the game showed a lot for our team,” White said. “We showed grit. We showed fight. We just simply didn’t quit. It was a good way to leave before (Christmas) break.

“Coming back, we’re just trying to get everybody back under their feet and and ready to go play.”

From this point forward, every team that UTSA plays will have Jenkins’ name circled on the scouting report.

At Houston, she struggled early with the physicality of the Cougars’ defense, but she kept battling and hit 12 of 17 shots from the field.

In one stretch, she wowed the crowd at the Fertitta Center with deft moves that you might see in a pro game.

Once, while set up at the elbow, she pivoted, spun through traffic and flipped up a shot left-handed into the net.

In another sequence, she came down on the fast break, sweeping past defenders and into the paint, to score again with the left hand.

The right-handed Jenkins leads Conference USA at 20.6 points per game, while making 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three.

She’s on a roll now, having scored 20 or more in five of her last six outings.

“She’s extremely skilled,” Aston said. “There’s no question. She works on her craft. I mean, she’s in the gym all the time (and) she wants to be great.

“The growth of our team is that we’re starting to figure out who can do what, and I think our team is comfortable knowing they need to get her the ball some.

“I’m not sure we knew that a month ago.

“For her, she’s making better decisions when she gets doubled. Right now, people are, I would say, picking poison against us.”

Aston said the team still needs other players to step up and contribute.

“We also need to see Elyssa Coleman get the ball a little more down low,” the coach said. “She was efficient when she got it (at Houston), and then, you know, we need to have (other) players make open (perimeter) shots.”

Coming up

Louisiana Tech at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.
UAB at UTSA, Saturday, noon.

C-USA standings

FAU 1-0, 8-2
UTEP 1-0, 8-2
Middle Tennessee 1-0, 8-2
Charlotte 1-0, 5-5
Western Kentucky 0-0, 3-6
North Texas 0-0, 3-7
UTSA 0-0, 2-7
Rice 0-1, 9-1
UAB 0-1, 8-2
Louisiana Tech 0-1, 7-4
FIU 0-1, 5-5

Comeback falls short for the UTSA women as Houston wins, 93-89, in overtime

Guard Laila Blair knocked down six free throws in six attempts and assisted on a field goal in the final 1:27 Monday, lifting the University of Houston Cougars to a 93-89 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

Blair’s efforts helped Houston thwart a massive comeback by the Roadrunners, who trailed by as many as 21 points in the second quarter. The Roadrunners, behind junior forward Jordyn Jenkins, rallied on a 32-11 run to tie the game near the end of the third period.

As Houston pulled away again in the fourth quarter, leading by nine with a little more than a minute remaining, UTSA rallied again to tie and send the game to the extra period. Kyra White scored five points in the comeback and freshman Maya Linton sank two free throws with six seconds left to tie it, 80-80.

Houston’s Tiara Young missed a layup in the final seconds that could have won the game, but it bounced off the rim, and the Cougars failed to get off another shot.

In the overtime, Young opened the period with a jumper as the Cougars took the first lead. Jenkins followed by grabbing on offensive rebound and putting it back to tie the score. But when Young made both free throws with 3:35 remaining, Houston had the lead by two. Ultimately, the Cougars would never relinquish it.

Jenkins scored 35 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Roadrunners, who fell to 2-7 on the season and 0-5 on the road. UTSA is 0-2 in neutral site games. Tiara Young led the Cougars with 21 points.


UTSA 2-7
Houston 3-9


Scoring: UTSA — Jordyn Jenkins 35, Elyssa Coleman 15, Kyra White 12, Alexis Parker 11. Houston — Tiara Young 21, Laila Blair 20, Bria Patterson 15, Tatyana Hill 10.

Rebounding: UTSA — Jenkins 10, Coleman 5, White 5. Houston — Tatyana Hill 12, Tiara Young 4.

Team stats

Field goal percentage: UTSA, 32-61, 52.5. Houston, 28-66, 42.4.
Rebounds: UTSA, 44. Houston, 29. Offensive rebounds: UTSA, 13. Houston 10.
Turnovers: UTSA, 36. Houston, 22. Steals: UTSA, 12. Houston, 16.

Coming up

Conference USA opener for UTSA at Louisiana Tech, Dec. 29; UTSA at UAB, Dec. 31.

UTSA’s Jenkins shines after making necessary adjustments

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins had one of her best games as a UTSA player with 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The formula for Jordyn Jenkins’ success on Saturday afternoon was pretty simple. UTSA’s rising standout in women’s basketball made good decisions with the ball. When the 6-foot-1 junior forward wasn’t passing for an assist, she was swinging it to a teammate.

Then, when the traffic cleared, and the ball returned to her hands, she’d either make the Idaho Vandals pay by sticking an easy bucket from close range or by hitting a jumper from the perimeter.

Sidney Love. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Sidney Love from San Antonio-area Steele High School scored a season-high 17 points for her third straight game in double figures. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Unlike previous games when she was saddled with early foul trouble, she stayed away from those agonizing whistles in scoring a team-high 22 points for the Roadrunners in a much-needed 76-69 victory.

“Mostly when it comes to me fouling, they’re offensive fouls,” Jenkins said. “Like, very rare (are they) defensive fouls on the shot. I mean, I really try not to foul anyways. I feel like I have good body control.

“So, I just kind of have to keep that in mind and also have the mindset that I can’t foul. It helps when the team defense is good, then there’s less pressure on me.”

In losing five of six games to start the season, including three in a row, the Roadrunners’ team defense was not good. UTSA coach Karen Aston said as much on the eve of a match with the Vandals of the Big Sky Conference.

A 60-55 loss at Texas State on Nov. 30, when UTSA sqauandered an early 12-point lead, was still front of mind through nine days of practice between games. After holding Idaho to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, though, Aston felt much better.

“Well, I think we were ready to play,” the coach said. “After the bad taste we had in our mouths at Texas State, unfortunately for the players, we had a long break. We did a lot of practicing. I think we accomplished some things … I (think) our defense is improving. Attention to detail is improving.

Queen Ulabo. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Senior Queen Ulabo came off the bench against Idaho and sparked UTSA with a season-high 15 points. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I thought some adjustments we made during the game made a difference. I thought Jordyn adjusted as the game went along. You can tell every game, people have a game plan on her, and what they’re going to do with her. I thought she made a lot of extra passes today and didn’t force things.

“She kind of took what they gave her.”

With Aston starting three freshmen (Sidney Love, Alexis Parker and Maya Linton) and playing with as many as three on the floor at a time through the game, the young Roadrunners responded, building a lead as large as 19 points early in the fourth quarter.

At the outset, they set the tone, opening with three former San Antonio high school players in the backcourt — Love (from Steele), Parker (Brandeis) and junior Kyra White (Judson). Up front were Jenkins, from Kent, Wash., and Linton from Duncanville High School.

When White tweaked an ankle early in the first quarter, she hobbled off the court, returned briefly and then was shut down for the remainder of the afternoon. It was a situation that could have been disastrous, because the 5-10 USC transfer has been one of the team’s most productive players.

But even with White on the bench, the Roadrunners brought in players determined to win, all making plays, hitting shots and gradually building the lead. At the end of the first quarter, it was 18-14. By halftime, it was 37-28.

Karen Aston. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Karen Aston’s UTSA Roadrunners improved to 2-5 for the season and 2-0 at home in the Convocation Center. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Four freshmen — Parker, Love, Siena Guttadauro and Madison Cockrell — had a hand in an impressive 11-0 run to the halftime buzzer. In the second half, the Roadrunners kept up the pressure by hitting the Vandals with another 11-0 streak, this one at the outset of the fourth quarter.

Junior Queen Ulabo started it off with a three out of the corner. Love, the prep player of the year in the San Antonio area last season, capped it with her own corner three that hiked the score to 65-46 with 6:16 remaining.

Jenkins, meanwhile, imposed her will at almost every turn. In reaching the 20-point mark for the third time in her last four games, she hit eight of 13 shots from the field in the face of an assortment of traps and double teams.

Jenkins also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. And, what about fouls? She was whistled for only one, while drawing seven from the Vandals who were doing their best to defend a player with significant skill and touch on her shot.

In postgame interviews, she said she’s dealing with the extra attention from opposing teams as best she can.

“Like coach said, I’m going to just have to take whatever the other team gives me,” said Jenkins, now averaging 18.4 points per game. “I’ve noticed on the court (it’s) a lot more blurry, with a lot more people in my vision, so, in order to make myself better … whatever I do, it needs to be quick.

“Getting my teammates open is what I need to do a little more, just because they’re doubling me.”


Idaho 2-6
UTSA 2-5

Coming up

UTSA at Incarnate Word, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Alexis Parker. UTSA beat Idaho 76-69 in women's basketball on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

The UTSA Roadrunners did a nice job in holding the Idaho Vandals to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 32.1 percent from three. But once again, they allowed their opponent to take too many trips to the free-throw line. Idaho hit 20 of 26 free throws for the game, including 15 of 17 in the second half. UTSA, playing at home, made 14 of 21 freebies. – Photo by Joe Alexander


The five UTSA freshmen that Aston brought into the program over the summer all made their mark against the Vandals. Love had 17 points, five rebounds and two assists. Parker played the most minutes of any of them with 31. She had five points, three assists and a steal. Linton, tasked with guarding Idaho scoring whiz Beyonce Bea, had four rebounds. Off the bench, Cockrell had three points and a steal. Guttadauro finished with three points, hitting from behind the arc on a chaotic play at the end of the first half.

Queen’s day

Senior guard/forward Queen Ulabo had a big day offensively, coming off the bench to score 15 points in 25 minutes. Ulabo made five of eight from the field and four of six from three. Her four three-point baskets were a season high.

Idaho standouts

Guard Sydney Gandy and forward Beyonce Bea led the Vandals with 23 points apiece. A 6-1 forward who likes to play on the perimeter, Bea came into the game eighth in the nation in scoring, averaging 22 per game. UTSA did a decent job in holding her to four of 16 shooting from the field. Bea made UTSA pay, though, in hitting 15 of 18 at the free-throw line. Gandy sank eight of 19 afield, including five of 13 from three.

Video highlights

Alexis Parker’s sweet dish

Siena’s crazy play

Love is all you need


Sorry about the misspelled name in my fourth-quarter tweet (see above). UTSA’s freshman point guard is Sidney Love.

Aston says UTSA must learn to defend better without fouling

Kyra White. UTSA beat Abilene Christian 76-70 on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2022, at the Convocation Center in the Roadrunners' first women's basketball home game of the season. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Versatile guard Kyra White has averaged 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists despite playing five of her first six games away from home. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Saying bluntly that “we’ve got to grow up,” UTSA women’s basketball coach Karen Aston wants her players to acknowledge inconsistencies on the defensive end that have led to a 1-5 start to the season.

“We’ve got to do things better,” she said.

The schedule has been an obvious factor in the first month, with Aston’s Roadrunners losing all five games played away from the Convocation Center.

Karen Aston. UTSA beat Abilene Christian 76-70 on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2022, at the Convocation Center in the Roadrunners' first women's basketball home game of the season. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA coach Karen Aston has challenged her team to step it up defensively. – Photo by Joe Alexander

But on the eve of a Saturday afternoon home game against the University of Idaho, Aston downplayed the schedule and instead lamented what she called a “passive mentality” on defense that has led to an opponent parade to the free-throw line.

In fact, Roadrunners’ opponents have built a lopsided 114-84 advantage — collectively, in all six games — in free throw attempts. Opponents have also surged to a 95-59 edge in free throws made.

Even though UTSA has played three road games and two at neutral sites, it’s never a good thing for a coach to see that wide of a disparity. For the team to succeed in the long term, defending without fouling must become a priority.

“We have to get better,” Aston said. “We have to get in better position. We have to get more disciplined with what we do on the defensive end, because it’s overwhelming right now, the difference in the free throws.”

At least some of the disparity stems from the nature of the game. Ever since Dr. Naismith hung up the peach basket, home teams at all levels of the game have always shot more free throws.

In addition, it’s also true that teams with young and inexperienced players in key roles always tend to get beat up on the road.

But with games looming at Incarnate Word on Dec. 15 and at Houston on Dec. 19, followed by the start of the Conference USA schedule on Dec. 29 at home against Louisiana Tech, it’s a critical juncture of the schedule for the Roadrunners.

If they’re going to win consistently in the spring, when it matters, they need to start making necessary adjustments now.

“We have to be more disciplined and communicate better,” Aston said. “That’s just because we’re throwing so many young kids in the mix, so many that didn’t play last year. I mean, it’s just part of it. We’ve got to grow up. We’ve got to do things better than we’re doing.”

Aston said the Roadrunners, generally speaking, have been guilty of being out of position and reaching to make stops.

“I say this all the time, sometimes you can make a mistake by getting beat, but you don’t want to double it by fouling,” she said. “That’s what we’re doing … We’re getting beat. We’re letting someone have position, or cut on us, and then we’re late to help, so we foul. Or, we get beat and we foul.

“So we have to make some adjustments. We have to get better.”

Coming up

Idaho at UTSA, Saturday, 1 p.m.


Idaho 2-5
UTSA 1-5


Like UTSA, Idaho has struggled in the early going of the season. But Vandals forward Beyonce Bea is eighth in the nation in scoring, averaging 22.6 points on 50.9 percent shooting from the field. The 6-1 native of Washougal, Wash., is also averaging 9.4 rebounds …

Three UTSA players rank in the top three in Conference USA in key individual statistical categories. Junior forward Jordyn Jenkins is third in scoring (17.8) and third in field goal percentage (47.2). Junior guard Kyra White is second in assists (4.0). Sophomore center Elyssa Coleman is second in blocks (1.7). Jenkins scored a season-high 25 points against St. John’s on Nov. 26 …

Coach Karen Aston said she hopes to know “in a couple of weeks” whether 6-foot-4 center Nissa Sam-Grant will be able to play this season. Sam-Grant, a transfer from Panola College, is academically ineligible. Aston declined to speculate on what will happen with an appeal to the NCAA. Despite the uncertainty, Sam-Grant has improved by continuing to practice hard, the coach said.

Texas State’s second-half surge sinks the UTSA women, 60-55

Da’Nasia Hood scored four points in a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter as the Texas State Bobcats rallied past the UTSA Roadrunners 60-55 on Wednesday night in San Marcos.

In all, the Bobcats outscored the Roadrunners 40-26 in the second half. As a result, Texas State (4-2) put a stop to a two-game losing streak and defeated UTSA for the fifth straight time in the Interstate 35 rivalry.

The Bobcats lead 37-33 in the series that dates back to 1981.

For UTSA (1-5), it was a game that held promise early but ultimately turned into a third straight loss. The Roadrunners controlled the action at the outset, leading by 12 in the first quarter and by nine at halftime.

In the second half, they couldn’t contain the Bobcats. Ja’Kayla Bowie led Texas State with 16 points and six rebounds. Bowie hurt the Roadrunners badly in the third quarter with 12 points. Taelour Pruitt scored 14 for the game and Hood added 12.

Junior forward Jordyn Jenkins led the Roadrunners with 18 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Freshman Sidney Love scored 13 points and junior Kyra White had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.


Texas State 4-2
UTSA 1-5

Coming up

Idaho at UTSA, Dec. 10.
Loyola Marymount at Texas State, Saturday, 2 p.m.

First half

Coach Karen Aston’s Roadrunners stunned the Bobcats with a 13-1 run in the first five minutes of the game and stayed in control throughout the half, ducking into the dressing room at intermission with a 29-20 lead.

Surprisingly, two of the Bobcats’ top players weren’t much of a factor. Hood was held to only three shots and four points, and point guard Kennedy Taylor had one point and one assist.

Meanwhile, the half belonged to the Roadrunners’ duo of Jenkins and Love. Love had nine points and four rebounds. Love hit all four of her field goal attempts and scored eight.

UTSA’s lead could have been wider had it not been for 14 turnovers. But the Roadrunners shot the ball well, hitting 10 of 22 from the floor before intermission. The Bobcats, meanwhile, were only 7 of 23 and missed some that they should have made.


Texas State leads the series with UTSA, 37-33. The Bobcats have won five straight and six of seven against the Roadrunners. UTSA hasn’t won a game against Texas State since Dec. 1, 2016 in a 72-47 victory in San Antonio.

NCAA Women’s Final Four returning to San Antonio in 2029

The NCAA Women’s Final Four will return to San Antonio in 2029.

The tournament will be held at the Alamodome, according to an NCAA news release. Previously, San Antonio and its downtown domed stadium have hosted the women’s version of the Final Four — the semifinals and finals of the NCAA tournament — in 2002, 2010 and 2021.

In 2021, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, San Antonio and the surrounding region played host to the entire 63-game NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, which relied on a controlled environment.

The Alamodome was the site when Stanford claimed the 2021 title in front of a limited capacity audience. It was also the site in 2002 when the all-time Women’s Final Four attendance record of 29,619 was set at the national semifinals and the national championship game.

NCAA Women’s Final Four
Future host cities

2023: March 31 and April 2, Dallas, Big 12 Conference and the Dallas Sports Commission, American Airlines Center

2024: April 5 and 7, Cleveland, Mid American Conference and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

2025: April 4 and 6, Tampa Bay, Fla., University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Amalie Arena

2026: April 3 and 5, Phoenix, Arizona State University, Footprint Center

2027: April 2 and 4, Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio State University and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, Nationwide Arena

2028: March 31 and April 2, Indianapolis, Horizon League, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana Sports Corp, Gainbridge Fieldhouse

2029: March 30 and April 1, San Antonio, University of the Incarnate Word, University of Texas at San Antonio and San Antonio Sports, Alamodome

2030: April 5 and 7, Portland, Oregon, University of Portland and Sport Oregon, Moda Center

2031: April 4 and 6, Dallas, Big 12 Conference and the Dallas Sports Commission, American Airlines Center