Flipping the script: UTSA women ride a fourth-quarter rally to a 71-68 victory over UAB

Jordan Jenkins hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 9 seconds left. UTSA women's basketball beat UAB 71-68 on Saturday at the Convocation Center for the Roadrunners' first Conference USA win of the season. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Jordyn Jenkins played only 18 minutes because of foul trouble but hit the game-winning shot — a 3-pointer — with nine seconds left. With the victory, UTSA snapped a three-game losing streak. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

UTSA coach Karen Aston and her staff improved the program in so many areas since the end of last season. They brought in eight newcomers, including five freshmen, to bolster the roster. The returning players all made strides to better themselves.

At the same time, the Roadrunners took their lumps early in Aston’s second year as coach.

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

UTSA freshman Sidney Love scored a season and career-high 23 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. – File photo by Joe Alexander

They played through November and most of December and, because of late-in-the-game mistakes or bad breaks or, whatever, they couldn’t seem to turn the corner toward respectability — until Saturday.

Trailing by 10 points in the second half and by seven after three quarters, UTSA caught a spark and raced to a 71-68 victory over the UAB Blazers at the Convocation Center.

Junior forward Jordyn Jenkins hit the winner on a three-pointer at the top of the circle with nine seconds left, and freshman guard Sidney Love blocked a shot at the buzzer, as the Roadrunners prevailed to split two games on their first weekend of C-USA competition.

“I’m really happy for the girls,” Aston said. “It’s a growth process. But at the same time, you do need to be rewarded a little bit. Hopefully this gives us some confidence to know that (we) can win close games.

“In reality, all of our conference teams look like this. I think there’s a lot of parity in our league based on what you’re looking at and some of the teams I’ve seen.

“It’s going to be a possession game from this point forward, and I think we’re getting closer to understanding what every possession means.”

Siena Guttadauro. UTSA women's basketball beat UAB 71-68 on Saturday at the Convocation Center for the Roadrunners' first Conference USA win of the season. - Photo by Joe Alexander

California native Siena Guttadauro also sparked the fourth-quarter rally with nine points, an assist and a steal. In one sequence, she hit back-to-back triples. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Calling it a game for the UTSA guards, Aston couldn’t have been happier with the way her freshman backcourt players performed in the fourth quarter. Love scored 11 points and Siena Guttadauro contributed nine in the last 10 minutes.

Finer details of the fourth quarter rally? Love and Guttadauro combined for seven field goals, including six threes, and they each made three apiece from long distance.

In addition, Kyra White executed a solid play on the game-winning three by Jenkins, driving on the right side and then hooking a pass out to Jenkins on the perimeter. UAB freshman Denim DeShields, sucked into the middle on the drive, ran out to the perimeter to contest Jenkins’ jumper with a hande up, but it was too late.

“I thought the game was about our guards today,” Aston said. “…They were aggressive. They were in attack mode. So I think that possession in particular was from the fact that they were aggressive the whole game, so everybody kind of drew to Kyra, which created Jordan being pretty much wide open.”

Jenkins, the C-USA’s leading scorer, said it felt “pretty good” to drain the three.

“There’s been a couple of games when it’s been close and I’d been taking shots that hadn’t fallen,” she said. “So, it was like tough on my mental … The last shot, (it) felt good. It gives me some confidence. Yeah. It’s cool. I love when my teammates celebrate.”

Karen Aston. UTSA women's basketball beat UAB 71-68 on Saturday at the Convocation Center for the Roadrunners' first Conference USA win of the season. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Trailing by seven points going into the fourth quarter, Coach Karen Aston’s UTSA Roadrunners rallied to win, improving to 3-8 overall and 1-1 in Conference USA. – Photo by Joe Alexander

After Jenkins connected, the Blazers called time out to set up a play on the other end. But as the ball was inbounded and found its way to UAB forward Lyndsey Robson on the 3-point line, her shot was blocked by Love, and it bounded away as time expired.

All of that was a welcome change of fortune for the Roadrunners, who cheered wildly from the bench when the final horn sounded. At that point, too, the box score did not lie. There was Love, a first-year collegian out of San Antonio-area Steele High School, with a team-high 23 points.

“It always feels good when I can do anything to benefit the team,” Love said. “I guess this game, it just happened to be me and Siena, who sort of stepped up for the team.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was Guttadauro, who had not played in the team’s last three games. The native Californian hadn’t played since the Idaho game on Dec. 10, and yet she came in and sparked the team, including back-to-back threes at one point.

“No, it didn’t surprise me,” Love said. “I’m confident in Siena. She’s a pure shooter. She can shoot the ball with her eyes closed.”


UTSA 3-8, 1-1
UAB 8-4, 0-3

Coming up

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


UAB — Guard Denim DeShields had 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Off the bench, Forward Destinee McGhee scored 11 and forward Tracey Bershers had 10. Margaret Whitley, the team’s leading scorer, was held zero for eight shooting and four points.

UTSA — Guard Sidney Love, a season-high 23 points. Also seven rebounds. Jenkins, averaging a C-USA best 20.6 coming in, had 13 points in 18 minutes limited by foul trouble. Guttadauro, nine points on three of five triples, all in the fourth quarter. Guard Kyra White, four points, 10 rebounds, nine assists.


The Roadrunners shuffled their starting lineup, going with Madison Cockrell, Hailey Atwood, Queen Ulabo, White and Jenkins. Love and Elyssa Coleman (seven points, seven rebounds) were the first players to sub into the game for UTSA.

Madison Cockrell. UTSA women's basketball beat UAB 71-68 on Saturday at the Convocation Center for the Roadrunners' first Conference USA win of the season. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Madison Cockrell started in the backcourt and produced six points, two assists and two rebounds. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA outrebounded UAB, 53-35, including 21-8 on the offensive glass. The Roadrunners also made a season-high 11 three-point shots. They held the best three-point percentage team in the C-USA to eight of 29 from distance.

Delino DeShields Sr. is the father of UAB’s freshman point guard. Her brother, Delino Jr., has played seven years in MLB, including last season with the Cincinnati Reds. Sister Diamond DeShields is with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

First half

The Roadrunners controlled the boards, winning the battle on the offensive glass decisively, as they battled the UAB Blazers to a 29-29 deadlock at halftime.

The game played at the UTSA Convocation Center featured a battle of freshmen point guards. Denim DeShields had 13 at the half for the Blazers, while Madison Cockrell had six points and two assists for the Roadrunners.

JB’s video replay

Drilling the game winner

Firing up the three ball

Making the simple play

Scooping the competition

Driving the lane to score