Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

What you missed this winter break


As final scantrons were turned in and extra credit points were counted, students at UTSA concluded Fall 2023 and nestled their way back into the warm confines of their homes. While the fall semester may mark the end for many students, in the world of UTSA sports, athletes were hard at work this winter on the field and the court. 

After a heartbreaking loss at Yulman Stadium on Black Friday, the Roadrunners looked to rebound during their bowl game against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl. Leading up to the Dec. 19 matchup, the media and the Thundering Herd’s defense were under the impression that seventh-year senior quarterback Frank Harris would make his final start for the ‘Runners. 

The morning of the game, UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor released a statement regarding Harris’s condition. Harris’s illustrious career came to an end at Tulane, where he suffered another shoulder injury. Harris would announce on X that he would retire from football and not declare for the 2024 NFL Draft. Traylor knew Harris would not play in the bowl and kept it a secret. “It was the best-kept secret in all of San Antonio,” Traylor said.

Making his first start, freshman quarterback Owen McCown would get the starting nod in the wake of an injured Harris. Marshall would jump out to a 7-0 to start the game after a dominant performance by their defense. By the second quarter, both sides of the ball began to get into a comfortable groove. UTSA’s defense held the Thundering Herd scoreless in the second half, arguably their best defensive game this season. 

UTSA earned their first bowl win in program history over Marshall in a 35-17 route. Unlike the usual traditional Gatorade dunk, coach Traylor was dunked with iced coffee from a giant Scooter’s branded coffee cup. The 2023 season would mark the final year for multiple players who contributed to the advancement of the Roadrunner program from a “little-known” startup to a Group of Five powerhouse. 

Both men’s and women’s basketball teams worked hard on the court during the winter break. The men’s basketball team would start their winter schedule with a dominant 93-60 victory over Arkansas-Fort Smith. The Roadrunners would travel to Corvallis and lose in heartbreaking fashion as Oregon State benefited from a foul committed by junior guard Chris Tucker. The Beavers would score their two free throws as time expired. 

With the start of conference play on Jan. 2, the Roadrunners would drop their inaugural game in the American Athletic Conference in another disappointing two-point loss to the UAB Blazers. With three minutes left and down ten, the Blazers scored on the back of sophomore guard Efrem Johnson. Tied at 76-76 with time running out, Johnson clinched the win over the roadrunners with a high jumper, making the score 78-76 when the final buzzer rang. 

UTSA would immediately capture their first conference win against their old Conference USA foe, the Rice Owls. Junior guard Jordan Ivy-Curry would hit two crucial free throws to tie the game with three seconds left in regulation. During overtime, UTSA would hold the Owls to just five points. As overtime expired, Ivy-Curry sank the game’s final two points, giving the ‘Runners the 89-82 win.

After starting the season off 5-3, the women’s basketball team dropped its first two games of their winter schedule. The first came in a close 66-64 loss to Houston at the convention center. A 61-41 thrashing on the road against Oregon would tie the win-loss column at 5-5. Like the men’s team, the women’s team would also lose their inaugural AAC matchup in a 16-point loss to Temple. 

Starting the conference play 0-2, fortune started to change for the ‘Runners, returning home for the first time since the Houston game. UTSA would shock the Wichita State Shockers in a 74-60 victory, earning the program’s first AAC conference win. Junior guard Elyssa Coleman put on a clinic against the Shockers, scoring 32 points and capturing 19 rebounds, giving her a double-double. 

The momentum for the ‘Runners has not fizzled out; the women’s basketball team is currently holding a four-game win streak and has dominated their opponents in near blowout fashion. Their biggest test so far was a two-overtime thriller versus the Charlotte 49ers, the AAC’s last undefeated squad. The women’s basketball team holds a solid 10-7 record and is in fifth place in the conference standings. 

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Kingman
Nicholas Kingman, Assistant Opinion Editor
Nicholas is a freshman CAP student who joined The Paisano in Summer 2023. He is a San Antonio Native and is excited to stay home for another year.

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