The crowd dressed in black, the band played and the dance team performed: the time had come for UTSA Roadrunner Basketball. The team did not disappoint as they took a 78-64 victory in a pre-season exhibition against the Mary Hardin Baylor Crusaders Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
The first half of the game appeared to be the makings of a shootout with the Crusaders taking a 33-32 lead into the half. It was to be the last time the Crusaders would as the Runners pulled away with an 11-2 run in the first four and a half minutes of the second half.
Devin Gibson, Morris Smith IV and Omar Johnson led the team in scoring. Gibson had 22 points, while Smith and Johnson had 12 points apiece. Gibson, the reigning NCAA steals leader, came up with six steals, while Johnson lead the team with six assists.
The Roadrunners turned the ball over 27 times and committed 31 team fouls.
“We have to take better care of the ball; we have a new offense that will take some time but we have to work on turnovers and rebounding,” Thompson said.
Coming into the game, Thompson was worried about how his new players would handle a real game situation.
“We just told the guys to go out there and show maximum effort. I knew we would make mistakes, but I think there are some positives that we can work on,” Thompson said.
The Roadrunners must prepare for a two-game road trip, at Oklahoma State on Nov. 14 and at Iowa on Nov. 17. UTSA will host its season opener on Nov. 22 against East Central University.
SAN ANTONIO – UTSA shot 51 percent from the floor en route to an easy 71-46 victory against the St. Edward’s Hilltoppers on Saturday night at the Convocation Center.
Sophomore guard Jordan Stark scored a game-high 15 points to go along with four rebounds, while senior forward Onika Anderson and sophomore guard Rachel Schlosser had 13 points apiece. Senior guard Monica Gibbs added 10 points and had a game-best six assists in the team’s final tuneup for the 2008-09 season.
“I thought we played well tonight with our four-guard set,” head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair said. “I was proud of our defensive effort against a really good team and how the girls overcame a slow start early in the first half. They really came out better tonight and we’re ready for the season opener on Friday night.”
UTSA continued its offensive onslaught with a 9-0 run to begin the second half, giving the Roadrunners their largest lead of the night at 48-16. St. Edward’s countered with a 10-0 spurt to pull within 20 at the 11-minute mark, but UTSA responded with a spurt of its own to extend the lead to 63-37.
Gibbs helped UTSA get out to a 12-9 lead, as she netted six points early in the first half. After the Hilltoppers pulled within two with 11:24 to go, the Roadrunners scored 22 of the next 26 points to push their lead to 34-14 with three minutes left in the stanza.
A basket by Marissa Rauss ended an eight-minute scoreless drought and UTSA netted the final five points to give them a 39-14 advantage at the half.
Charron Sumler led St. Edward’s with a team-high 12 points.
The Roadrunners open their regular season on Friday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. against Texas A&M International.