Saturday, December 6, 2014

UTPA Broncs WBB drop heartbreaker to Texas A&M - Corpus Christi (December 6, 2014)

Edinburg, TX – Mired in a back and forth game where there would lose their leading scorer midway through the first half, the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs fell just short against the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi lslanders 60-57.

The Islanders (2-4) were poised for a breakout performance after several quality outings, including close matchups with Nevada-Las Vegas, Houston, and Rice.

The Broncs (6-5) had hoped that to bounce back from a devastating defeat in their prior outing against the Big 12 powerhouse Baylor Bears. Despite solid defensive effort, their offensive struggles lingered allowing the Islanders to take control early.

“We just got outta sync,” said Bronc Coach Larry Tidwell, “they guarded us really good, and we came back and played hard. We gotta keep working, we have players that need to step up.”

UTPA’s hopes for a rally would take a serious hit around the 10:00 mark of the 1st half, as UTPA’s leading scorer Shawnte’ Goff was carried off the floor in a wheel chair, after an ugly collision under the basket.

With the Broncs down 24-12, Goff sustained pretty serious looking injury while driving to the basket from the left wing and making contact with a TAMUCC defender just outside of the circle.

She was called for the offensive foul, but it soon became clear that something far more worrisome then the suspect call was unfolding, as Goff lay writhing on the floor in pain.

Following a lengthy examination by the athletic training staff, Goff was carried from the floor, forcing Tidwell to examine how his team would regroup with the momentum piling up against them.

“It kinda hurt us a little,” said Broncs point guard T’ Ondria Nolen, “She’s our go to person. Each and Every one of us will have to step up now.”

With the defense holding strong, the Broncs offensive flood gates would open up at the 3:08 mark afterq uick three by Hildur Kjartansdottir sparked a 13-0 run to pull UTPA within 32-30 at half.

The second half would open much as the first had ended for the UTPA, allowing UTPA to extend their run to 33-10 and take a substantial 50-42 lead on a layup from Nolen at the 9:12 mark.

The tide would soon shift again, however as the Islanders came flooding back wave by wave and cut the deficit to just 54-53 with 1:50 left to play.

Without their leading scorer, and the presence of a skilled threat in the post, the Broncs offense would come up just short again, allowing the Islanders to out dueled them from the free-throw line for a 60-57 lead.

UTPA had one final look with :09 left, however freshman Tori Swain was unable to get a good off a good look, allowing the clock to expire.

“We had the play we wanted their at the end,” said Tidwell, “why are we passing the ball, why not go up and try to score it?”

In spite of the loss the Broncs had one of their best performances in the post from Brittany Bush, who amassed a staggering 8 blocks, the second highest single game effort in program history.

UTPA will get a week off before they take the floor next Sunday against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Preview: UTPA Brons WBB Return Home to Face TAMUCC (December 6, 2014)

Edinburg, TX – Fresh of their worst loss in head coach Larry Tidwell’s tenure with the program, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Women’s Basketball team will look to bounce back when they host the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on Saturday.

The Broncs (6-4) have played by far the most grueling schedule of any Division 1 team to open their year. This schedule was designed by Tidwell to mimic the torrid pace and strain that awaits the team at the end of year with the WAC tournament, and hopefully a NCAA Tournament berth.

That game plan looked to have paid major dividends as the Broncs have shown flashes of brilliance early in the season, defeating back to back opponents by over 40 points each. But, physically they might have also hit a wall of fatigue.

Their last outing was a clear sign in which they looked completely out manned by the size of the Baylor Bears in a 96-42 thrashing.

UTPA will need to put that ending behind them on Saturday, when they return home to face similar-sized and familiar opponent in TAMUCC.

This Islanders (1-4) project to be a much better team than their record would indicate. Their four early losses have come against quality Division 1 opponents, including UNLV, Rice, and Houston. Their trip to Edinburg will the finale in their extended four game road trip that took them out west for two games.

The Broncs are led offensively by sensations sophomore guard Shawtne’ Goff who averages over 18 points per game to compliment the team stellar defense. Look for the Broncs to push the ball up of the floor in transition as they use their defensive pressure to keep the Islanders on the heels.


The Islanders lead by Junior Shay Weaver averages 17 points and over 6 rebounds per game. Watch or TAMUCC to attempt to bound the ball into the post to keep the smaller UTPA lineup from fronting the ball the protection the rim.


For all the live audio and stats with the Jonah Goldberg right here, or make sure check back for a post-game wrap up right here on the Box Score Report.


Preview: UTPA Broncs MBB Closes Five Game Road Trip Against Sam Houston State Bearkats (November 6, 2014)

Huntsville, TX – Looking to regroup from a sound defeat by the Houston Cougars in their last outing, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Men's Basketball team will concluded their five game road trip with a visit to the Sam Houston State University Bearkats on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.


The Broncs (4-3) have experienced a roller coaster ride offensively since starting the season 3-0. Despite the teams marked improvement in athleticism and size in comparison to previous years. The Broncs still have lingering issue with efficiency form the free throw line and beyond mid-range jumpers.

Huntsville, TX – Looking to regroup from a sound defeat by the Houston Cougars in their last outing, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs will concluded their five game road trip with a visit to the Sam Houston State University Bearkats on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
The Broncs (4-3) have experienced a roller coaster ride offensively since starting the season 3-0. Despite the teams marked improvement in athleticism and size in comparison to previous years, the Broncs still have lingering issues with efficiency from the free throw line and beyond mid-range jumpers.
UTPA head coach Dan Hipsher has been clear that for his team to be successful they will need to take clean high-percentage shoots and then rally on defense against a marked disadvantage in size.
Defensively the Broncs (4-3) are doing their part holding their opponents to 75 ppg, however the offense has sputtered. This has been especially true on their recent road trip where they have averaged just 66 ppg, while going (1-3).
Their counterparts from East Texas, the Sam Houston State Bearkats (4-3) have come very close to being giant slayers twice this season, having lost to UNLV 59-57 on November 16th, and the Texas A&M Aggies 66-63 in their last outing on December 3rd.
A win on Saturday could do wonders for the RPI of both programs, given the high quality of opponents that each have faced already in 2014-2015.

The Broncs are led by super sophomore Janari Joesaar who averages 18 points and 9 rebounds on the year, and the combined efforts Shaquille Boga and Shaquille Hines, a pair I refer to as the “Shaq Attack”. UTPA will also look for a quality follow up performance by starting post player Dan Kimasa, who came just one rebound shy of his first career double-double in their last outing.
The emergence of Kimasa as a consistent low-post presence would be a huge leap forward for the Broncs who have developed a reputation as a guard centric team.
The Bearkats are led offensively by the tandum of Kaheem Ransom and DeMarcus Galtin who each average above 10 ppg. Ransom also leads the team in assists, steals, and FT %. Broncs fans will also want to keep a close eye on Bearkats Center, 6’11” Michael Holyfield, who should represent the one of the Broncs biggest size disadvantages in non-conference play.
Fans can follow live stats from the game here. Make sure to check back for a post-game recap right here on The Box Score Report.

UTPA Broncs MBB offense falters in 72-58 loss to Houston Cougars (December 5, 2014)

Houston, TX – In what many Bronc fan’s hoped would a signature road victory for their young squad, UTPA Broncs Men’s Basketball team’s offense faltered in a 72-58 loss against the Houston Cougars on Friday from Hofheninz Pavilion in Houston.

The Broncs (4-3) entered play hoping to carry over some of the momentum from their last outing, a decisive win over the University of North Dakota, to close the Utah Thanksgiving Tournament. Despite a solid defense performance, though the Broncs offense never really found it’s footing against a very active Cougar zone.

The Cougars (3-1) have shown a laudable amount of resiliency in their first year under new head coach Kelvin Sampson. Despite a roster filled with new faces, the Cougars have meshed well and are on their way to being among the better teams in the American Athletics Conference.


UTPA jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on a jumper by Shaquille Hones, and held that that lead for roughly four minutes of playing time. However, Houston would steal the lead away at the 14:35 mark on a deep three by Eric Weary Jr. and never look back.


The Cougars offensive strategy had a different feel after they took the lead, pressing the ball up the court with precision ball movement to counter the Broncs speed. As UTPA’s offense continue to struggle, shooting a meager 30 percent for the field and 12.5 from outside the arc, the Broncs defense was left with the arduous task of holding the game within reach.


By half-time the Cougars lead had extended to 43-25, and the Broncs coach Dan Hipsher was searching for answers.


UTPA would ramp up their defensive pressure in the second half, allowing the Broncs to claw their way back into the match at 56-48. However their offense would again fall flat as they went from 1-10 from long range and allowed Houston to pull way in route to the final.


The Broncs were paced by Shaquille Hines with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block. They also received a quality performance from post player Dan Kimasa who almost notched his first career double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds.


The Cougars finished with four players in double figures, led by Cavon Baker with 18 points. Devonta Pollard also shined again for Houston, notching his first double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds.


The UTPA will wrap up their five game road trip on Saturday when they take the floor in Huntsville, TX against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Preview: UTPA Broncs MBB Looks to Keep with History with Match Against The Houston Cougars (November 4, 2014)

Houston, TX – Off to their best start since the 2007-2008, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Men’s Basketball team will look to extend their success on Thursday when they visit the Houston Cougars at 7:00 p.m.

The Broncs (4-2) will look to build on their success over the weekend that saw them defeat the University of North Dakota 78-60 to close out the Utah Tournament in Salt Lake City. A win would keep the 2014-2015 squad on pace with that successful team for 2007-2008 that amassed an 18 win season, one of the best in recent memory.

The key to UTPA’s success will be the continued triumph of sophomore guard Janari Joesaar who is averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assist thus far on the year. Joesaar’s efforts are supported extensively by the exploits of UTPA’s “Shaq Attack” the combined efforts of Shaquille Hines and Shaquille Boga who carry cumulative 30 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The Cougars (2-1) are still working to get their playing legs under them in 2014-2015. First year coach Kelvin Sampson, former coach at Oklahoma and Indiana, brings a vastly different feel to the floor. Houston has a much more balance offensive attack then was the case in recent years, with four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Devonta Pollard at 19 points per game.

UTPA should match up very well with the Houston with neither team sport a player over 6’10” or 240 lbs. Look for UTPA to funnel their motion offense through Boga and Joesaar as they look to use their speed to counter the 2-3 zone that Houston has employed in their young season.

The game can we watch live on Watch ESPN or with the Watch ESPN AP on your phone, tablet, or pc. As always, be sure to check back right for a post-game recap on The Box Score Report.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Preveiw: UTPA Broncs WBB Travel to Waco to Face #11 Baylor Bears (December 3, 2014)

Waco, TX – There are a few clear goals for the University of Texas-Pan Americans Women’s Basketball team in the 2014-2015 season, secure the first winning season in school history, win a WAC championship and earn the programs first trip to a post-season tournament.

Many coaches would accomplish that first goal by scheduling the softest schedule possible and then hope the rest will work itself out, however, Larry Tidwell is not your average head coach.

Rather than shying away from premier competition, Tidwell has sought it out, scheduling contests against four Top 25 teams to start the season. The results have been encouraging, with Broncs playing both Texas A&M and Texas closely in two of those first three games.

That success hasn’t equated to wins, however as the Broncs stand at 0-3 in those contests and have failed to secure a victory against that elite competition.

UTPA will get another shot on Wednesday when they make the trek to Waco to take on the #11 Baylor Bears, in what will likely be their last match against a Top 25 opponent in this regular season.

The Broncs (6-3) are led by sophomore Shawnte Goff who is averaging 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in her second campaign with the program. UTPA will need a big performance from their most seasoned post player, Brittany Bush, who leads the team in rebounds and blocked shots.

Their counterparts from the Big 12, the Baylor Bears, are pace offensively by the tandem of Khadijiah Cave and Nina Davis, who each average in excess of 16 points per game. You can expect Baylor to pound the ball into the post to take advantage of UTPA’s only true defensive weakness, their lack of size.

UTPA will be without starting guard Kaeylnn Boyd and G/F Rickell Preston after disciplinary actions were handed on Monday evening.

Boyd was dismissed following an unspecified violation of the department student-athlete code of conduct and team policy as well as for conduct detrimental to the team, while Preston was given a two game suspension for violating department and team policy.

Look for senior Tonisha Walker, the team’s leading 3 pointer shooter and arguably their best on ball defender, to fill the void left in Boyd’s absence, with additional minutes available for Stephanie Onyeje and Troi Swain.

The Broncs and Bears tip-off at 7:00 p.m. from the Ferrell Center in Waco. The live video can be seen here and for a post-game recap, be sure to check back right here on the Box Score Report.

UTPA Passes on Renewal of Volleyball Coach Brian Yales Contract

EDINBURG – The University of Texas-Pan American Athletics Department announced on Tuesday the they would not renew the contract of volleyball head coach Brian Yale’s following its expiration at years end.
"After a careful review of our volleyball program, I think a change is needed," said Athletic Director Chris King, “We wish Brian all the best and thank him for his efforts with the Broncs volleyball program over the last four years.” 

The 2014 campaign was Yale's fourth with the program and his second since the Broncs joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2013.
Yale compiled an overall record of 37-86 in his time with UTPA, including a 5-25 mark in WAC play.
In his final season UTPA went 7-23 overall and 3-11 in conference to finish in seventh out of eight WAC teams. Their final match of the season came on November 20th, a 3-0 sweep by the Bakersfield Roadrunner in the opening round of the WAC tournament.
The university also announced that the search for Yale’s replacement will begin immediately.
A popular candidate might be Todd Lowery, a four-time national champion at the NAIA level, who is in his final season at the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). It was announced earlier this year that UTB's athletics program would be dissolved with the pending merger to launch UTRGV.
Lowery's UTB team is currently in Souix City, IA taking part in the NAIA National Championship Tournament, their sixth under his direction.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Strong Defense Propels UTPA Broncs WBB to 71-47 victory over Texas Lutheran (December 1, 2014)

Edinburg, TX – In their final tune-up before their trip to Waco, TX for a date with the Baylor Bears, the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs defeated the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs 71-47.

The win also extends the Broncs (6-3) home record to 5-0 and afford UTPA the opportunity to sit several of it’s starters, including post player Brittany Bush, in anticipation for their trip to Waco.

The Bulldogs (2-3) put up a valiant fight in the early going match UTPA’s defensive intensity play for play in what was a low scoring first few minutes of play.

Typically, the Broncs defense opens up a litany of transitional offensive opportunities, but their tenacious defense never seemed to kick start the offense in the first half.

“The press defense is what we live on,” said Broncs coach Larry Tidwell, “it gets us into our offense, and we get some easy baskets off of it. We’re gonna live and die with the press.”

UTPA opened the game on a 12-2 run, capped by a T’Ondria Nolen layup, over the first five minutes of play.

Texas Lutheran would find some success pushing the pace soon after, to disorient the Broncs over the next 10 minutes to keep the game within reach at 28-18 by half-time.

The Broncs would regroup during half-time and came out of the locker room looking like a completely different team.

“We’re quick,” said senior Tonisha Walker, “we have a lot of players who can front the ball. Our goal is to not let them get set in their offense and make them uncomfortable.”

UTPA’s swarming defense wreaked havoc over the first 12:00 of second half play to spark a 29-9 run, and put the game out reach leading up the 71-47 final.

Walker found her rhythm in the second half, going 2-2 from behind the arc and 4-4 from the floor to lead all scorers with 16 points.

“She’s a starter, we just had her coming off the bench,” said Tidwell, “she came in tonight and stepped up… that what she has got to do.”

Despite the win, a somber mood permeated the Fieldhouse however, as just an hour before tip-off Tidwell announced the dismissal of starter KaeLynn Boyd for violation of the student-athlete code of conduct and team policy, as well as for conduct detrimental to the team.

Tidwell knows that his team will have a major void to fill with the loss of Boyd, saying “It will be a big impact. I’ll miss her. I liked her energy…we’re just gonna move on from there.”

That same press release also announced that junior Rickell Preston had been awarded a two game suspension that would extend through the teams trip to Waco later this week.

UTPA’s will next set their sights on Wednesday’s bout with the #11 Baylor Bears.

To be successful the Broncs will need to dig deep and find that defensive tenacity that allowed them to play eye to eye with Texas A&M earlier this season.

“We gotta rebound, we gotta get some points inside, and we just gotta fight,” said Tidwell, “We’ll have to pull a few rabbits out of the hat and see if we can get it going.”

UTPA Broncs WBB announces Dimssial of Boyd and Suspension of Preston


EDINBURG – In a press release just an hour before The University of Texas-Pan American women’s basketball was scheduled to tip-off against the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs, Broncs head coach Larry Tidwell announced on Monday that junior guard KaeLynn Boyd has been dismissed from the team.
The move was motivated by a recent violation of the department student-athlete code of conduct and team policy as well as for conduct detrimental to the team.
In the same release, Tidwell also announced junior forward Rickell Preston has been suspended two games for violating department and team policy.
Preston’s suspension begins with tonight’s game against Texas Lutheran and concludes with Wednesday’s contest at No. 11 Baylor.
The UTPA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics stated that they will have no further comment.

Broncs WBBs' Goff honored by College Sports Madness

College Sports Madness released it's WAC Player of the Week honors on Monday, annoucing UTPA's Shawnte' Goff as the Women's Basketball Player of the Week for November 24-30.

A sophomore from Copperas Cove, TX, Goff lead the Broncs to at .500 week including a quality win over Southland Conference opponent Houston Baptist 75-72. She compiled a stat line over the week of 23 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 steals, while shooting .462 from the field and .417 from deep.

The highlight of her week came on Saturday afternoon where she set a new career high of 31 points and a season high 5 assists in the Broncs defeat of HBU.

The Broncs will look to extend their undefeated home record on Monday evening when they host Texas Lutheran at 7:00 p.m.