Saturday, January 24, 2015

UTPA Broncs MBB Picks Up Electrifying Win Over Grand Canyon 73-72 (January 24, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - Dan Hipsher knows his team has the potential to be dangerously competitive in Western Athletic Conference play. The Broncs are a team built with enough speed to run almost everyone they face ragged. The problem has been consistency, both offensively and defensively, as his group of men work to balance the rigors of life as Division One student athletes.

They might have taken their first big step as team on Saturday, in what was quite possibly their most dramatic win under his tenure at UTPA.

The Broncs generated a thrilling inbounds steal-and-flash layup by Elijah Watson with under :03 left, to defeat The Grand Canyon University Antelopes 73-72.

"I just blanked out," said Watson with an elated grin, "I just got the ball and went to the rim. I didn't look for any body. I was just thinking score...everybody was real excited, but we had to stay composed."

Ask any of the loyal Bronc Fans in attendance and they will tell you with hoarse voices that this the win could not have come at a better time, or in a more electrifying fashion.

The Broncs (8-13, 2-3 in WAC) were looking for a strong offensive showing, fresh off a string of sub-par performances in their first few WAC home games, and that is exactly what they did.

Three Broncs reached double figures, lead by a double-double from  Janari Joesaar with 16 points and 11 rebounds, "The Shaq Attack", Shaquille Boga with 18 points and 7 assists, and Shaquille Hines added 18 points and 3 rebounds.

"It helps the whole team out. I want to be like that," said Joesaar, "I want to have three or four guys in double's easier to win, the other guys get more confident because of it.

Hipsher has been working with his players, and especially his point guard, to build confidence in their ability to hold their own offensively despite a few rough outings.

"I told him (Shaquille Boga) regardless of the way you've been shooting the ball, you have too shoot the ball for us... He stayed with it, knocked a couple in, and hopefully that build his confidence."

Even with his strong showing, Boga maintained his customary modesty saying, "I know my game, I'm better attacking the defense, instead of just shooting. Coach thinks I'm a good shooter, but I tell him all time, I'm not a great shooter, I'm an attacking guy."

That strong offensive showing kept the Broncs on the cusp of victory for over 39:00 of the game, however a late offensive flurry by the Antelopes had the Broncs reeling, down 72-71 with under :08 left.

The Antelopes (11-10, 2-2 in WAC) are a team built to shoot and that fact become abundantly clear in Saturday's game as they shot a sniper-esque 47% from outside, to come just seconds away for stealing a victory in Edinburg.

"They can shoot it," said Boga, "They're one of the best teams in the conference like that."

After leading for almost the entire game, UTPA's defense would come shinning through out of their last timeout, as Hines used a pinball deflection of the inbounds pass to hit a streaking Watson for a pandemonium inducing layup with :02 seconds to play.

"All that was running through my mind was we gotta get a steal," said Watson, "I didn't know I was gonna be the guy to get the ball and go the rim. That was a crazy moment for me."

Hipsher had many positive things to say about his team's effort and especially that of Watson.

"It's a great deflection by Shaq (Hines), a pick up by Watson, and he goes in and makes a play. But, you know what it was the right play," said Hipsher, "He made a great play a possession before... it's the right play, and make or miss you feel like you did the right thing."

UTPA will hit the road for their next three games, with stops at New Mexico State on January 31st, Missouri-Kansas City on February 5th and Chicago State on February 7th.

While Grand Canyon heads home for matches against Missouri-Kansas City on January 29th and Chicago State on January 31st.

Preview: UTPA Broncs MBB Looks to Rebound Against Grand Canyon Antelopes (January 24, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Men's Basketball Team will look to rebound from a rough four game loosing streak on Saturday when they host the Grand Canyon University Antelopes in Western Athletic Conference Action.

The Broncs (7-13, 1-3 in WAC) are in the midst of their worst offensive stretch in recent history. Despite the offense emergence of sophomore Janari Joesaar and freshman Dan Kimasa, UTPA has failed to eclipse the 60 point mark in each of their last four games and the 50 point mark in two.

As the losses have pile up, the Broncs have also begun to lose traction in the conference title race behind Seattle University and New Mexico State at (3-1).

The Antelopes (11-9, 2-1 in WAC) lost their bid at a perfect conference season on Thursday in a 85-63 loss to the New Mexico State Aggies. A win keeps GCU just a half game back in the raced for a conference championship.

GCU has an NBA pedigree on their bench in head coach Dan Majerle who spend 14 years in the NBA as a shooting guard for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Miami Heat.

UTPA is lead offensively by WAC leading scorer Janari Joesaar who averages 18.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. The Broncs have also seen a significant uptick on production from Dan Kimasa who's averaging 9.5 points and 7.8 points per game in conference play.

GCU are paced offensively by a trifecta of scoring threats in DeWayne Russell, Joshua Braun, and Royce Woolridge, who average 17.3, 10.8, and 10.0 points per game.

Saturday's match will be the third meeting between these two schools, with GCU holding 2-0 advantage dating back to their first two meeting last season.

If you are unable to make it out to game you can catch all the action with the voice of the Broncs Jonah Goldeberg, here, or for live updates follow me on twitter as @smithkb.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UTPA MBB Looks Overmatched in 72-54 Loss to Utah Valley Wolverines (January 22, 2015)

Edinburg, TX – In a game that seemed to get away from them before they even had a chance to break a sweat, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs struggled mightily in a 72-54 loss to the Utah Valley University Wolverines.

Much of Thursday night’s action was reminiscent of the WAC Tournament Quarter match between these two programs, a game where UVU shot over 80% in the first half in route to a lopsided victory that ended UTPA’s 2013-2014 season.

“Give them (UVU) credit,” said Broncs head coach Dan Hipsher, “they played us soft, made our non-shooters shoot. In the second half we went to a deeper triangle….but didn’t execute.”

The Broncs (7-13, 1-3 in WAC) are in the midst of a deflating 4 game losing streak including their last three in conference, since a 64-59 victory over the Chicago State Cougars to open WAC play on January 10th.

Over that stretch nothing has come easily for the Broncs offensively. UTPA failed to reach the 55 point mark for the fourth straight time.

The Wolverines (7-10, 2-1 in WAC) have been the epitome of consistency since the start of conference play, hitting their conference average of 72 points in the victory

UVU would open the match on a 7-2 run, capped by a deep three by Donte Williams at the 18:40 mark.

UTPA would respond with a 5-1 of their own to cut the UVU lead to just 8-6, however a quick 16-5 run by the Wolverines would push their lead to double digits midway through the 1st half.

“We didn’t get any stops,” said Broncs guard Janari Joesaar, “the defensive end is most important… on the offense we go crazy sometimes, stop dribbling the ball, and we had a lot of turnovers.”

The Broncs offense would next go into complete free fall, putting undue pressure on the defense to counter a balanced and efficient scoring attack from UVU in route to a lopsided 39-20 deficit at half.

UTPA opened the second half with a fire in their gut, slashing, scratching, and clawing their offense back to life, with a 10-2 run over the first 4:00 of play, to cut the UVU lead to just 41-30

That would be closest they would get however, WAC leading scorer Joesaar matched his career high with 29 points, 22 of which came in the second half, accounting for more 50% UTPA’s scoring for the game in the loss.

The Broncs also received a quality performance for freshman forward Dan Kimasas who chipped in 7 point and 8 rebounds in 33 minutes of action.

“He cramped a lot in the second half,” said Hipsher, “First time all year…He’s been really good lately.”

The Wolverines were carried offensively by pair of standout performances from Donte Williams and Zach Nelson who amassed 23 and 20 points respectively. Nearly outscoring the Broncs on their own.

UTPA will conclude their home stand when they host Grand Canyon University of Saturday, before hitting for their next three games.

UVU will next head to New Mexico State for a pairing on January 24th, before returning to Orem, Utah for matchups with Chicago State and Missouri-Kansas City.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Preview: UTPA Broncs MBB Looks for Fresh Start Against UVU Wolverines (January 21, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - Hoping to rebound from a disappointing road trip to start Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Men's Basketball team will return to the UTPA Fieldhouse to host the Utah Valley University Wolverines on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

The Broncs (7-12, 1-2 in WAC) are in the midst of their worst offense streak of the year, failing to reach 50 points in two of their last three games. The majority of their offensive woes have come from the defensive shift of their opponents to plague leading scorer Janari Joesaar and force other Broncs to fill the void.

The majority of those looks have been cast toward starting point guard Shaquille Boga, but Boga has stuggled mightly, shooting just .178 from the floor over that stretch.

Devoid of a consistent second scoring threat the Broncs have floundered in route to a three game losing streak, with losses to UTSA, Seattle, and Bakersfield, with an overall point differential above -20 ppg.

They will look to remedy that discrepancy when they return to the friendly confines of the UTPA Fieldhouse, a place were they boast a (6-1) record in 2014-2015.

The Wolverines (6-10, 1-1 in WAC) have found themselves in similar situation to start the 2014-2015 season as they work to replace the losses of team leaders Holton Hunsacker and Ben Aird to graduation.

UVU will come to UTPA looking to regroup from a 73-64 home loss to Grand Canyon University in their last outing. A considerable let down given their confidence building win over Seattle University the prior weekend to open WAC play.

UTPA is led offensively by all-everything sophomore Janari Joesaar who leads the WAC in scoring at 18.2 ppg, while also ranking among the WAC leaders in rebounds, steals, and minutes.

UVU are sparking offensively by the play of Mitch Bruneel, who contributes 13.5 ppg and 6.5 rebounds.

Look for the Broncs to have size advantage in this match up, as UVU does not have a single player on their squad over 6'8", while UTPA has two post players in Dan Kimasa and Andres Bigum that check in at 6'9".

Thursday's matchup will be the 19th pairing between these two former Great West Conference opponents with UVU holding a commanding (15-3, 3-0 in WAC) advantage. UTPA's last win in the series came on January 19, 2013 in a 62-60 thriller at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

Following Thursday's action UTPA will conclude their home stand when they host Grand Canyon University of Saturday, before hitting for their next three games.

UVU will next head to New Mexico State for a pairing on January 24th, before returning to Orem, Utah for matchups with Chicago State and Missouri-Kansas City.

If you can't make it out to the UTPA Fieldhouse you can watch the live video with the Voice of the Broncs, Jonah Goldberg, right here. Follow me on Twitter @smithkb for live analysis and updates as the game progresses.

Make sure to check back for a post-game recap, right here on The Box Score Report.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

San Antonio Spurs Route Stuggleing Utah Jazz 89-69 (January 18, 2015)

In just their second game with 2014 NBA Final MVP Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup, the San Antonio Spurs overpowered the Utah Jazz in a 89-69 route for the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Photo courtesy of Lisa G. Smith

The Spurs (26-16, 15-6 at home) appeared to get some of their championship swagger back with the as they welcomed their unofficial leader back to the lineup. Leonard has an innate ability to fill the stat sheet a fact which became abundantly clear during San Antonio's 2014 title run.

By holding the Jazz to their worst offensive performance of the season, the Spurs cemented their transition back to a team built around a strong parameter defense. A fact which can be largely attributed to the return of Leonard and his defensive versatility.
"He always impacts a game," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, "Whether it's the person he's guarding or giving help and making a steal, rebounding the basketball, scoring; he always has an impact on the game. He was the MVP of the Finals last year. Those kind of guys usually have some sort of an impact. I'm just saying. better with him than without him."
The Jazz (14-27, 7-15 on the road) are a team filled with youthful exuberance and the ability to score at an extremely high level. Despite a valiant effort by seven footer Rudy Gobert. The Jazz youth was no match for the defensive scheme of San Antonio's crafty veterans and their prickly skipper.
photo courtesy of Lisa G. Smith
The Spurs opened the first quarter on a 10-2 run, capped by a jumper by Tiago Splitter at the 8:12 mark.
The Jazz responded with an 11-4 run of their own, cutting the San Antonio lead to just 14-13 with under 4:00 left in the 1st quarter.
That was close as they would get however, as the Spurs would close the first half on a 29-14 run to effectively pull the game completely out of reach headed in to half.
The second half would prove uneventful for the Jazz as offensive struggles would continue, allowing Popovich to shut down his starters midway through the third quarter, and given the Spurs a good look at their reserves.
One such reserve was recent signee JaMychal Green who signed a 10 day contract over the weekend after starting the season with the D-League affiliate Austin Torros.
Leonard had arguably the best night of any Spur finishing with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals. While reserve center, Aron Baynes pick up his 3rd double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Utah received a solid performance in the post by Gobert, who finished with 13 points and18 rebounds in the loosing effort.
photo courtesy of Lisa G. Smith
San Antonio will hit the road for their next two, with stops in Denver and Chicago, before returning home on January 23rd when they host the Los Angeles Lakers.
Utah will continue their road trip when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks. Their next home match will be on January 24th against the Brooklynn Nets.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

UTPA Broncs WBB Shatters Several Records in 77-60 victory over CSU-Bakersfield (January 17, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - The start of conference play is typically a time when each team begins to face the fiercest competition of their season. Team's want to play their best, and with a little luck, position themselves for a coveted conference championship.

Such hopes appear to be firmly in the grasp of The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Women's Basketball team following their 77-60 victory over WAC pre-season favorite CSU Bakersfield on Saturday.

"This game was really important for us," said Broncs guard T'ondria Nolen, "at the beginning of the season people doubted us. I feel like we had a lot to prove and this game really mattered to us."

The Broncs (10-8, 3-0 in WAC) are off to the best start in program history through eighteen games, and are also off the first 3-0 start conference play in program history. UTPA's  (8-1) home record is also a program best through nine games.

"Any win is a good win," said Broncs coach Larry Tidwell, "We beat a very good team and we've had a very good week. We beat a very good Seattle team.. Cal-State was picked #1 in the pre-season....we just had a great effort."

Led by a pair of career best performances from Nolen and Rickell Preston, the Broncs put on a complete offensive showcase against a Bakersfield team that many expected to run rough shod through WAC competition.

The Roadrunners (12-6, 1-2 in WAC) have lost two straight conference games, following at 90-67 victory over the Grand Canyon Antelopes to open WAC play. In their last sixty-five minutes of play, CSUB has been outscored by thirty-nine points and head coach Gregg McCall now has more questions than answers.

UTPA jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead following a three by Nolen and a pair of free-throws from Preston, however a subsequent 8-0 run by CSUB would leave the Broncs down 11-5 at the 16:14 mark.

The Broncs would counter with a 15-4 run of their own to pull head 20-15, following back-to-back jumpers by Preston with just over 10:00 to play in the first half.

With their offensive juices flowing, the Broncs would catch fire from outside extending their lead to 17, spurred by a barrage of three's from Shawnte' Goff and Nolen in route a 45-28 half-time lead.

The momentum from the first half, came pouring out again to open the second, allowing the Broncs to extend their lead to 51-31 on a layup by Brittany Bush at the 15:17 mark.

CSUB would begin to mount a comeback soon after, using a 12-3 run to cut the Broncs lead to eleven with just over 9:00 left.

The Roadrunners would mount another small comeback with just over four minutes to play, cutting the Broncs lead to single digits on a layup by Hali Ford at the 2:35 mark.

The would be the closest they got, however, as UTPA would end on a 12-2 run in route to the 77-60 final.

Nolen was a one women state machine, either leading or tying for the team lead in seven categories, while setting a career records in points (18), free-throws (7), free-throws attempted (10) and three pointers made (3).

"Our point guard (Nolen) just proved that she might be the best point guard in the WAC," said Tidwell, "She played 40 minutes and had one turnover. That tells you that she is pretty solid...she got us started and then people feed off of her."

She also tied her career record for field goals (4), rebounds (9), assists (7), and minutes (40). While, Preston set a few new career marks with 18 points and 40 minutes.

"Today, I just wanted to help my team win" said Preston, "My shot was working for me, and just kept on shooting. I'm ready play every night and we ready to win."

Tidwell was also proud of Preston contributions saying, "Rickell Preston just had a phenomenal game."

The win puts the Broncs in a two way tie with the New Mexico State Aggies atop the WAC standing at 3-0.

When asked if she thought their 3-0 start makes them the best team in WAC play thus far, Nolen was surprisingly modest saying, "Once we win a WAC championship, then that statement can be made. We have to take it one game at a time. When every games comes we are looking to go 1-0 and take practice day by day."

The WAC leading scorer Tyonna Outland had another quality performance for the Roadrunners chipping in 24 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in the losing effort.

CSUB will continue to their season with a two game home stand where they host Missouri-Kansas City on January 22 and the struggling Chicago State Cougars in January 24th.

UTPA will also hit the road for their next two when they visit Utah Valley on January 22nd and Grand Canyon on January 24th.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Preview: UTPA Broncs WBB prepares to host WAC favorite Cal-State Bakersfiled on Saturday (January 17, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - "One Game at a Time," that is the mantra for The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Women's Basketball Team in 2015. Broncs head coach Larry Tidwell has stressed the important of preparation to his team from the moment fall practices commenced.

After playing the most daunting non-conference schedules in program history, having gone toe-to-toe with (2) Top 10 and (4) Top 25 opponents,  he thinks his team has grown exponentially and is prepared to wreak havoc during conference play.

They will face of their biggest conference test on Saturday when they play host to WAC Pre-season favorite Cal State-Bakersfield at 2:00 p.m. from the UTPA Fieldhouse.

The Broncs (9-8, 2-0 in WAC) will never be the tallest, they might not be the fastest, but they strive to be the grittiest team every time they take the floor. Their trademark is their pressure defense, built specifically to heap pressure upon their opponents front court. All the Broncs need is a little bit of offensive efficiency and they are a dangerous team to oppose.

In their first two conference matches they found that winning recipe, throttling the upstart Chicago State Cougars 75-60 and last years WAC runner-up Seattle 80-58.

The Roadrunners (12-5, 1-1 in WAC) appeared to be the class of the Western Athletic Conference in early stages of the season, defeating power conference teams like Arizona, Air Force, and UNLV during their non-conference schedule.

Their dominance was on full-display in their WAC opener, where they defeated the Grand Canyon University Antelopes in the Icardo Center 90-67.

However, a weakness in their gilded fa├žade might have come to light on Thursday when CSUB allowed the New Mexico State Aggies to climb back from a 20 point second half deficit to win 90-78 in overtime.

The Roadrunners struggled to contain an offensive explosion from Aggie guard Shanice Davis who torched CSUB for 32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists.

This is a promising sign, since UTPA is lead offensively by sophomore guard Shawnte' Goff, who is second in the WAC in scoring at 16.1 ppg. Goff is also among the conference leaders in assists and steals at 2.38 and 1.94 respectively.

CSUB will rely heavily upon WAC leading scorer Tyonna Outland, who averages 18.6 ppg. and the WAC's queen of rebounding, Batabe Zempare at 10.3 boards per game.

Saturday will be the 9th meeting between the Broncs and Roadrunners, with CSUB holding a 7-1 advantage. The Broncs lone win in the series came the last time these two teams saw each other a 84-62 scoring display on February 27, 2014.

Following Saturday's action, UTPA will hit the road for matches against Utah Valley on January 22 and Grand Canyon on January 24th. The Broncs next home game won't come until March 31st when the New Mexico State Aggies come calling.

CSUB's next two games will be from the friendly confines of the Icardo Center with Missouri-Kansas city coming to town January 22nd followed by a visit from Chicago State on January 24th.

If you can't make it out to the UTPA Fieldhouse, you can catch all the live video the Voice of the Broncs, Jonah Goldberg here.

You can also me for live updates on Twitter as @smithkb and make sure to check back for a post-game recap right here on The Box Score Report.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Defense Shines for UTPA Broncs WBB in 80-58 defeat of the Seattle University Redhawks (January 15, 2015)

Edinburg, TX – In their bid to remain undefeated in conference play, the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Women’s Basketball team defeated the Seattle University Redhawks 80-58 on Thursday night.

The Broncs (9-8, 2-0 in WAC) are beginning to show some of the growth that head coach Larry Tidwell was confident his team would make after playing one of the toughest non-conference in schedules in the NCAA.

“Playing a very, very, very tough non-conference schedule has helped us tremendously,” said Tidwell, “this was very nice win over a very good Seattle team.”

Bolstered by a persistent defensive effort that forced the Redhawk to commit twenty-one turnovers, UTPA took control from the opening tip.

“We had good team chemistry,” said Broncs guard Shawnte’ Goff, “It was a good team win, everybody played their role and did their job.”

The Redhawks (4-13, 1-1 in WAC) were hoping to build upon the sizeable momentum from their conference opening victory over Utah Valley the prior Saturday.

Despite their significant size advantage in the post, Seattle struggled to move the ball up the court against UTPA’s swarming press and the turnovers piled up early in the first half.

UTPA would open the game by scoring the game’s first four points in route to an early 7-2 lead.

The Redhawks would respond quickly pulling the match even at 7-7 on a three by Crystal Allen at the 14:53 mark.

That was the last time Seattle was close to matching the Broncs intensity as UTPA's defensive resiliency came to life and began to give their opponents fits.

The Broncs would force eight turnovers the over the next four minutes, and capitalize with easy baskets in transition to push themselves ahead 19-10.

Tidwell is confident their defense is one of major keys to his team’s continued success, saying, “We’re committed to run the press. We’re about all-out pressure, we’re gonna face guard, and we've got speed.”

How staunch was UTPA’s defense? At the 8:00 minute mark of the first half the Redhawks had more turnovers (11) than points (10).

“Our pressure defense is the key,” said Goff, “we work on that, I think we did that all week and we came out and executed that tonight.”

Despite their struggles Seattle did manage to stay extremely active on the boards, and kept the game reasonable close at 35-25 by half, by building a 28-18 rebounding advantage.

The second half would be even less kind to the Redhawks, as the Brons opened the half of 20-4 run over the first 6:00 of play.

Seattle would mount a strong 11-4 run, following  a pair of quick three’s by Masha Shtikel, that breathed a little fire back into their dreary offense with 11:00 to play.

However, that push was too little too late, as the Broncs shifted their defense slightly and managed to ride out the surge for the 80-58 victory.

Four Broncs reached double figures, led by Goff with 22 points, 3 assists, and a block. While Brittany Bush, Tonisha Walker, and Hildur Kjartansdottir chipped in 16, 12, and 10 respectably.

Nearly all of the Redhawks offense came from either Taelor Ross, who collect he first double-double by 17 points and 19 rebounds, or Crystal Allen who collected 15.

UTPA will next set their sights on a match up with Cal State-Bakersfeld, the preseason favorite to win the WAC, who will visit the UTPA Fieldhouse on Saturday, before hitting the road for stops at Utah Valley and Grand Canyon.

Speaking about how focused they will need to be to continue their success, Goff commented, “We don’t take anybody lightly. Anyone can come in and beat us just like we could beat them. We’re looking at the conference games one game at a time.”

Saturday against Cal State-Bakersfield will be one of the first major conference tests that UTPA will face, a point not lost on Tidwell.

“They are the best team in the league, we’re gonna have to come out and play our best,” said Tidwell, “We want to win the league, were gonna get prepared and be ready to play.”

Seattle still has a trip to New Mexico on their mind, before they make the trek back to the Pugit Sound for a three game stand against Chicago State, Missouri-Kansas City, and Cal State-Bakersfield at the Connolly Center.

Preview: UTPA Broncs WBB Hosts Seattle University in Bid to Remain Undefeated in Conference (January 15, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - With essentially their entire non-conference schedule behind them, the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs WBB team has one singular focus before them, success in Western Athletics Conference play.

UTPA made it's first stride in this regard on January 10th when they soundly defeated the Chicago State Cougars 75-60 in their first conference match of 2015.

They will look to build upon that momentum on Thursday when they host the Seattle University Redhawks in the WAC home opener at 7:00 p.m.

The Broncs (8-8, 1-0 in WAC) are just starting to find their rhythm once again, after suffering a series of key player losses in last December that forced head coach Larry Tidwell to revamp his starting line up.

The most noticeable of these alterations included the promotion of Tonisah Walker and Rickell Preston to the starting lineup and the selection of freshman Hildur Kjartansdottir as the team's spark plug off the bench.

UTPA's success will hinge upon their ability to counter their tenacious defense with a balanced and consistent offensive attack.

The Broncs are (8-2_ when they score 60+ points headed into conference play, while their defense has only allowed two opponents outside of the NCAA Top 25 to eclipse the 70 point mark.

Their counter parts from the Puget Sound, the Seattle University Redhawks (4-12, 1-0 in WAC) are a much better team than their record would indicate.

The reigning conference runners up from 2014, have played the bulk of their games at home thus far and have struggled to close out teams in the second half.

The Redhawks are long and lean, sporting six players 6"0" or taller, which is a size advantage that they will look to exploit over a much smaller UTPA frontcourt.

UTPA is lead offensively by Shawnte' Goff, who is second in the WAC at 15.7 ppg and fourth with 2.07 spg.

Seattle will rely offensively upon two of the WAC's top 15 scorers in Taelor Ross and Kaylee Best who each average over 10 ppg.

If you can't make it out to the field house, you can catch the live video with the Voice of the Broncs, Jonah Golderber here.

Follow me on twitter for live updates as @smith_kb, and make sure to check back for a post-game recap right here on The Box Score Report.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

UTPA Broncs struggle in 68-43 Loss to UTSA (January 12, 2015)

Edinburg, TX - The close of their 2014-2015 non-conference schedule did not go quite as planned for The University of Texas - Pan American Broncs Men's Basketball team as the dropped their final match against the University of Texas - San Antonio Roadrunners 68-43 on Monday.

The Broncs (7-10, 1-0 in WAC) were riding high following back to back victories over the Our Lady of the Lake and Chicago State to open their three game home stand. They entered Monday hoping to make it a sweep at home against a team they had beaten on the road on December 17th.

However, a poor second half performance on offense, in which UTPA shot just 39% from the floor while committing 10 turnovers, proved to great a deficit to overcome in the lopsided loss.

The Roadrunners (8-7, 2-0 in CUSA) have started to turn their season around, winning three of their last four, including victories over North Texas, Southern Mississippi and now UTPA.

Both program would open the first half a little cold offensive scoring just 24 combined points the first 10:00 of play. UTSA would hold a lead for most of that stretch their gap over UTPA to as much as four points during one long stretch.

The Broncs would come batting back soon after and re-took the lead at 14-13 on a layup by Dan Kimasa at the 8:30 mark.

That lead would be short lived however, as the Roadrunners jumped ahead just 30 seconds later on a deep three by Ryan Bowe and hold that lead into half at 29-23.

The start of the second half did not go nearly as well for UTPA, as UTSA took a 19-5 run of the first 6:00 of play to push their lead to 48-28.

That would effectively push the game out of reach for UTPA's offensive struggles persisted in route to the lopsided final.

Four Roadrunners would end the night in double figures lead by Jeromie Hill with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.

A bright spot for UTPA was the play of forward Dan Kimasa, who notched a double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 1 block in the loss.

UTSA will head home for their next match against Texas- El Paso on January 17th, before traveling to Marshall and Western Kentucky.

UTPA will spend the next week traveling with matches against Seattle University on January 15th and Bakersfield on January 17th before returning home for a two game stand.