SAN ANTONIO — Fans have an opportunity to get a sneak peek of the 2023-24 UTSA women's basketball team as the Roadrunners are set to face crosstown rivals and NCAA Division II foe St. Mary's in an exhibition bout at 7 p.m. Admission to the Convocation Center will be free, and the game will be broadcast live on KRPT-FM The Bull 93.3, and the iHeartRadio app with veteran broadcaster Neal Raphael on the call.
Coach Karen Aston returns 11 as the team jumps into the American Athletic Conference, following a 2022-23 campaign that saw the 'Runners reach the semifinals of the Conference-USA Tournament. The 'Runners went 13-9 overall, including a 9-11 mark in league play en route to a sixth-place finish.
UTSA took down No. 11 seed Florida Atlantic to open the tournament before upsetting No. 3 seed Rice, 62-54, and falling to No. 2 seed Western Kentucky in the semifinals.
The Rattlers, meanwhile, are led by coach Valerie Huizar, who is coming off an inaugural season at StMU that saw them compile an 8-20 record with a 4-18 Lone Star Conference mark. Those eight wins doubled the team's 2021-22 total, and her squad is not to be taken lightly after besting Sam Houston State 66-65 in an exhibition in Huntsville last year.
StMU enters with plenty of bulletin board material, recently being selected 16th in the LSC Preseason Poll despite returning seven letter winners and two starters in Teanna Huggins and Natalia Ryng. Huggins facilitated the offense, pacing the squad with 66 assists, and was the team's second-leading scorer with 7.9 ppg. Ryng was not far behind, averaging 6.1 ppg and hauling in 5.0 rpg.
Huizar brings in eight newcomers, four coming via the transfer portal and four entering as true freshmen. Sheridan Kavanaugh moves to the Alamo City after spending two seasons at St. Francis, where she played 41 games, starting 10 and averaging 4.1 ppg with 18 three-pointers. Other transfers include Sian Phipps (Tyler JC), Evelyn Quiroz (Texas A&M-International), and Helena Stina Svilberg (Weatherford College).
Following the exhibition, UTSA will officially begin its season on Monday, Nov. 6, with a 7 p.m. CT start time against Arizona State inside Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona.
Waiting in the wings, New Mexico State will face the Roadrunners in their official home opener on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.