SAN ANTONIO — The UTSA Women's Basketball team is set to host the University of Houston on Thursday at 6 p.m. as the squad celebrates Hoops for the Holidays inside the Convocation Center. Headlining the festivities, April Ancira of the Ancira Automotive Group will donate $5 to the team for every fan in attendance by halftime. While supplies last, attendees will receive a free limited edition ugly holiday sweater along with an exclusive UTSA football bowl game poster.
The 'Runners are also inviting all who attend to participate in a Teddy Bear Toss, allowing those with a stuffed animal to chuck the bears onto the court. The person whose bear lands closest to a target in the center of the court will receive tickets to SeaWorld. Every stuffed animal tossed onto the hardwood will be donated to local nonprofit children's organizations, and those wishing to attend can take advantage of a special ticket promotion that sees admission drop to $7 at the following link: goutsa.com/teddytoss.
Also starting at $7, UTSA is opening its doors to those who have grown tired of hosting their in-laws with the In-Laws Special. After all, the ticket is cheaper than a hotel, so whether you'd like to send those in-laws to the game or need some time to relax without them, tickets can be found at the following link: goutsa.com/inlawscpecial.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+, with Karl Schoening providing play-by-play alongside Carlie Heineman. Neal Raphael will deliver the radio call in the greater San Antonio area on The Bull 93.3 FM and worldwide on the iHeartRadio app.
After a week's hiatus, the Roadrunners (5-3, 0-0 AAC) are back in action, last dominating UTEP 90-66 inside the Convo. The win represented the first time the 'Runners have scored at least 90 points since a 97-47 win over Sul Ross State on Nov. 10, 2017. The 24-point win was the largest margin of victory in the Karen Aston era at UTSA, as redshirt junior Elyssa Coleman led the way, logging a career-high 23 points and going 11-for-13 from the field,
The Roadrunners enter the contest ranked seventh nationally in blocks per game, swatting 6.6 of the opponent's shots each time out. UTSA also ranks first on the American Athletic Conference leader board with a plus-12 rebound margin and 45.9 rpg. Coleman's 2.12 bpg benchmark individually ranks 24th across the NCAA and atop the AAC. Joining her as a conference leader, senior Kyra White plays a league-high 35.2 minutes.
The Cougars (7-1, 0-0 Big 12) have been red-hot early in the year, falling only to Middle Tennessee and riding a three-game winning streak. Following an 89-42 victory over Texas Southern, Houston now serves as the national leader with a superb 15.8 steals per game. They also sit second in turnovers forced at 26.9 per game and boast a stellar 10.4 turnover margin. The Cougars collect the third-most offensive rebounds in the country, averaging 19.4 per game, and their 39.2 bench points per game sit second in the NCAA.
Laila Blair has been one of Houston's top performers, ranking eight across the NCAA with 24 steals. She also leads UH with 15.3 ppg, as Maliyah Johnson, N'Yah Boyd, and Bria Patterson join her in the double-digit point club. Patterson paces the squad with 6.1 rpg and nine blocks, while Boyd's 30 assists represent the most of any Cougar.