February 13th, 2014
The Broncs have now reached the home stretch of the regular season but its end marks the beginning of tournament action. The Broncs, with a 5-5 conference record, are in a three-way tie with New Mexico State University and Grand Canyon University.
The team has dropped three in a row, including back-to-back home tries against Seattle University and to the WAC’s No. 1 team, Idaho, Feb. 8. The best start in program history has hit a snag.
Freshman Shawnte’ Goff led the Broncs the last two games with a total of 32 points, six rebounds, nine assists and two steals. Her performance in the Idaho game included a career-high in blocks with two.
“It was a very tough loss,” said the freshman guard from Copperas Cove. “They are now 10-0 (in the conference), but usually we come back because we were here at home. This is our sanctuary and this is what gets us hyped. It’s all about who is going to rebound, who’s going to hit shots.”
After three tough losses, the Broncs get back to work and try to get back on the winning side of the court, as they prepare to take their game on the road this week. UTPA starts a three-game road trip Feb. 13 against Chicago State University. The Broncs defeated the Cougars 66-44 in their first meeting Jan. 18. Goff believes that this team will bounce after these losses and be ready for the rematch.
“We are just going to come in the gym, do what we need to do and get ready for the next couple of road games,” said Goff, who is averaging 12.6 points per game for the year. “Our road record is not very good…so we are looking to bring back a lot of energy and get these wins.”
The back-to-back home losses now makes the Broncs’ home record 7-3, while on the road they are 4-9. With six games left, they will try and complete the first outright winning season in history.
Head Coach Dan Hipsher was disappointed in the efforts of the two home games, where the Broncs had previously only lost once, against Virginia Commonwealth University, 67-57, back in November.
“Well I’ve been doing this for 38 years now and during the course of the year you will have tough games like we’ve had,” Hipsher said. “I think we got good play out of Shawnte’ Goff, she continues to get better.”
Hipsher believes that the post players have to do a better job rebounding, boxing out, scoring and staying out in foul trouble in order to have the chance to do better and potentially win down the stretch. He looked at the film from the Idaho game where the Broncs lost by more than 30 points; there were not a lot of positives.
“We are going to work hard and get better,” Hipsher said. “From experience it happens at times to get beat like that and you hate that it happens on our home court, so we got to bounce back.”
The Broncs have six games left in the regular season with two more home games against California State University Feb.27 and Utah Valley March 1. Then, they finish off the regular season against Grand Canyon University March. 8, after which they have four days to gather themselves as they prepare the WAC Tourney, March 12-15 in Las Vegas.
February 6th, 2014
Quick and quiet breaths come one after another as the phlebotomist says to stay calm and relax. She takes a light blue tourniquet and places it up above the crook of an elbow. “Breath,” she says, taking note of the blue vein as it begins to swell. Then there is a slight pinch, and a quick prick of pain as the needle hits home. Eight minutes later a bag of blood and plasma sit separated on a sterile white table.
This is the process of a simple blood donation. A process each of the Bronc baseball players went through in honor of Nolan Naranjo and Jiada Grace Ortiz, Jan. 30 at the UTPA Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex.
The drive was held by United Blood Services and is not solely for Ortiz and Naranjo, but the two have been sponsored by the team in the past with not only two previous blood drives but a bone marrow drive as well.
Both children are from the Rio Grande Valley were diagnosed with a type of rare bone marrow disease known as Aplastic Anemia. The illness affects the bone marrow the patient; this causes them to stop producing enough red blood cells and white blood platelets.
UTPA Assistant Coach Norberto Lopez explained that the blood drive was in honor of the children and marked another chance for the team, as a whole, to give back.
“We have been able to help a couple of kids in the past,” Lopez said. “They had some real rare blood disease…(Head Coach Manny Mantrana) wants to teach the guys, he wants to make sure that we teach them that it isn’t just about us and our lives. (It’s about) going every day and making sure that we are giving back and helping out.”
This event is by no means the first or last of its kind. This is the third year in a row that the Broncs have hosted the drive.
Recently, the baseball players paired with members of the women’s basketball team to host a bone marrow drive in November. The bone drive held Nov. 13 was to sponsor Naranjo, who was diagnosed with Pre-leukemia and was in need of a transplant.
Andy Fortuna, a Bronc outfielder, was present and donated at the January drive. He feels that he and the team should hold themselves to a standard where the community is also a priority.
“This is to set an example to the rest of the community,” the senior physical therapy major said. “If they see a group of guys in jerseys donating blood they will come around. Being a part of the University everyone looks at us in a certain way, we always try to set an example to everybody else.”
According to Fortuna this is a belief that the coaching staff has instilled in these players and has made the team what it is.
His coaches agree.
”We have been doing this for four years,” Lopez said. “And we might have a special group, cause they never complain. I’ve seen guys that are scared of needles and they are freaking out, they are almost turning white, but they still want to do it. And I think that is a testament to Coach Mantrana; he really preaches to them and tells them about giving back.”
Whether it is the ideals instilled in them by their coaching staff or peer pressure that keep them donating, the end, even first-timers see the value.
Jesus Garcia, a shortstop for the team, said sometimes it’s the little things that matter, and taking time out of their days to donate is a small price to pay.
”This was my first time,” Garcia said. “And you really don’t feel much. It did not bother me at all, it was for a good cause. We are doing a small part for something big and this is what we are doing, each of us, It will contribute little by little to something big.”
January 21st, 2014
UTPA women’s basketball team gave the Chicago State University Cougars a fast paced game Jan. 18. Midway through the game the broncs went on a 16 point run to pull off a win at the UTPA Field House 66-44.
Currently the Bronc season record now stands even 9-9, 3-2 season record in the Western Athletic conference.
The game was at a standstill as the Broncs fought off the Cougars. But Kaelynn Boyd, a sophomore, scored a three pointer, starting the 16 point run. Then junior Tonashia Walker hit seven straight points using two free throws, a three pointer and one layup.
The Broncs kept up the momentum as Charrell Price scored another three pointer and Brittany Bush went for a free throw. Scoring Shawnte Goff ended the run 42-27.
All in all Goff scored a total of 18 points, junior Jasmine Thompson scored 10 and Bush came close to a double double with nine points and 12 rebounds.
With this win in hand the Broncs will now face off at home against New Mexico State, Jan. 25, at the UTPA Field House.
January 18th, 2014
The Broncs were able to move past the University of Missouri- Kansas City Kangaroos in spite of 36.8 percent shooting. The Broncs now move to an 8-9 record, 2-2 in Western Athletic Conference action Jan. 16 at the UTPA Field House.
Freshman guard Shawnte’ Goff led the Broncs with 24 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor. Junior Jasmine Thompson scored 13 points with seven rebounds, five of which were offensive. Junior forward Brittany Bush had eight points, but owned the boards by having a team-high of 13 rebounds.
“I felt like I did good and we all did good as a team. We all did our part by grabbing offensive, defensive rebounds, hitting some shots and hitting some open lay-ups. So we did well as a team,” soff said.
The Broncs earned this win by points in the paint, points off turnovers, second chance points and bench play. The Broncs bench played big and outscored UMKC bench 28 points to 0.
In the opening moments of the game, the Broncs came out on fire and jumped to a 9-2 lead with three different Broncs scoring, while the Kangaroos came out cold and didn’t score in the first seven minutes of the first half, going 0-9 shooting.
The Broncs were able to push the lead to 10 midway through the first half, then grew to a game-high 19 with four minutes left till the half.
“(UMKC) was able to come back and they will come back,” Goff said. “We are one of the smallest teams in the WAC so we knew we had to keep our defense up and had to get tough mentally; it is something the coaching staff always preach and something we came out and did in the second half.”
In the start of the second half, the Kangaroos got back in the game by hitting six of their first nine shots as the Broncs came out flat and went 1-for-11 shooting as the Kangaroos went on a 16-4 run as the lead dropped to seven points.
The closet the Kangaroos got was when there was 8:42 remaining in the game as UMKC’s Eilise O’Connor hit a pair of free throws that capped a 9-2 run for the UMKC. During the last eight and half minutes ,the Broncs outscored the Kangaroos 21-11 as they ran away with the victory.
The Broncs will continue a three-game home schedule Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. when they host Chicago State University, doors open at 6 p.m.
“We have a game coming up on Saturday and it’s a good thing that it’s at home because we usually play good at home,” Goff said. “If we bring the same energy and intensity have a good workout on Friday and good shoot around on Saturday we should be able to come out with a win.”
January 3rd, 2014
The University Broncs faced off against Grand Canyon University in their first Western Athletic Conference game, at the UTPA Field House, Jan 2. The game was a ten for ten shoot-out as the Broncs took home the win with a hard fought 60-58.
For most of the game the Broncs lead the GCU Antelopes ending the first half with the Broncs ahead 37-24. From there on the game maintained its pace as the Broncs worked together to keep their lead.
Shawnte’ Goff a freshman guard for the Broncs scored a total of 14 points followed closely by guard Alexandria Hill, who scored 12. Jasmine Thompson, who plays both a guard and a forward had a total of seven rebounds and 11 points.
Cherrell Price who scored 10 points with four rebounds explained how playing against GCU was different, considering the new conference, but despite that they pulled through.
“They (GCU) were getting in some big shots,” Price said. “They were getting a lot of rebounds but he (Head Coach Larry Tidwell) told us we had to buckle down. Right now I’m pretty happy but we have a lot more WAC games to win, before we get to our ultimate goal.”
Just as Price looks forward to the teams goals Alexandria Hill, a junior guard, is simply thankful for her team and their first WAC win at home. From start to finish she knows her team pushed through to the win.
“We were really rallied up when we came out,” Price said. “Cause it was our first WAC game, our first conference game, so we came out ready to play and we are pretty happy with the turnout.”
Now the Broncs will take their conference game on the road against the University of Idaho in Moscow, Id. on Jan. 9.
December 30th, 2013
The Broncs (6-7) close out their non-conference schedule by losing to the undefeated and number 11 Oklahoma State University Cowgirls (11-0) 90-48 at the Gallagher-Iba Arena Dec. 29.
Freshman Shawnte’ Goff went three-for-three from behind the three point line as she lead the Broncs with 11 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Alexandria Hill had eight points while two other Broncs were able to score five points each.
In the beginning Goff made the game interesting by hitting a three pointer to pull the Broncs within one point. But as the game continued the Cowgirls increased their lead, later in the first half Liz Donohoe of the Cowgirls extended their lead to 20-9 by hitting a jumper with 10 minutes left in the first half. The Broncs were able to finish off the first half with an 8-0 run that was capped off by a three-pointer by Hill as the Cowgirls lead 33-21 at the half.
The Cowgirls opened up the second half on a 13-0 run to push their lead to 25 points. Later in the half Goff knocked down another three-pointer with 12:51 left in that made the game 52-28. In the second half Goff knocked down another three with 9:21 left making the game 68-38 but OSU didn’t allow the Broncs back into it as they put the game away.
The Broncs are back in action Jan. 2 when they open conference play against Grand Canyon at the UTPA Field House with the tip-off at 7 p.m.
December 20th, 2013
The University women’s basketball swept in a win against the University of Texas at Arlington with a score of 75-63 at the Field House Dec. 18. After the win the team is now tied for the best season start in program history at 6-4.
The win was much needed after two back- to-back losses against Texas A&M and Texas Christian University, stated Shawnte’, Goff a guard for the Broncs.
“We came out and did what we needed to do,” Goff said. “We didn’t play good at TCU, we didn’t do good at Corpus, so we knew we had to come out and get this win.”
On top of the win the team put forward a season high of 11 three pointers, fourth highest in program history. Goff scored seven of those totaling her career-game high of 25 points. Trailing behind her was Jasmine Thompson who scored a game high of 22 points with five rebounds and three steals.
Goff and Thompson lead the team in scoring but at first the team struggled as they were down 28 to 15 with 10:30 seconds left in the first half. But the Bronc’s held tough and eventually caught up and pilled within one point with only 7 minutes left in the first half. UTA however, still held on to the lead until Goff scored a three pointer tying the game in the second half at 41, and the rest is history.
As Tonisha Walker, a guard explains they struggled at first due to one of their top scorers being out due to a broken toe.
“We all had to step up and contribute,” Walker said. “We have depth as a team and we will pull out in the end.”
Despite the setback of an injury and rocky start to their game the Bronc’s prevailed and will face off against the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Wichita, Ks. Dec. 21.
December 17th, 2013
The Broncs fell to the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (6-3) 73-47 Dec. 15 at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth.
Sophomore KaeLynn Boyd led the Broncs (5-4) with 14 points, four rebounds and two steals. Junior Brittany Bush recorded her third double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
Boyd scored the Broncs’ first eight points to keep the game close in the first five minutes, hitting threes to keep the game within reach. She also made a layup to keep the Broncs within three. Bush hit a layup with 13 minutes left to bring the Broncs within 14-10. But Donielle Breaux hit a free throw 52 seconds later to kick off a 21-1 run over a span of 9:30 as the Horned Frogs went up 35-11.
The Broncs scored the final seven points of the first half, but were still down by 20. The Broncs brought the deficit under 20 midway through the second half when junior Cherrell Price hit a three to make it 51-32, but that’s as close as the Broncs got.
The Broncs return home Dec.18 when they host University of Texas Arlington at the UTPA Field House.
December 4th, 2013
Junior Brittany Bush, women’s basketball forward, was named to UTSA’s Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament team Dec. 1.
Bush started the tournament with eight points, nine rebounds and seven blocks against Norfolk State Nov. 29.
Her seven blocks in the tournament tie her for fourth most in a single game in UTPA program history. Bush kept up the momentum when she recorded her first double-double of the season Nov. 29 with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Northern Iowa.
The Broncs continue their season Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. when they face Houston Baptist University in Houston.