It was a decent weekend doubleheader for Bronc basketball as the men won but the women lost at home Saturday. The men defeated Texas A&M-International 77-61 while the women lost to Stephen F. Austin 69-58.
The Broncs came into Saturday having lost four times by more than 20 points against tough foes such as DePaul, Northwestern, and Ohio State, with their wins coming versus Texas State and Victory University.
They got 22 points from Jared Maree in the triumph Saturday, after turning a scant 2-point lead early in the second half into their third win of the year against eight losses.
For the season, UTPA has averaged 60 points per game with a .402 shooting percentage from the field, down from last year's 68 and .423. The Broncs shot 38 percent from three-point range in 2010-11 but are hitting just .313 this season.
Next up for the Broncs is Wentworth Institute of Boston, Thursday at home and then a pair of road games, Dec. 18 at Army and Dec. 21 at St. John's in New York City. They return home to the Field House for two to end the calendar year, Dec. 29 against UT-Arlington and two days later versus Tulane on New Year's Eve.
Meanwhile, Bianca Torre showed signs of recovering from a junior slump with 14 points against SFA (8-1), but the women could not turn back a tough small-college foe at home. With Torre hitting a season-high 14 and leading scorer LaQuita Garner adding 15, UTPA (3-8) rallied from an early 33-12 hole to make a game of it, closing to within six at 51-45 midway through the second half.
Torre, of Harlingen South HS, has shot just 29 percent from the floor through 11 games, averaging 8 ppg, well off the mark of her first two seasons with the program. She is just nine of 48 from three-point range.
The women, 12-19 a year ago, came into Saturday having completed a season sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. In Wednesday's 69-52 win at home over the Islanders, Donna Jackson had 14 points and eight rebounds while Torre was sharp with seven assists and just one turnover in 37 minutes, tossing in 13 points. Garner, who leads the unit with 12.0 ppg, had 14.
The women are in action next Dec. 14 against Huston-Tillotson at home, followed by a road game at Oklahoma State two days later and then the UTSA Classic Dec. 20-21.
NOTES: The University recently announced the latest class in the UTPA Athletics Hall of Fame, with the new additions to be inducted Jan. 28.
Former baseball stars Ron Edquist and Jesse Trinidad, along with golfer Mike Brisky, track great Monique Wesley Swift, and track coach Reid Harter, will enter the Hall of Fame, with former university president Ralph Schilling set to enter the Hall of Honor.