The win marked the SHSU women's first victory over the Roadrunners on their home court since 2000.
Jasmine Johnson added 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds as the Bearkats evened their season record at 6-6. UTSA dropped to 4-10 for the year.
Angela Beadle, who pulled down nine rebounds for Sam Houston, gave the Bearkats an early 6-4 lead on a pass from Chanice Smith and Sam Houston never trailed the rest of the game.
Beadle's basket was one of three consecutive layups that started a 13-0 Sam Houston early run to build a 15-4 lead. The Kats never trailed again.
"It was great to finally get a win down here in San Antonio," head coach Brenda Nichols said. "We've been playing well at times in pre-conference games, but we hadn't really put two halves together. We've done that the past two games at Houston Baptist and here."
The Kats led 35-28 at halftime and outscored the Roadrunners 28-26 in the second period.
Sequeena Thomas led Sam Houston with 11 rebounds and scored nine points. The Bearkats led under the boards with a 49-38 rebounding edge, including 20 on the offensive end to scoring 20 second-chance points.
Smith added seven points and Jasmin Wiley scored six. The Kat defense forced 16 UTSA turnovers and totaled nine steals.
"Having Chanice (Smith) back has helped," Nichols said. "The team continues to get better. We had some strong showings on the road at places like Kentucky and Missouri that have built some confidence. We're looking forward to getting back home to Johnson Coliseum this next week."
Sam Houston State returns to Johnson Coliseum Wednesday to play host to the UT-Arlington Mavericks at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are available now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets . The Sam Houston athletic ticket office at the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.