UTSA men’s basketball (12-15, 6-8 C-USA) went 1-1 during their final home stand of the regular season, with a win against the Marshall Thundering Herd (13-14, 7-7 C-USA), 72-63, on Feb. 13 and a loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (18-8, 11-3 C-USA), 73-77, on Feb. 15.
“Much of our success has come from easy buckets in transition and working hard defensively, so we have to keep that up,” coach Steve Henson said.
The Roadrunners took on the Thundering Herd, ranked seventh seed in Conference USA (C-USA). The ‘Runners played a close game in the first half, finishing down by four, 34-38. They were able to take over the game in the second half by making 15 out of 18 of their free throws. Jhivvan Jackson led the ‘Runners in scoring, with 25 points.
“Down the stretch, rebounds will keep us in the game, and we just have to make our easy shots,” Jackson said.
In the matchup against the second seed Hilltoppers, the ‘Runners shot 50% from the field, despite trailing 34-41. After a second-half surge, the game went into overtime after ending tied at 64 points. Shooting 22% from the field, the ‘Runners missed crucial three pointers, leading to a 73-77 loss.
On Feb. 27, the ‘Runners will be playing against the Florida Atlantic Owls (14-13, 6-8 C-USA) in the first game of C-USA bonus play in Boca Raton, Florida. The Owls are coming into this game as the ninth seed while the ‘Runners sit in the 10th seed. The Owls are led by Cornelius Taylor, scoring 12.1 points per game, and Jaylyn Ingram, scoring 11 points and making 5.2 rebounds per game. Currently, UTSA is the number one scoring team in C-USA, with Florida Atlantic ranking ninth.
The ‘Runners second C-USA bonus play game will take place on Mar. 1 in the Convocation Center when they take on the UAB Blazers (16-11, 7-7 C-USA), who are the sixth seed in C-USA. The ‘Runners will look to crash the boards since they rank first in C-USA for rebounds per game, while the Blazers rank sixth. The Blazers are led by Jalen Benjamin, with 12.8 points per game, along with Tavin Lovan, with 12.5, and Zack Bryant, with 11. However, the ‘Runners have scorers of their own—Jhivvan Jackson is second in Division I men’s basketball with 26.9 points per game, and Keaton Wallace is second in C-USA with 19 points per game.