Men’s basketball loses to Western Kentucky with six games left in season


Dalton Hartmann

Erik Czumbel drives to the hoop against UTEP earlier this season. Czumbel drained a career-high four three-pointers in the loss to Western Kentucky.

Maddie Cortez, Staff Writer

The UTSA men’s basketball team (8-18, 1-12 C-USA) came up short six points to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (14-11, 6-6 C-USA) on Saturday, Feb. 12. Playing on Roadrunner territory, the teams finalized the game with a total score of 71-65. 

WKU started the scoring with one point from the line. Erik Czumbel then snagged the ‘Runners’ first eight points, six being shot from downtown, and created a four-point lead against the Hilltoppers. WKU began heating up by going 11 for 14 from the field and making six out of seven efforts in threes in the first ten minutes. This stretch would create the Hilltoppers’ largest lead of the game. After being down 30-18, UTSA responded by tightening their defense and sinking shots, going five for nine attempts until they were trailing the Hilltoppers, 32-28. WKU maintained a lead and ended the first half, 37-35. 

The Hilltoppers started the second half with a jumper creating a four-point lead until Isaiah Addo-Ankrah shot beyond the arc, cutting WKU’s lead to one. One-point leads would be repeated three more times until scoring leader Jacob Germany finally allowed UTSA to lead, 55-54. The advantage was short-lived after WKU answered with a 4-0 run. Returning the favor, UTSA tailed the Hilltoppers for the following three points until they eventually bought themselves another lead of 63-62. The ‘Runners would only score one more point while WKU snagged six more points, ending the game 71-65. 

The ‘Runners ended with a 42.6 shooting percentage while WKU hit 47.2%. UTSA had almost doubled the Hilltoppers’ fouls and had a 10.6 three-point percentage difference, which cost them the game overall.  

Although the ‘Runners came up short, there were players who had notable performances. Germany, a third-year center, landed a career-high of 26 points and 11 rebounds. Germany is the only player to have started every game this season and has already doubled his total points from last season. Czumbel, another game leader, had 14 points with 12 coming from beyond the arc – a career-high for threes in a game. The ‘Runners will be traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss. to challenge Southern Miss. on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.