UTSA men’s basketball fall short against UAB 68-56


Julia Maenius

Erik Czumbel drives to the rim during Thursday’s matchup against UAB. Czumbel is averaging a careers 2.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game this season.

Luke Lawhorn, Assistant Sports Editor

UTSA men’s basketball came out motivated Thursday, Feb. 24, against the University of Alabama at Birmingham (22-7, 12-4 C-USA), looking to avenge themselves from their 28-point loss on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, their high energy only lasted so long before the Blazers took over. 

Right from the opening tip, UTSA went down the court and scored. Both teams played each other close in the first several minutes of the game, having seven lead changes within the first eight minutes. The energy from UTSA jumped to another level with Dhieu Deing and Isaiah Addo-Ankrah coming off the bench and immediately hitting threes. However, with 11 minutes left in the half, UAB took over the lead and never looked back. UAB went on a 13 point scoring run and continued their 1-3-1 full-court press, heavily affecting the momentum of the game. The Blazers forced 12 turnovers and scored 12 points off of those turnovers. The ‘Runners could never get into a rhythm and went into halftime down 37-30. 

More of the same continued in the second period. UTSA only scored 13 total points in the first 16 minutes of the half, still unable to overcome the Blazers’ 1-3-1. UAB’s guard, Quan Jackson, is top seven in the NCAA in steals and he showcased it in Thursday’s game. Down by as many as seventeen points, UTSA did close the gap a little, the final score being UAB 68, UTSA 56. The Roadrunners shot just 37% from the field, while the Blazers shot 44.6%. The ‘Runners did, however, shoot a higher percentage from three (36.4% to UAB’s 27.3%) and from the free-throw line (100% to UAB’s 71.4%), but only took eight attempts from the line while UAB took 21. In other box score categories, it was close for the two teams, but of course, the turnovers, steals and points off turnovers were all heavily in UAB’s favor. 

UTSA only had two players in double figures — Jacob Germany with 14 points and Dhieu Deing with 16 — which is a common trait with the Roadrunners in losses. There is not enough consistent scoring from players, and not a clear-cut number one scoring option. UAB on the other hand had four players score in double figures. 

“We turned it over way too much in the first half, and had no rhythm in the second half,” Coach Henson said in his postgame interview. 

The full-court press blew the game open and the dominant presence UAB had in the paint kept the ‘Runners from getting the game close. Coach Henson also acknowledged that UTSA got bullied down low and that they would continue to keep their spirits high and to practice hard. 

Whether UTSA will play with high spirits or not is to be seen, especially with Jordan Ivy-Curry’s announcement of entering the transfer portal. The Roadrunners will host Rice this Saturday, March 5, and plan to gain momentum going into the conference tournament.