Men’s basketball falls short on possible second straight win

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA men’s basketball near upset win against UAB fell short down the stretch, losing 83-78 on Saturday afternoon in the Convocation Center.

The Roadrunners had four players in double-figure scoring in looks of their second straight win. Japhet Medor led the ‘Runners in scoring with 22 points. 

“I was proud of our focus, our preparation, our rebounding, our toughness,” coach Steve Henson said. “The game was on the line, they made plays, and we didn’t.” 

UTSA (8-20, 2-15 C-USA) led by one with under four minutes to play against the Blazers (20-8, 11-6).

UAB made a layup along with a foul shot to take a 73-71 lead with under three minutes to play.

Blazers’ Jordan Walker made a layup to go up four points.

Medor pulled up for three at the top of the key, drilling the shot and bringing UTSA back within one point.

After Walker made two free throws, the 5-foot-11 senior made a 3-pointer of his own to put UAB up 80-74, their largest lead in the afternoon.

Medor made a pair of free throws to shorten the deficit to four points. 

Jacob Germany was sent to the line with 27.3 seconds remaining. The Oklahoma native went 2 for 2, though UTSA still trailed 80-78.

Walker was sent to the free-throw line, making the first shot and missing the second.

John Buggs III had a step-back three to tie the game, though the shot was just short, falling incomplete on their near-upset win.

Buggs III and DJ Richards each had 14 points in Saturday’s loss. Germany added 11 points with six rebounds off the bench.

“We put ourselves in position, and the game got away from us,” Henson said. “I’m disappointed.”

UTSA came out with fire in the first half. The Roadrunners led 11-0 while holding UAB 0 for 6 from the field and 0 for 2 from three.

Richards made the first field goal of the game. The Blazers were forced to call a timeout after UTSA built a 9-0 lead.

Buggs III blocked a Blazer layup and managed to grab the ball on the fastbreak. Buggs III passed ahead to Medor for an open layup to cap off the explosive start.

UAB scored 13 unanswered points in their quest to regain the lead. The two teams had four lead changes and five ties in the first half.

Isaiah Addo-Ankrah came off the bench and tied the game at 21 with a 3-pointer. 

Off a missed second UAB free throw, Medor grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast, making a layup and regaining the lead.

Sabally drove the ball baseline, drawing defenders in the paint and kicking it to open Medor for three. Medor led the two teams with 13 first-half points.

Buggs III and Richards made back-to-back threes for the Roadrunners to open the second half.

Buggs III received an inbounds pass at the top of the key. The JUCO transfer did not hesitate to pull and make the 3-pointer.  

On the next possession, Richards dribbled up the court and banked in a deep three to bump the lead to 11.

Three straight UTSA turnovers resulted in a 9-0 run for the Blazers to trail by a point in the second half. 

Germany and Medor each made layups to go up 69-62 with 6:09 to play.

The Roadrunners play their final two road games of the regular season in the next week. 

UTSA will face FAU at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at FAU Arena.