Photo Credit: Marcus Connolly/The Paisano
After winning their previous two games, the UTSA Roadrunners (3-7) suffered a home loss to Cal State Bakersfield (6-6) 90-64 on Wednesday, Dec. 18. The defeat drops UTSA to 2-4 at home with four games remaining until conference play.
“I think they just kept making shots. Their press was effective, but they outcompeted us in that second half,” said UTSA head coach Brooks Thompson. Bakersfield shot nearly 60% from the field, 63.2% from three-point range, and was a perfect 20-for-20 from the free throw line.
UTSA was able to keep the score close throughout the entire first half with junior guard Keon Lewis scoring a team high 13 points with a combination of midrange jumpers and layups. He finished the night with 17 points, and fouled out late in the contest.
Senior forward Jordan Sims went 3-for-4 in the first half from three-point range adding nine points. “It just felt good tonight, I got off early and started making shots early trying to stay with it as long as possible,” said Sims. Sims finished the game 4-of-5 from three-point range with 16 points.
The first half ended with UTSA trailing 39-34. In the second half, Bakersfield started to pull away.
Senior guard Isaiah Grayson for the Bakersfield Roadrunners attacked the UTSA defense, going 6-of-7 from three-point range ending the night with 31 points. He controlled the tempo of the game, and demonstrated being a leader on and off the court. “He’s probably the best player we’ve seen this year. He’s good with the ball; he’s very talented,” Sims said after the game, commenting on Grayson’s play.
Bakersfield suffocated UTSA with its 1-2-1-1 defense being executed to perfection. Bakersfield led by more than 26 points at one point, with UTSA struggling to find a rhythm. “I don’t think it’s an X’s and O’s thing, I think we’re doing the right things with our personnel. We just have to put forty minutes together,” said a reflective Thompson after the game.
“We have to compete for forty minutes, and we have to stay with the energy for forty minutes. That is our biggest problem; it will work itself out if we do that,” added Sims.
The UTSA Roadrunners will look to redeem themselves with another home non-conference game Sunday, Dec 22 against the Georgia State Bulldogs. The game is scheduled to tip off at 1:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center.