Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

LaTech overpowers UTSA

Sports(mensbasketball 6 (1)brittney davila

The UTSA Roadrunners (7-13, 3-4 C-USA) were overpowered Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Convocation Center as they were defeated by conference juggernauts LA Tech (18-5, 6-2) 87-72.

The Roadrunners looked to be keeping pace with the Bulldogs early on, as each scored one after the other. But the back-and-forth game would be over in the blink of an eye.

LA Tech jumped off to an early 22-8 lead, the team as a whole making 50 percent of their shots. The Roadrunners looked out of sync and were contested on every play. LA Tech’s full press defense seemed to give the Runners a few problems. LA Tech converted 15 points off of turnovers in the first half and added seven steals.

The Bulldogs dominated every aspect of the ball in the first half, going on a 19-8 run and shooting 20-for-32 from the floor. They would also shoot 54.5 percent from 3-point land, with guard Kenyon McNeail going 5-for-8 from three-point land.

“I thought our defense looked a little flat,” said UTSA Head Coach Brooks Thompson about the team’s performance in the first half.

At halftime, the Bulldogs had a commanding 57-26 lead, going into the locker room.

Despite the outcome of the first half, the Roadrunners came out with tons of energy and the will to compete.

After allowing LA Tech to score three points, the Roadrunners would go on an 18-3 run and pull within nine points, the smallest margin since the start of the game.

As the Roadrunners chipped away at the lead the energy in the Convocation Center came alive. Roadrunner guard Keon Lewis led the charge, attacking the basket and getting to the line with every possession. Lewis would end the game with 24 points, two rebounds, and two assists while shooting a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line.

The Roadrunners showed much character, with players stepping up and delivering big plays. UTSA forward Phillip Jones would add a key block that sent the fans in an uproar, and forward Jordan Sims would add two back-to-back treys to keep UTSA’s hopes alive.

It was the Roadrunners’ stout defense that held their rally together, forcing LA Tech to miss five consecutive shot attempts and extracting three turnovers.

Although UTSA put up a valiant effort, they were never able to catch up with the Bulldogs. With every Roadrunner basket made, Bulldog forward Chris Anderson and guard Kenyon McNeail would answer.

McNeail gave the Bulldogs 15 points from the bench, with all of them coming from downtown; he would shoot 62 percent from 3-point range. LA Tech would collectively go 9-for-19 from beyond the arc.

Anderson dominated the paint, scoring a career-high 26 points. LA Tech would outscore UTSA 42-28 on points in the paint.

Both offenses would have their moments to open up the game, but it was LA Tech that pulled away down the stretch. With a few minutes left, they would go on a 14-6 run to finish the game 87-72. LA Tech looked too fast at times, and gave UTSA a little too much to handle early on.

LA Tech looked to bury the Roadrunners after the first half, but UTSA showed heart and proved that they had the character to keep playing.

“Yeah, I am little disappointed in our guys from the first 20 minutes, but I’m also proud of them for coming out and still fighting,” said Thompson after the game. “We can keep up with the top teams; we just need to stay focused and stay confident.”

The Roadrunners will take to the road and look to bounce back against Old Dominion (10-11, 4-2 C-USA) Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 pm.

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