Haynes’ lifts UT Arlington past UTSA, 72-66

Marquez Haynes poured in 38 points, including 30 in the second half, and UT Arlington rallied from a double-digit deficit to hand UTSA a 72-66 defeat on Saturday night in Southland Conference action at Texas Hall.

Haynes was 13-for-19 from the field, including 6-of-9 from behind the 3-point line, and also went 6-for-9 from the free throw line in tallying more than half of the Mavericks’ (8-7, 1-2 SLC) points. The Irving native scored 19 consecutive points during a 21-7 second-half run that helped lift UTA to its third straight win over the Roadrunners (12-4, 2-1 SLC).

Senior Demarco Stepter led four Roadrunners in double figures with 15 points, and he nearly registered his second double-double of the season with a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Morris Smith IV joined Stepter in double figures with 13, while seniors Terry Fields and Omar Johnson scored 11 and 10, respectively. Junior Devin Gibson added nine points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals in logging all 40 minutes.

Faced with a seven-point deficit in the second half, Haynes single handedly pulled the Mavs back into the game by scoring 19 consecutive points over a four-minute stretch. He drained a jumper from the top of the key with 11:37 to play to knot the score at 44-all and following an offensive foul by UTSA, struck from downtown twice in the next 40 seconds to give UTA its first lead of the game, 50-44.

Haynes knocked down back-to-back treys to give UTA a 56-51 advantage with 8:50 remaining and a LaMarcus Reed layup one minute later capped the 21-7 run.

UTSA rallied to make it a one-possession game after a pair of Fields free throws made it 67-64 with 1:47 to play. However, the Roadrunners could not get over the hump down the stretch, and the Mavs held on for the six-point win.

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, as UTSA made just 12-of-36 (33.3 percent), including 3-of-12 from downtown. Meanwhile, UTA shot just 30 percent (9-30), including 1-for-11 from beyond the arc.

UTSA stormed out of the gates to a 19-7 lead through the first eight minutes. Smith IV had a pair of 3-pointers and a fastbreak slam dunk to key the spurt. The Roadrunners held the Mavericks without a field goal for a span of four minutes before an Ishmael Awange jumper at the 9:23 mark stopped the bleeding.

UTA climbed back to within three late in the first after a Haynes layup made it 25-22 with just under four minutes to play. UTSA pulled away again with a 6-0 run behind back-to-back layups from Stepter and another driving lay-in from senior Chris Allen, but the Mavericks closed the half with a 6-0 stretch of their own to make it 31-28.

UTSA built a 44-37 lead through the first six and a half minutes of the second half before Haynes caught fire.

The Roadrunners return home to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jan. 23 at the Convocation Center.