Mia Cabello/ The Paisano
On Thursday, Feb. 12, the UTSA Roadrunners notched a riveting 72-67 comeback win against conference rival Old Dominion University (ODU) Monarchs.
The Roadrunners’ comeback was led by senior guard Keon Lewis, who scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, notching his sixth 20-point performance of the season. Lewis also shot 5-of-7 from the field, 2-of-3 from the three-point line, and flawlessly sunk 9-of-9 opportunities from the foul line.
Junior guard Ryan Bowie, scoring 16 points and nabbing 6 boards for the Roadrunners, supported Lewis. Senior center Kaj-Björn Sherman and senior forward Jeromie Hill contributed 11 points a piece. As a team, the Roadrunners shot a staggering 61.1% from the field in the second half.
“We just stayed in the game the whole game.(ODU was) killing us on the rebounds, but I just kept telling the guys to stay in it because we’ll beat them at the end. We’re coming together at the right time and starting to have that poise that we need,” Lewis said commenting on the balanced team contributions.
The Roadrunners looked sluggish in the first half and the Monarchs began turning offensive rebounds into second chance points. Despite their initial struggle, UTSA took the court in the second-half with an improved defensive performance. The Roadrunners instituted a full-court zone pressure that unnerved the Monarchs, allowing the Roadrunners to pull ahead of ODU.
“We started zoning more, mixing it up, and just keeping them on their heels. We had to play harder than the other team to win,” said UTSA Head Coach Brooks Thompson proudly as he reflected on his team’s defensive efforts.
On the following Saturday, the Roadrunners suffered a painful 89-81 loss to the Charlotte 49’ers.
UTSA remained neck-and-neck with the Niners in the first half, trading the lead back and forth several times. The 49’ers scored four of the last five field goals in the first half to pull ahead 42-39 at half.
Charlotte came into the second-half strong, opening the half with a 12-5 run and expanding their lead to 16 points with eight minutes left in the game.
UTSA attempted a comeback, cutting Charlotte’s lead down to four points with 51 seconds left in the game thanks to a layup from sophomore forward Phillip Jones, but Charlotte clenched the win, sinking four free throws in the final 44 seconds of the game.
Charlotte’s all around strength from the field, paced by freshman guard Torin Dorn’s 22 points and a career high 21 points from senior guard Terrence Williams, along with 15 points from Mike Thorne was hard for the Roadrunners to counter. “While it’s more difficult to prepare for a team with so many weapons, you still have to play harder and tougher than them, and we just didn’t do that today,” admitted Thompson as he commented on Charlotte’s multi-faceted offense.
There were bright spots for the Roadrunners in the loss. Senior Keon Lewis recorded 25 points, junior guard Ryan Bowie notched his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds and freshman guard Larry Lewis showed poise with 10 important points off the bench.
The next home game for the UTSA Roadrunners will be on Thursday, March 5, when the team faces off with conference rival Rice in the Convocation Center at 7:00 p.m.