Katy, Texas—Devin Gibson is not ready for his college career to be over. Just one day after he registered a triple-double to lead the Roadrunners past the two seed Northwestern State, he nearly did it again.
Gibson was four assists shy of having back-to-back triple-double games but in scoring 26 points and coming down with 11 rebounds he led the Roadrunners past the three-seed Sam Houston State Bearkats, 79-70 and back to the Southland Tournament Final for the first time since 2009 when the then-six seeded Roadrunners fell to the one seed Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.
“It feels great to know that all the hard work you put in in spring and summer will pay off,” Gibson said when asked about a return to the conference final.
It wasn’t just the Devin Gibson show. Melvin Johnson scored 14 points. Along with those two, the Roadrunners had eight players find the bottom of the net in some form.
Stepping up to make big plays for the Roadrunners were Alex Vouyoukas who had the Roadrunners lone block of the game and Sei Paye who was third on the Roadrunners in scoring behind Gibson and Johnson with 12 points.
Paye led the bench players who pitched in 25 points altogether and proved to be the difference in the game.
“When some of our guys got in foul trouble it was time to step up,” Paye said. “We did whatever we had to do.”
The Roadrunners deftly used the zone defense to get the Bearkats off their game and out of the tournament.
“We don’t normally run zone at UTSA,” Head coach Brooks Thompson said. “I think our guys are very deserving of this victory, but we are by no means satisfied yet.”
The Roadrunners will prepare to face the McNeese State Cowboys on Saturday at 3 p.m. from the Merrell Center in Katy. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN 2. Tickets are free to students with school ID.