Michael Halle III, Men's Basketball UTSA

As the final horn echoed its last sound, the sensation of defeat settled upon the UTSA men’s basketball team on March 7, 2012. It would be the final Southland Conference Tournament the ‘Runners would ever play in, and it was ended in an overtime defeat to the McNeese State Cowboys, 78-74. 

Nine months later, with the bitter taste of loss still lingering in the mouths of the UTSA men’s basketball team, the Roadrunners took out all of their offseason frustrations on the Southeastern Oklahoma State Savage Storm by beating them 71 – 43 on Nov. 1, 2012 at the Convocation Center.

“I was excited about the way they played for the most part, but there’s a lot we need to work on,” said Head Coach Brooks Thompson.

Thompson was referring to the first-half of the game, the Savage Storm out rebounded UTSA 22 – 16. The Savage Storm also led the Roadrunners in points in the paint, 20 – 8; fast break points, 4 – 2; and they tied UTSA for bench points 6 – 6.

The Roadrunners were taking the majority of their shots late in the shot clock, which was another cause for concern because it forced UTSA into bad shots.

“I was more concerned with getting clean rebounds. We were playing with it too much out there, and when we get clean rebounds it allows us to get into our transition much smoother,” Coach Thompson remarked.

The Savage Storm, in addition, shot 53 percent on 14 – 26 shooting from the field while the Roadrunners shot only 33.3 percent on 11 – 33 from the field. However, senior point guard Michael Hale III and junior forward Jeromie Hill were two bright spots in an otherwise dim first-half for the Roadrunners.

“He’s a sparkplug…he’s your ultimate leader and your ultimate winner. And I expect a bunch more out of him,” Thompson said of Hale.

In the first half, Hale led the team in scoring with eight points, and he contributed two assists, three steals, and two rebounds in 15 minutes of play.

“I’m a leader. I’m a senior, so I have to do what I have to do to win,” said Hale.

UTSA had trouble containing the Savage Storm’s senior forward Urald King. King finished the first-half with an explosive 12 points, one block, and one steal in 18 minutes of play. King made his presence known with plenty of dunks in the opening half.

If the first half of the game was about getting all the first game jitters out, the second half would prove to be more productive for the Roadrunners. The Roadrunners had six additional turnovers, but aside from that, UTSA played like a cohesive unit.

In the second-half, the ‘Runners improved their shooting by scoring 16 of 36  field goals. UTSA’s shooting percentage increased from 33.3 percent to 44.4 percent. As the field goal percentage went up, so did the free throw percentage.

In the first-half, UTSA shot a horrible 27.3 percent on 3 of 11 makes. The second-half, the Roadrunners settled their nerves down at the charity stripe by making nine of 13 free throws for a 69. 2 free throw percentage.

Other than points in the paint, the Roadrunners led the Savage Storm in points off of turnovers, 29 – 11; second chance points, 11 – 6; fast break points, 12 – 6; and bench points 20 – 5.

Hale finished the game with 22 points, five assists, eight steals, three rebounds and only one turnover. Hale’s eight steals tied the UTSA record for steals in one game. Hill finished with a solid performance recording 14 points and eight rebounds.

One of the newest players, junior forward Edrico McGregor, had an impressive UTSA debut with 10 points, two steals, and one rebound.

UTSA hits the road for their next game on Nov. 9, against Morgan State in the Liberty Tax Classic in Norfolk, Va. UTSA’s next home game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 17, against University of South Carolina (USC) Upstate at the Convocation Center at 7 p.m.

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