Stephen Franklin

In the last week, the Roadrunner men faced off with conference foe McNeese State in Lake Charles, LA.

The Runners also stepped out of the conference to face Georgia State in Atlanta as part of a national event matching up teams from different conferences within grasp of NCAA tournament berths.

In both cases, the Runners came up short. Though only one game counted toward the conference standings, both counted as losses all the same.

McNeese, 58; UTSA, 54

It had been a while since the McNeese State Cowboys defeated the Runners.

Four years ago to be exact.

That changed Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Lake Charles when the Cowboys held off a late run by the Runners and held on to win 58-54.

Entering the game, the Roadrunners and Cowboys had been separated by two games in the overall conference standings, with the Cowboys at 9-2 and the Runners at 7-4.

Both sides battled out a tough first half that ended with the Runners holding onto a 30-29 advantage.

The second half saw the Cowboys retake the lead and then build it to as much as 11points before the Runners did their best to cut into it, getting to within three points, 57-54, with five seconds left in the game.

The Cowboys would seal the victory with a free throw in the waning seconds to take the game with a four-point win.

Leading the charge for the Runners, Melvin Johnson III finished with 18 points. Michael Hale and Jeromie Hill both finished with 11 points. The next closest Runner was Kannon Burrage, who ended the game with seven points.

The Cowboys used a combo of Patrick Richard and Dontae Cannon, both scoring 16 points, to defeat the visiting Runners in a game with tournament seeding implications.

The Runners fell to 7-5 in Conference. Despite the loss, the Roadrunners moved from sixth overall in conference to a tie for fifth with Northwestern State, a team the Runners defeated in January.

Georgia State, 82; UTSA, 71

The Roadrunners took a break from the defense of their Southland crown to play an out-of-conference game with the Georgia State Panthers as part of the Sears Bracketbusters in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The result was another Runner loss, this time by an 11-point spread, 82-71.

The Runners and Panthers fought early to gain the upper hand in the contest with the Panthers leading by as much as 15 in the first half, 37-22. The Runners were able to cut the Panther advantage to seven, 45-38, by the end of the opening half.

Seven was as close as the Runners got; the Panthers cruised through the second, leading by as much as 19 points, 79-60, with three minutes left in the game.

The Runners were able to get within only 11 points before time ran out on them in Atlanta.

The Runners had two players score in double figures, Kannon Burrage with 21 and Michael Hale III, who finished with 18. The Panthers had five players score in double figures; Rashaad Richardson and Devonta White led the way with 16 points apiece.

Bracketbusters started 10 years ago as a way to match up top teams from different conferences three weeks before Selection Sunday.

The Roadrunners will go back to defending their title when they head to Corpus Christi on Wednesday, Feb. 22, to take on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at 7 p.m.

The Runners will follow that up with a home game against I-35 archrival Texas State on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m.

Related Stories

More from Paisano1

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In Sports

Ryan Garza Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners faced the Army West Point Black Knights in the second home game of the season for the…