Basketball1 11:18:14

The UTSA men’s basketball team started their 2014-2015 campaign with a decisive 92-74 victory over the Huston-Tillotson Rams Nov. 14, at the Convocation Center.

Behind a team-leading 28 points from junior guard Keon Lewis, the Roadrunners scored the most points in a season opener during the Brooks Thompson era. The Roadrunners led the game from wire to wire, with their largest lead reaching 31 points in the second half.

UTSA started the game with an 18-4 run and never looked back. The Roadrunners shot a 49.2 field goal percentage, while holding Huston-Tillotson to 37.9.

Lewis finished his night shooting seven of 13 from the field while senior forward Jeromie Hill contributed with 14 points of his own.

“We’re happy with the win, but you’ve got to give Huston-Tillotson some credit. They never quit, and they’re a scrappy group of guys,” said UTSA Head Coach Brooks Thompson following the win. “In the first half, I thought we did a good job, but it was a tale of two halves. In the second half, I thought our defense was awful, but a win’s a win. We’re not going to be negative about it.”

The Roadrunners proved they could turn it on as needed by starting the game off hot. The Rams were held to only 16 points in the first half, while the defense racked up 11 of their 40 points off of Huston-Tillotson turnovers.

UTSA junior guard Ryan Bowie had 11 points in the first half while junior center Kaj-Bjorn Sherman added to the first half rout with six rebounds and two steals.

Huston-Tillotson came back strong in the second half, outscoring the Roadrunners 58-52, but the effort from the Rams was not strong enough.

The Rams shot a 54.3 field goal percentage in the second half and nailed 76.2 percent of their free throws, but the Roadrunners shot better, shooting 56.3 percent and hitting 83.3 percent of their free throws.

Hill led the way for UTSA in the second half. He caught fire, scoring seven baskets in a row, totaling 14 points. Friday night marked Hill’s first return to action on the floor after redshirting most of his 2013-2014 season with a knee injury.

With the win, the Roadrunners start their season off 1-0 and improve their all time record against Huston-Tillotson to 4-0.

The Roadrunners are now 27-7 in home openers, with wins in nine of their last 11. UTSA is returning eight players from last season, along with talented incoming freshmen Edwin Olympio, Gino Littles, Tyler Flores, Christian Wilson, Austin Karrer and James Ringholt.

Hill thinks the possibilities for this team are endless.

“You’ve got to expect (a rough start) with such a young, new team,” explained Hill. “We’re going to have our growing pains, but I feel like we can turn it on when we need to. The ceiling for this team is very high – we’ve got guards that are both physical and strong. We are one of the more physical teams in Conference USA. We just have to pick up on the defensive side of things and hopefully we can start clicking when it matters.”

The action will continue for the Roadrunners on Monday, Nov. 17 against the University of Texas Pan-American Broncos at the Convocation Center. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

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