Freshman guard Keaton Wallace goes up to the basket for an easy layup. Ellyson Ortega/The Paisano

Roadrunners stay hot with wins over Southern Miss & LA Tech

The Roadrunners were back in action last Thursday when they took on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in their second to last home game of the season. UTSA was firing on all cylinders as they walked away with a 64-56 victory.

UTSA came into the game riding the momentum of an exhilarating overtime win against Charlotte the week before. The Roadrunners have been hot and are 4-1 overall through the month of February. Freshman guard Jhivvan Jackson became UTSA’s all-time leading freshman scorer with 518 points this season and five games left to play. Jackson also picked up his seventh Conference USA Freshman of the Week award.

Southern Miss came into the game having lost three of their past four games but already boasting a win over the Roadrunners from Jan. 6 when the two played at Southern Miss.

Offensively, the ‘Runners got off to a blazing hot start when Junior forward Nick Allen got things going early by putting up 12 points and knocking down two three-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the game.

On the defensive side of the ball, UTSA held Southern Miss to only nine points through the first 12 minutes of the game and forced the Golden Eagles into terrible possessions and six turnovers.

Freshman guard Keaton Wallace goes up to the basket for an easy layup. Ellyson Ortega.

 

With less than five minutes to go in the first half, Southern Miss finally found their groove and went on a run to end the second quarter and bring themselves to within 12 points  to close out the half.

Allen and junior guard Deon Lyle were the leading scorers for the Roadrunners in the first half, scoring 14 and eight points respectively. UTSA led the entire first half of the game and were able to shoot 40 percent from the the floor.

With almost 10 minutes left in the game, UTSA saw the lead melt away as what seemed to be a blowout turned into a slim four point ‘Runner lead. This was in part due to the Golden Eagles’ junior guard Tyree Griffin, who led his team with 12 points and three assists that night.

However, a huge momentum shift with nine minutes left in the game saw the Roadrunners go on a 11-0 run to gain some breathing room down the stretch.

With the game winding down and a little under a minute left in the game, the Roadrunners found themselves with a slim five point lead and were hanging on for the win.

The late second half 11-0 surge was all that UTSA needed to secure a 64-56 win over Southern Miss and move the ‘Runners to 16-12 overall and 9-6 in Conference USA.

Nick Allen had a double double, scoring 18 points and bringing in 11 rebounds. Deon Lyle scored 14 points and had six rebounds in the Roadrunners win last Thursday.

The Roadrunners would then take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday in their final home game at the Convocation Center this season. Halfway through the second half of the contest, guard Deon Lyle helped spark the UTSA offense with two three pointers and led the ‘Runners to a 74-64 victory.

Lyle led the way with five three-pointers and 17 points total with seven rebounds to go along with that mark. Sophomore forward Bryon Frohnen and freshman guard Keaton Wallace both finished with eight assists and 10 points each while as a team the ‘Runners shot 47 percent from the field.

The Roadrunners are now 17-12 overall and 10-6 in conference play this season. The final two games of the season will both be played on the road at North Texas this Thursday and Rice this Saturday.  UTSA will clinch a first round bye if they are able to win out and Marshall loses their last two games.

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