UTSA 86 – UTEP 79: Roadrunners Backcourt Trio Scores 65 vs. Miners
UTSA's trio of guards in Jhivvan Jackson (32 points), Keaton Wallace (19) and Jordan Ivy-Curry (14) combined for 65 points, as the Roadrunners raced away with an 86-79 win against UTEP on Thursday night.
Despite six different lead changes and six instances when the game was tied, the Miners simply could not hang on in the final 10 minutes. The Miners led 53-51 with 10:36 to go in the second half. Then, UTSA proceeded to go on a 21-5 run and never looked back.
Senior Bryson Williams (24) and junior Souley Boum (24) combined for 48 points. Williams (10 rebounds) and Keonte Kennedy (12 points, 13 rebounds) each finished with double-doubles on Thursday.
The first half showed some blowout potential for UTSA. They went on two separate runs early in the first half that separated themselves from the Miners. First, it was a 13-1 run for the home team that propelled them to a 21-11 lead within the first ten minutes. UTSA capitalized on no Miner field goals for nearly a six-minute stretch, as the Roadrunners went on a separate 8-0 run at the 8:12 mark.
UTEP was able to string along a few promising stretches in the final six minutes of the opening half, and cut it to as close as five points (41-36). They used an interesting lineup during this stretch that included Williams, Boum, Kennedy, Vuk Vulikic and Kristian Sjolund. Still, it wasn't enough to fend off the 3-point heavy shooting Roadrunners, who knocked down seven 3-pointers in the opening half.
The Miners got to a 7-0 start to begin the second half. They capitalized on four separate UTSA turnovers and traded leads with the Roadrunners early on. It was largely a back-and-forth contest for the first 10 minutes of the second half until the Roadrunners went on their 21-5 run to put this one away.
UTEP attempted a late-game comeback, cutting UTSA's lead to six points (74-68) with 3:07 left. The Roadrunners simply outscored them 12-11 in the final three minutes to close the game out.
The Miners shot above average from the floor (41%), yet struggled shooting the 3-pointer, knocking down just 5-for-19. The Miners outscored UTSA 36-16 for points in the paint, but allowed 19 fast break points to the Roadrunners.
Up next: UTEP (7-8, 3-6 C-USA) will get a day off in between the home-and-home series, as they host UTSA on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. MT and all the coverage can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso.