Darrell James, LA Tech
Men's Basketball

Second-half run propels Bulldogs past Roadrunners on Friday

RUSTON, La. – A run late in the second half propelled Louisiana Tech to a two-game series opening win over UTSA men's basketball, on Friday night at The Thomas Assembly Center. 
UTSA (5-7, 1-4 Conference USA) battled Louisiana Tech (10-4, 3-2 C-USA) in a tight affair that saw the game tied at 32 at halftime and the Roadrunners rip off a 20-2 run early in the second half to build a lead. The Bulldogs rallied late in the game to regain the lead with just over five minutes left, holding on to secure the win. 
The Bulldogs improved to 8-1 at home in 2020-21 and 24-2 over the last two years. 
The Roadrunners were led by senior guard Jhivvan Jackson, who had 25 points, including 19 in the second half. 
Keaton Wallace finished with 18 points, adding nine rebounds and four assists. 
Louisiana Tech was paced by four players in double figures, led by JaColby Pemberton, who had 18 points and Amorie Archibald, who had 19 points and five rebounds. 
UTSA shot 38.2 percent from the field and was 5 of 27 from 3-point range. Louisiana Tech finished shooting 43 percent and 5 of 18 from three. 
The series will conclude on Saturday at 6 pm on ESPN+ and Ticket 760 AM. 
Louisiana Tech scored 10 of the first 12 points in the opening two minutes, forcing a timeout from UTSA Coach Steve Henson. 
UTSA started clawing back out of the timeout, getting triples from Wallace and Cedrick Alley Jr. to cut the lead to 14-8 with 13:40 left in the first. The lead went to 18-10 at the second media break, with UTSA getting a midrange bucket in the corner from Alley. 
Cobe Williams gave LA Tech its's first double-digit lead at 21-10. The Roadrunners scored seven of the next 11, getting a bucket at the rim from Jordan Ivy-Curry, a field goal from Wallace and a transition trey from Alley. 
Wallace sank a trio of free throws and Jackson dropped a floater in the paint to cut the lead to 25-22. After a Bulldogs bucket gave LA Tech a five-point lead, UTSA ripped off a 6-0 run to take the lead and force a timeout from Louisiana Tech. The run featured a layup from Ivy-Curry, a midrange jumper from Jackson and a Jacob Germany layup.  
Wallace swiped the ball on the defense end and laid in a tough bucket in traffic and then made a midrange jumper to give UTSA a 32-27 lead and a 10-0 run, part of a 20-2 stretch for the Roadrunners. A Exavian Christon 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from JaColby Pemberton evened the game at 32 at the half. UTSA shot 35 percent in the first and LA Tech was at 38 percent, with UTSA going 3 of 16 from range and LA Tech going 1 of 7 from distance. Wallace led all scorers with 12 points, adding eight rebounds. 
Jackson came out hot, sinking midrange jumpers on three consecutive trips down the floor. Eric Parrish hit a pair of free throws and Jackson sank the final of his two attempts to give UTSA a 41-38 lead and a 9-6 start to the half. 
Jackson went 4 for 4 to open the half after another midrange, contested jumper, giving UTSA a 43-39 lead. The Bulldogs scored the next six points to regain the lead. Jackson snapped the run with a free-throw line fadeaway jumper. 
Ivy-Curry gave UTSA the lead at 50-49 after drilling a corner transition 3-pointer and Jackson added to it with a free-throw line fadeaway, taking the lead to 52-49 with 11:44 left. 
Luka Barisic executed a post-move hook shot to give UTSA a 54-49 lead. Jackson answered a LA Tech bucket with a baseline jumper and Wallace answered a second Bulldog bucket with a triple, good for a 59-53 lead. 
Wallace sank a trio of free throws to answer a LA Tech triple but the Bulldogs sank a pair at the charity stripe to cut the lead to 62-58 and then drilled a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one. Ivy-Curry gave UTSA a 64-61 lead with 7:01 left after a strong take to the rim. 
LA Tech scored the next six points to take a 67-64 lead with 4:30 left before Jackson sank a jump shot at the top of the key. The Bulldogs then got dunks in transition on consecutive trips from Andrew Gordon to take a 71-66 lead and force a timeout from Henson. 
The lead grew to seven in the final two minutes as the Bulldogs sealed off the win. 
- UTSA -