Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics
Men's Basketball

North Texas takes opener at UTSA on Friday night

SAN ANTONIO – North Texas – the defending league champion – used a hot-shooting night to post a 77-70 win over UTSA men's basketball, on Friday night at the Convocation Center. 
UTSA (4-6, 0-3 Conference USA) saw its four-game winning streak at home snapped as North Texas (5-4, 1-0 C-USA) used a hot-shooting outing that outlasted the Roadrunners, who caught fire late in the second half.
UNT owned a 38-28 lead at halftime before the Roadrunners rallied with a crisp offensive attack in the second half, outscoring the Mean Green 42-37 in the final period.
UTSA was led by senior guard Jhivvan Jackson, who had a game-high 26 points on 11 of 24 shooting, including a trio of 3-pointers. UTSA also got 14 points and four boards from Keaton Wallace, with Jacob Germany adding 10 points and eight boards. 
The Roadrunners shot 42 percent in the game, including a 32 percent clip in the first half. UTSA was 9 of 26 from 3-point range and made 9 of 12 from the free-throw line. UNT shot 52 percent overall, including a 10 of 23 mark from distance. 
UNT was led by a 17-point performance from Thomas Bell. 
The series will resume on Saturday at 3 p.m. on CUSA TV and Ticket 760 AM. 
North Texas opened the scoring with consecutive 3-pointers before Jackson drained a foot-one-the-line jumper to get UTSA on the board. After UNT took an 8-2 lead, Jacob Germany sank a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 8-4. Jackson and Luka Barisic answered with 3-pointers to even the game at 10 and after a UNT bucket, Jackson gave UTSA its first lead with a 3-pointer. 
Jackson's third 3-pointer gave UTSA a 16-15 lead but the Mean Green scored the next two buckets to take the lead to 19-16 with 9:35 left in the first. 
After UNT took a 22-16 lead, Wallace sank a pair from the free-throw line and Jackson laid in a floater to cut the lead to 22-20. UNT scored the next four points before Eric Parrish and Phoenix Ford each laid in baskets in the paint to force a UNT timeout, trailing 26-24 with 4:22 left. 
UNT scored seven of the next nine points to take a 33-26 lead and force a timeout from Coach Steve Henson. Germany stopped the run but UNT put in two straight buckets to end the half, taking a 38-28 lead into the break. UTSA shot just 32.3 percent in the first half, while UNT shot 48.3 percent and was 7 of 18 from 3-point range. 
The Mean Green lead ballooned in the opening minutes of the second half, as UNT bombed in a pair of 3-pointers to take the advantage to 14, forcing a UTSA timeout. The Roadrunners fought back on 3-pointers from Erik Czumbel, and a pair from Wallace, to cut the lead to 52-47 before UNT ripped off two straight buckets for a 56-47 lead at the under-12 minute media timeout. 
UNT took the lead back into double figures before Jordan Ivy-Curry sank a pair of corner 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, cutting the lead to 64-56 and forcing a Mean Green timeout. 
Jackson went to work, cutting the lead to 64-59 with a floater and a free throw. The Mean Green answered with a basket before Jackson's floater cut the lead to 66-61 with five minutes left. After UNT took the lead to seven, Germany flushed a nifty find from Parrish. 
Wallace nailed a spin-around, midrange jumper to cut the lead to 69-65 with 2:41 left in the game. UTSA got a defensive stop on one end of the floor and Wallace attacked the rim on the other, getting fouled and sinking one to cut the lead to 69-66. 
After Wallace missed the back end of the free throws, Czumbel took a charge in transition to get the ball back to the Roadrunners. 
Wallace then attacked the rim to cut the lead to 69-68 with 1:40 left. UNT big man Zachary Simmons – who entered the game shooting 50 percent from the free-throw line – was then fouled intentionally, missing the final of two free throws to give the Mean Green a 70-68 lead with 1:25 left. 
Jackson's 3-point attempt from the wing rimmed out and Simmons grabbed the rebound with 1:11 left, with UTSA quickly fouling. Simmons made both from the charity stripe for a four-point lead. Wallace's wing 3-point missed wide and UTSA fouled with 48.2 left. Javion Hamlet sank both free throws for a 74-68 lead and Jackson's 3-pointer missed on the other end, with Hamlet getting fouled and making one for a seven-point lead with 26.1 left. 
- UTSA -