Jacob Hernandez/UTSA Athletics
Men's Basketball

UTSA’s second-half rally falls short in Denton

 DENTON, Texas – UTSA outscored and outrebounded North Texas during a strong second-half performance, but it wasn't enough as C-USA's second-ranked Mean Green downed the Roadrunners, 63-59.
UTSA (7-15, 1-10 C-USA) dropped Thursday night's nationally televised, ESPNU game, despite making a strong push in the second half. UTSA outrebounded the Mean Green 18-9 and outscored UNT 32-29 over the last 20 minutes. North Texas (17-5, 8-3 C-USA) got a 21-point performance from Tylor Perry who went 5-8 from downtown during the game.
UTSA utilized the same starting lineup of Christian Tucker, John Buggs III, DJ Richards, Aleu Aleu and Massal Diouf for the third straight contest, but it was Jacob Germany's 15-point, seven-rebound performance off the bench that led the team. Also scoring in double digits were Buggs (13) and Richards (12). Richards added five rebounds to his 12-point effort. In Tucker's third-straight nod at point guard, he dished out five assists, a season-high. Josh Farmer chipped in six points from the bench as well.
The Rundown
The game started slow as both teams struggled to get much going offensively. At the first media break, North Texas led UTSA 8-6. The Mean Green came out of the media timeout with a play drawn up for a layup to take a 10-6 lead. UTSA countered with a Richards jumper on its next possession. After getting a stop on defense, UTSA came back down and Richards buried a triple to give the Roadrunners a one-point advantage – their only one of the night – as the game went into the under-12. UNT made a run of its own, going up 20-13 as the teams headed into the under-eight. The Mean Green extended their lead to as large as nine, its biggest of the game, twice in the final eight minutes but UTSA was able to head into the half down just seven as the score sat at 34-27 in favor of UNT. At the break, Buggs had a team-high ten points while Richards had nine.
UTSA came out of halftime on a mission, immediately going to work and cutting into the Mean Green lead. A 10-3 run in favor of UTSA knotted the game up at 37 as the two teams entered the first media timeout of the second half. North Texas responded with another run of its own, rattling off a 10-4 spurt to take a six-point lead at the under-12. The two teams proceeded to play some physical, hard defense as UTSA started slowly but surely chipping away. The methodical play of the two teams included a stint where UTSA got six consecutive stops on defense, resulting in UTSA pulling within one point with 4:37 left on the game clock. From that point, UNT's Perry turned it up a notch, burying back-to-back triples to give the Mean Green control of the momentum and putting North Texas up seven. UTSA came back with four straight free throws (two from Erik Czumbel and two from Germany), cutting the lead to three. After cutting the lead to three, Perry took the ball and got a basket, pushing the UNT lead to 61-56. UTSA came back on the other end and attacked with Tucker drawing a foul and going to the line for two. After making the first, Tucker followed up his own miss and spun home the rebound to pull UTSA within two. North Texas forced UTSA to foul and Perry went back to the stripe to bury two and give the Mean Green a four-point lead, 63-59. UTSA rushed down to get Richards a shot, but it was off the mark and UNT pulled away victorious.
Up Next
After a one-off trip to Denton, UTSA will return home to face Louisiana Tech in the two teams' second meeting this season this Saturday, January 28. In the teams' previous matchup in Ruston, La Tech topped UTSA 91-69. Saturday's contest is set to tip off at 3 p.m., will be streamed on ESPN+ and will be broadcast on Ticket 760 AM.
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