Hudsyn Vasquez-Morales
Men's Basketball

UTSA roasts McMurry in 41-point exhibition victory

SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA men’s basketball team came away from the Convocation Center on Monday night with another tremendous exhibition victory, downing visiting McMurry in a 41-point rout that saw eight of the 11 players finish in double-figures and the largest UTSA scoring total in six years – topping the War Hawks in a 125-84 win that brings the 2023-24 exhibition scoring total to 225 points.

Senior center Carlton Linguard Jr. set the Roadrunners in motion just 21 seconds into Monday night’s contest, taking an offensive rebound for a floater on the left block. McMurry countered with a CJ LeBlanc three on the other end, setting the War Hawks toward their only lead of the night. Dre Fuller Jr. ended McMurry’s brief advantage after just 51 seconds on a putback layup. Linguard rejected the McM response and Fuller extended the UTSA lead. While both offenses stalled for over a minute, a pair of Trey Edmonds free throws, quickly followed by back-to-back Christian Tucker scores set the table for UTSA – sparking an 8-2 run – the first of many big Roadrunner pushes to come.

With McMurry down just 12-7 at the first media timeout, that’s as close at the War Hawks would see it moving forward, despite their fast and frenetic style of play.

With 11:09 remaining in the opening half, Massal Diouf finally pierced the double-digit lead threshold and went back-to-back on scores to cap off a 7-0 run across a four-minute stretch.

Just four minutes later, the Roadrunners had doubled their lead, and more, on a 20-4 push. Though the War Hawks battled back against the 27-point deficit, threes on consecutive possessions from point guard Adante’ Holiman put UTSA back on a growth trajectory. A pair of PJ Carter free throws with 1:30 to go delivered UTSA its first 30-point advantage and forward Chandler Cuthrell added the exclamation point on the first 20 minutes with a bone-rattling putback dunk as time expired on the 69-38 halftime lead.

The second half left no reprieve for McMurry, as the Roadrunners opened up with a 9-2 run in the first 80 seconds of the period, and Fuller’s fast-break three extended the advantage to 40 just four minutes in. The Roadrunners maintained their offensive pressure, growing their lead to as much as 45, keeping pace with a flurry of dunks from Linguard, Cuthrell and Josh Reid that moved UTSA to its biggest scoring performance since Nov. 30, 2017 against Ottawa in the 125-84 exhibition victory.

Tucker scored 16 to lead the Roadrunners, shooting 7-of-9 from the field and doling out five assists in just 25 minutes of action. For the second consecutive exhibition, Cuthrell logged a double-double, scoring 13 with 11 rebounds and five assists. Fuller also registered a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds. Celebrating his 20th birthday, Holiman scored 13 of his 14 points in the first half to pace the Roadrunners, chipping in four assists. Nazar Mahmoud scored 15 with four assists, followed by Isaiah Wyatt with 12 points, Edmonds with 12 points, eight rebounds and Diouf was a perfect 5-for-5 for 10 points.

Coming off a 20-point night against Trinity, Linguard didn’t make it to double-digit scoring, but led the team with 12 rebounds and four blocks. He grabbed eight boards on the offensive glass against the War Hawks.

Scoring 72 points in the paint and accruing 69 bench points, UTSA shot a blistering 65 percent from the field in the first half and ended the night at 55.1 percent from the floor. The Roadrunners knocked down 11 from beyond the arc, but struggled at the free throw line with a 16-of-31 effort. UTSA more than doubled McMurry’s rebounding effort, logging a 69-31 advantage.

The Roadrunners officially open their 43rd season next week, hosting Western Illinois on Nov. 6 at the Convocation Center with a 7 p.m. tipoff slated to air Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket and streaming on ESPN+. The WIU Leathernecks finished 16-14 last season and had no exhibitions on the calendar in 2023-24, taking the floor for the first time next Monday in San Antonio.