BEAUMONT, Texas – The UTSA men’s basketball team (1-2) dropped its second straight road contest after Lamar (2-1) created just enough separation to finish at the free throw line in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s 90-82 non-conference loss at Neches FCU Arena. Despite Adante’ Holiman’s 22-point outburst, rebounding performances on the glass proved to be the most decisive factor in the final margin.
Coming right out of the opening tip, UTSA flashed a strong offensive performance and jumped out to an early 14-7 lead. Following eight minutes of the Roadrunners building their lead to eight, the Cardinals started to chip away and climb into contention for the first time. Lamar outscored UTSA 12-4 over the next three minutes to produce the second of 10 ties on the night at 21-21 and then at 23-all right behind it. Trying to put a stop to the shootout, Lamar delivered three-point finishes on each of the next three possessions to emerge with a six-point advantage.
Battling back from the deficit, UTSA launched into a 12-3 run over the next four minutes, sparked by a Holiman-assisted Isaiah Wyatt three in the right corner, and quickly followed by a Trey Edmonds steal that ended the next possession with Holiman driving for the score off the glass. Edmonds knotted the score on a dunk with 3:05 remaining and PJ Carter buried a trey at 2:17 to push UTSA on top 38-35 – the first lead in over six minutes.
The Cardinals wasted no time responding in kind, as Terry Anderson dropped a game-tying three on the other end just 20 seconds later. While Carter’s free throws pushed the Roadrunners on top, Ja'Sean Jackson made the most of the final 2.4 seconds before the break, driving to half court and firing off the go-ahead field goal, despite smothering Wyatt defense – heading to halftime with Lamar on top 42-40.
Coming out of the locker room, the game seesawed throughout the second half. UTSA initiated the first of six second-half lead changes at 17:36 with Holiman using an Edmonds top of the key screen for the three to go back in front, 50-48 – with Holiman scoring eight of the first 12 UTSA points in the half.
However, every time it looked like UTSA had the upper hand, Lamar was able to extend possessions with offensive rebounds and slowed the momentum with a three.
With UTSA leading 75-73 with 4:00 on the clock, Jakevion Buckley’s fast-break three moved Lamar in front for the final time. The Cardinals meticulously built their lead over the final two minutes, putting away eight consecutive free throws to pull away 90-82.
Holiman blew away his career high in finishing with 22 points to lead all scorers, shooting 7-for-16 with four from long range – while also grabbing four rebounds with two steals. Edmonds scored in double-figures for the third time this year, capturing his first career double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds, also making four assists. Center Carlton Linguard Jr. notched 10 points with seven rebounds and Carter rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 on the night.
Overall, UTSA shot 41.2 percent from the field, ahead of Lamar’s 35 percent. However, the 57-45 Lamar rebound advantage was crucial, while the 25 offensive boards for the Cardinals was decisive – Lamar logged 12 extra shot opportunities and scored 17 on second-chance plays.
Back home briefly this week, UTSA will travel north on Friday for the Battle of I-35 against Texas State in San Marcos. The Bobcats bounced back from a season-opening loss to Little Rock with a 75-65 MAC-SBC Challenge victory over Miami (OH) and dropped a 93-54 setback at Oklahoma on Tuesday. Friday will be TXST’s home opener with a 7:15 p.m. tip-off.
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