SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Roadrunners men’s basketball team (1-3) came out on the wrong side of a defensive struggle on Friday night at the Strahan Center, falling to Texas State (2-2), 72-62, in the latest edition of the Battle of I-35.
It was quickly obvious that defense was on the dance card for the night, as both teams shot under 25 percent, and it was only a 4-2 Texas State lead at the first media timeout. With no clear early momentum leader, the game swung back-and-forth over a single possession much of the half. PJ Carter registered the first tie of the game at 12-12 with a three in the corner at 11:40 and Christian Tucker pulled up from beyond the arc to knot things up again at 15-all.
With 6:43 remaining in the half, Dre Fuller Jr. drained a wide-open pull-up three from the right arc to push UTSA on top for the first time at 20-17. However, Brandon Love fueled a three-possession scoring run that swung the game back toward TXST at 25-20 -- until Tucker created his own opportunity with a burst to the hole that halted the 8-0 TXST run. Isaiah Wyatt cut the deficit to just one point with 10 seconds remaining, but a free throw granted the Bobcats a 27-25 halftime advantage.
The game hovered within a pair of possessions well into the second half. The Bobcats caught a break, with a flagrant 1 foul called on top of a made layup, providing a four-point play at 13:32. In the meantime, a fifth foul forced forward Trey Edmonds to exit with a team-high eight rebounds and 11 minutes on the clock. UTSA switched to zone and whittled an eight-point Bobcats lead down to a single point on Massal Diouf’s free throw at 8:52.
Taking a long seat after tallying his fourth foul one minute into the half, center Carlton Linguard Jr. fouled out at 7:17, Texas State capitalized on the post shortages and grew its lead out to double-digits for the first time on Dontae Horne’s three with just over three minutes remaining. The Roadrunners fought all the way down but couldn’t rally back in the 72-62 loss.
Tucker delivered the Roadrunners’ scoring lead for the second time this season, logging 16 points, including 7-of-7 at the line. Fuller also collected 13 points with three field goals from long range. Chandler Cuthrell came just shy of a double-double, grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds with nine points.
One more trip across I-10 to close out the road stretch with a Monday tilt at Houston Christian in the 11th meeting of the series – just the third this century. HCU is 0-2 after losses to BYU and FIU and will not have another contest before hosting the Roadrunners. Monday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Houston Sharp Gym.
- UTSA -