Men's Basketball

Fuller’s 24 points paces UTSA to victory at Houston Christian

by Michael Stambaugh

HOUSTON – Dre Fuller Jr. exploded for a career-high 24 points to lead UTSA men’s basketball (2-3) to an 89-87 road victory at Houston Christian (0-3) on Monday night, snapping a three-game losing skid ahead of an upcoming four-game home stand.

The Roadrunners spent over 36 minutes in front on Monday at Frank and Lucille Sharp Gymnasium, but found themselves constantly fighting off the Huskies, who rallied from double-digit UTSA leads four times in the second half to force a single-possession finish.

The Roadrunners set the pace of play early, but Houston Christian was happy to follow, earning early leads in the first five minutes – moving ahead 7-6 at 16:58. However, after point guard Adante' Holiman found forward Trey Edmonds to go ahead 8-7 with his layup off the block, UTSA never trailed the Huskies again.

With the game tied at 17-all, the Roadrunners launched a 7-1 run out of the second media timeout, but HCU’s Marcus Greene pulled the Huskies back into striking distance. With Isaiah Wyatt making his first start for the Roadrunners, he tag-teamed with Massal Diouf to fuel an 8-0 scoring push in response, taking UTSA to a double-digit advantage for the first time. Christian Tucker’s three with 7:31 to go in the first expanded UTSA’s lead to a game-high 13.

However, Houston Christian worked out of the hole by attacking the basket, trading on opportunities at the free throw line to score seven without the clock. The Huskies outscored UTSA 24-12 in the final seven minutes – including a 13-3 push over the final 4:26. After Greene held things up for the Huskies on 14 points early in the half, forward Michael Imariagbe led HCU in the closing-moments rally to the one-point, 47-46 deficit at halftime.

Tucker reached double-figures with 10 in the first half to lead the Roadrunners. UTSA opened the second half with a 9-0 run and Fuller quickly took the reins after the break, scoring nine of UTSA’s first 11 points in the second half to go up 58-51.

Carlton Linguard Jr.’s self-putback with 11:15 on the clock made it a 70-59. The Huskies went in quick pursuit and trimmed the UTSA lead to four – but the Roadrunners rebuilt the lead beyond ten twice more; on a Trey Edmonds free throw and Wyatt layup.

Heading into the final media timeout with an eight-point UTSA lead, HCU came charging back and cut the margin to two points on Pierce Bazil’s free throws at 1:38. In the closing seconds, with the Huskies down three and :03 on the board, Imariagbe made the first free throw and forced the intentional miss – Bruce Carpenter got the offensive rebound but his attempt was off-target to secure the 89-87 UTSA win.

Fuller racked up 18 of his career-best 24 points in the second half, shooting 8-for-15 with three from long range, in addition to four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Tucker scored 15 but also matched his career high of eight assists, on top of five rebounds. Linguard and Chandler Cuthrell both tallied 10 points and six rebounds apiece.

UTSA shot a season-high 49.3 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Huskies 41-38.

Up Next
That’s the last road game of the month for the Roadrunners, with four consecutive home games upcoming. Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Roadrunners are back home in the confines of the Convocation Center for the first time since the season--opening win over Western Illinois on Nov. 6. This weekend, UTSA will host the Roadrunner/Cardinal Classic on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, taking matchups against Jacksonville State (Nov. 24, 12 p.m.) and UIW (Nov. 25, 3 p.m.).


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