Men's Basketball

Roadrunners fall to Jax State in Friday tournament action

SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA men’s basketball team (2-4) dropped its first game at home after the Jacksonville State Gamecocks’ (2-4) lead got away from the Roadrunners in the second half. Despite shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half, UTSA’s late rally came up short in the 77-62 loss on Friday at the Convocation Center.

Though Jacksonville State moved out to an early lead, point guard Adante' Holiman rounded the paint, creating his own space to get UTSA moving. Trey Edmonds and Christian Tucker went back-to-back on steals that ended in coast-to-coast dunks for the Roadrunners’ first lead at 6-4 – kicking off an early shootout to open up play at the Roadrunner/Cardinal Classic.

With the teams trading scores, a Mason Nicholson hookshot inside brought the game to the game’s fourth tie at 10-10 with 15:07 on the clock, amidst an 8-0 Gamecocks scoring run. Spreading the scoring around, UTSA battled back to a single possession five times over the subsequent eight minutes. Five of the final points of the half belonged to the Gamecocks across a dry final four minutes to grow the Jax State advantage to eight for their largest lead of the first half. However, junior guard Tucker dropped a three with 38 seconds remaining to slice the deficit to five in the closing seconds. Jax State Kyky Tandy missed the attempted buzzer-beater and UTSA trailed 31-26 at the break.

The immediate returns looked like UTSA offense lit a fire after the break, as graduate guard/forward Dre Fuller Jr. drained a three from the corner just 17 seconds into the period – but the Roadrunners stalled while the Gamecocks launched into a 17-7 run. Jax State reached a double-figure advantage on Nicholson’s putback dunk at the midpoint of the half, growing their lead to 13 on the next possession.

After being held to no points at the half, Tandy came to life and hurt the Roadrunners down the stretch, scoring 16 points in the second half off 6-of-10 shooting, while forward Marcellus created a leverage point inside with 10 second-half points.

Under five minutes to go, back-to-back scoring plays for Fuller sparked the Roadrunners via a fade-away jumper and a Tucker-assisted alley-oop dunk – drawing UTSA within single digits for the first time in seven minutes. The Gamecocks reversed the scoring trend but Tucker dropped the deficit to eight with a hoop-and-harm, followed by a putback two on the following possession.

However, the Gamecocks took control over the final two minutes, outscoring UTSA 10-3 en route to a 77-62 Jax State win.

Tucker paced the Roadrunners with a career-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, featuring two beyond the arc – registering his fourth double-figure scoring performance this season. Tucker also logged four rebounds and three assists in the loss. Fuller finished with his first career double-double on 14 points, 10 rebounds, making a pair of blocks in consecutive games.

UTSA shot 42.9 percent from the field but had an uncharacteristically-high 14 turnovers – the most this season from a team averaging around 10 per outing. A big stat on the afternoon was 40 points in the paint for Jax State, accounting for a healthy portion of the Gamecocks’ 17 second-chance points.

Up Next
UTSA jumps right back into action on Saturday at the Roadrunner/Cardinal Classic, facing cross-town foe UIW at 3 p.m. at the Convocation Center. UIW (3-2) narrowly defeated Jacksonville at home on Wednesday night, 67-66. 



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