SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA men’s basketball team (4-4) earned its second consecutive home win in a whirlwind victory over Lamar (4-4) late Thursday night at the Convocation Center. In a streaky game that saw four lead changes, UTSA lead by double-digits and then weather a late 10-point deficit, the Roadrunners came storming back to recapture the lead with 1:36 remaining and fend off the visiting Cardinals in the 86-83 victory to close out November.
Stepping up as the fifth different player to take the scoring lead this season, junior guard Isaiah Wyatt quickly showed he was on the mark from long range early in the first half – knocking down his first three shots beyond the arc and matching his season high of 10 points in the just the first eight minutes.
Powered by Wyatt’s effectiveness, the Roadrunners grew their lead to double-digits as center Carlton Linguard Jr. also put down a three, and forward Trey Edmonds rolled to the basket the next time down the floor, bringing the UTSA advantage to 12 with 11:29 to go before half.
Coming down the stretch in the opening period, Lamar chipped away at the UTSA lead, outpacing the Roadrunners on an 8-0 run over a two-minute span that narrowed the advantage to just two points. However, Wyatt nailed threes on back-to-back possessions to carry the Roadrunners into the break with a 44-38 lead.
UTSA shot 41.9 percent in the first half and went 47.4 percent from long distance with nine threes to provide some breathing room – scoring on half of their possessions in the opening period. At the break, Wyatt led all scorers with 21 points.
Seemingly, halftime dampened UTSA’s shooting fury and lit a fire under the Cardinals. The Roadrunners came out of the break shooting just 16.7 percent, making way for a three-minute, 10-3 Lamar run that culminated in Terry Anderson’s driving layup for the 48-47 lead change in the fifth minute of the half. The Roadrunners kept battling but came up just shy of moving over the hump as the teams traded scores through the midpoint of the half, with Lamar cresting a 10-point advantage on Cody Pennebaker’s three at 7:29.
The Roadrunners dug deep and came firing back, sparked by another Linguard three to halt a 7-1 Lamar push. He followed up with a statement dunk on the next possession – with UTSA driving all the way back to 69-67 as Christian Tucker went coast-to-coast for a fast break layup. Another Lamar scoring string put the Roadrunners down eight, and again it was Linguard sparking a gritty finish for UTSA by drilling a three from the top of the arc that sliced the deficit to a single point. Dre Fuller Jr. put away a clutch free throw set at 1:36 to grant UTSA its first lead in 14 minutes at 78-77. Following a Pennebaker turnover, Linguard got another chance from the top of the key, draining another trey and providing UTSA a much-needed cushion. Tucker put away four key free throws as the clock wound down to deliver the 86-83 UTSA win.
Recording a team season-high 27 points and surmounting his prior career high from Chadron State, Wyatt hit seven three-pointers – the most for UTSA since Feb. 2022. Wyatt shot 50 percent from the floor (8-of-16) and 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from distance, fueling UTSA’s 16-three effort. Wyatt also finished with six rebounds and three assists.
Tucker ended the night with a career-first double-double of 13 points and 11 assists – the most dimes for UTSA in two seasons. Tonight’s count grows Tucker’s American Athletic Conference-leading assist total to 48 on the year. Hitting a career-high four three-pointers, Linguard closed the night with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting – also notching a career-best four blocks.
Cleaning the glass, Fuller registered his third consecutive double-digit rebounding effort with 10 boards to go along with eight points.
Despite the early setbacks in second-half shooting, the Roadrunners closed out with a 40.3-percent performance on the night.
The Roadrunners get their first real break of the season, taking 10 days between games with class finals on the horizon. UTSA will be back in action at the Convo on Dec. 10, with Arkansas-Fort Smith visiting San Antonio for the first meeting of the series. The Roadrunners and Lions are scheduled to meet in a 12 p.m. tipoff for the first UTSA game in December.
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