Men's Basketball

Oregon State squeaks past UTSA in the closing seconds

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A balanced scoring effort led by newly-available guard Jordan Ivy-Curry and a career outing for forward Massal Diouf were not enough for UTSA menʻs basketball (5-6) to earn the victory in perhaps its final game against a contemporary Pac-12 Conference team on Sunday at Gill Coliseum, as the Roadrunners fell 66-65 to Oregon State (7-3).

Ivy-Curry finished with 11 points on 5-for-11 from the field and had seven assists as UTSA finished the day shooting 43.3 percent from the field. Diouf finished with a career-high 10 points on 5-for-6 from the field, coupled with career bests of eight rebounds and four blocks, three of which came in the first half. Senior center Carlton Linguard Jr. Also had 10 points despite sitting most of the first half due to foul trouble.

Jordan Pope led Oregon State with a game-high 19 points and made his only free throws of the game to take the lead with 13 seconds left. The Beavers finished the game shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three-point range.

The Roadrunners used solid defense to set the pace early, limiting the Beavers to 2-for-7 shooting in the first five minutes. Linguard opened the game with a three-pointer at the top the arc as the Roadrunners made their first two threes and went 2-for-4, opening the 8-5 lead on Dioufʻs lay-in at the 15:28 mark.

After connecting on his second three-pointer of the game, Linguard drew his second foul and spent the rest of the half on the bench. UTSA’s outside shooting went cold with his departure, going 1-of-7 over the next 10 minutes. In the meantime, the Beavers took their first lead, 12-11, on a Michael Rataj lay-in with 12:45 left, but UTSA converted fastbreak layups on back-to-back turnovers to go up 15-12 at the under-12 media timeout.

The Beavers kept the game close despite UTSA’s disruption of their offensive rhythm, shooting 39.3 percent in the first half as UTSA forced six turnovers. That close game broke open in the Roadrunnersʻ favor thanks to the long ball as back-to-back threes by junior forward Chandler Cuthrell and junior guard Isaiah Wyatt gave UTSA its largest lead at 27-18, with 6:05 before half.

Pushing back on that UTSA nine-point advantage, the Beavers went on a 5-0 run over the final minute of the opening stanza, cutting the lead to four before Diouf’s layup as time expired, sending the Roadrunners into the locker room with a 33-27 lead.

The script flipped over the first eight minutes of the second half, with the Beavers scoring the first four points and taking their first lead since the 12-minute mark of the first half, 41-40, on a Tyler Bilodeau three with 14:41 to go. Linguardʻs only three-pointer of the half tied it at 45-45 with 11:59 left.

Despite OSUʻs 50 percent second-half shooting pace, the Beavers were never able to completely shake the Roadrunners as neither team led by more than four points over the final 15 minutes. Junior guard Christian Tucker singled-handedly gave UTSA its largest lead of the half, connecting on a three-pointer followed by a pair of free throws for a 63-59 with 3:13 left.

The Beavers, however, made the most of their chances in the final minutes, closing the game on a 7-2 run. Dexter Akannoʻs jumper with 58 seconds remaining brought OSU within one and Jordan Pope made two free throws with 13 seconds left to clinch it. The Roadrunners got one more chance with time expiring, but the last-second layup wasn’t meant to be, and the rebound went to Oregon State.

Up Next
Coming off the two-game road trip, the Roadrunners return to the Convo with two more games before closing out 2023, hosting Army West Point on Dec. 17 for Military Appreciation Night and Hoops for the Holidays, ahead of Prarie View A&M on Thursday, Dec. 28.



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