SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA men’s basketball team (6-7) never trailed and lit the scoreboard ablaze while registering over 100 points for the first time in two seasons, closing the non-conference schedule with a scorching 103-89 victory over Prairie View A&M (5-7) on Thursday night at the Convocation Center. Junior guard Jordan Ivy-Curry dropped in a team-high 22 points with eight assists to lead a six-Roadrunner corps of double-figure scorers that ran away from the Panthers in the second half.
The initial look was a holiday hangover as UTSA missed its first four shots, but once forward Trey Edmondsgot the Roadrunners moving with an and-one shot off the block and a dunk on the next possession, UTSA started to gain steam.
UTSA followed with three consecutive scoring possessions just five minutes in, featuring back-to-back threes from Ivy-Curry and Dre Fuller Jr.Massal Dioufgoing inside on the third to give UTSA its first 10-point lead at 16-6. The Roadrunners’ lead see-sawed around double-figures for the next six minutes before another Edmonds three-point play initialized a six-minute stetch outscoring the Panthers 16-6 to a 40-23 lead on a Chandler Cuthrellputback with 3:29 remaining.
Prairie View countered with an 8-3 push over the next minute, but UTSA responded in its own big way, outpacing the Panthers 7-1 in the final two minutes of the half to go up 52-32 at the break.
The numbers were burning up the scoreboard for both teams at the onset of the second half – in a non-traditional way. The new period saw 13 combined trips to the line in the first four minutes, supplemented by three technical fouls. Boosted by a 6-for-6 set in that stretch from Christian Tucker the extra trips to the stripe opened the door for UTSA to build out a game-high 28-point advantage on an Adante' Holimanlong-ball with 14:05 remaining.
Into the final nine minutes, Prairie View began to chip away at the UTSA advantage, as a four-minute Roadrunner scoring drought opened the door to a 13-0 Panthers run, with Prairie View bringing the deficit to just 10 on Javontae Hopkins’ driving the lane for an 83-73 score with 5:44 on the clock. However, Tucker ended the slump with another pair of free throws and a three on the subsequent possession, kicking UTSA back into gear. Even with some single free throws, UTSA scored on seven consecutive possessions to keep the Panthers at an arm’s length as Ivy-Curry drove the lane to cross the century mark – en route to a 103-89 victory – the first 100-point UTSA game since Dallas Christian on Jan. 3, 2022, and the first time scoring over 50 in both halves since 2017.
Behind Ivy-Curry’s season-high points (22) and assists (8), Carlton Linguard Jr.made work of UTSA’s size advantage with his third double-double on 16 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocks. Shooting 8-for-9 at the free throw line, Tucker came on strong in the second half for 16 points, while Edmonds (12), Isaiah Wyatt(11) and Fuller (11) also registered double-digit scoring.
The Roadrunners shot a season-high 55.4 percent and 42.9 percent from long range, collecting a season-best 29 free throws on 78.4-percent at the line. Topped by Linguard, UTSA recorded a season-best nine blocks.
The beginning of 2024’s calendar year also brings the inaugural debut as a member of the American Athletic Conference, kicking off conference play with UAB coming to the Convocation Center for a nationally-televised ESPNU matchup on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. UTSA will follow with two consecutive road games, at Rice (Jan. 6) and Memphis (Jan. 10).
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