Men's Basketball

South Florida escapes San Antonio on top in Convo barnburner

SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA men’s basketball team (8-19, 2-12 AAC) came within millimeters of the biggest upset of the season on Wednesday night at the Convocation Center, nearly upending South Florida's 11-game winning streak. The Roadrunners pulled ahead of the Bulls (20-5, 13-1 AAC) until 1:40 remained on the clock and had a game-winning opportunity with 21 seconds remaining. However, Jordan Ivy-Curry’s three from the wing was just off the mark and a foul call set the Bulls to squeak out the 66-61 win over the Roadrunners.

Defense ruled the first half as neither team could make much headway early, both unable to find the bottom of the basket in the first 10 minutes. The Bulls found their footing first and carried a 6-0 run into the third media timeout with an 18-12 advantage. After USF edged out to a game-high 10-point lead with 7:12 remaining in the half, Isaiah Wyatt sparked a rapid UTSA rally by hitting back-to-back three-pointers. Christian Tucker and Chandler Cuthrell then combined to outscore the Bulls 9-2 across the final 2:18. Tucker’s driving floater at the buzzer capped off the half, leaving UTSA trailing USF by just two points at 32-30

Although South Florida scored in the opening seconds of the second half, PJ Carter was quick to respond for the Roadrunners, dropping a three just 15 seconds later to trim the deficit to a single point. After Carlton Linguard Jr. blocked Chris Youngblood on the other end, Tucker put down a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to push UTSA in front for the first time in 16 minutes. A six-point USF min-run followed, but again Carter was there to rally the Roadrunners, driving the paint for two and then spotting up for three on the left edge to knot the score at 40-all.

After Trey Edmonds muscled UTSA back on top with 13:47 to go, the teams traded leads four times before Linguard blocked Youngblood from behind on an almost-certain breakaway score, putting the ball in UTSA’s hands for Ivy-Curry’s three from the left wing that pushed the Roadrunners ahead 49-48. Linguard got the bucket and the foul on the next trip, and it was UTSA by four. Three key free throws by Cuthrell later, Linguard kissed a pull-up 17-footer off the glass to extend the lead to five points. With UTSA leading 59-54, the Bulls locked down the Roadrunner shooters in the final four minutes, chipping off a pair on Kasean Pryor’s free throws, but back-to-back turnover scores by Selton Miguel and Jayden Reid put the Bulls back in command. With the clock down to 24 seconds and a one-point deficit, UTSA used motion to put the potential game-winner in Ivy-Curry’s hands on the wing, but his triple attempt was barely off the cylinder – the ball out of bounds to USF. An F1 foul called without the ball in play gave the Bulls free throws and the ball, scoring six of the next eight points to survive the Roadrunners in the 66-61 outcome.

UTSA shot 29.4 percent to USF’s 37.1 percent, but made up for it with second chances, thanks to a 48-43 rebounding advantage. Both teams coughed up the ball in Wednesday’s defensive affair, UTSA giving a season-high 19 turnovers, while forcing the Bulls into the season’s second-most opponent turnovers at 15.

Tucker led all Roadrunners with 15 points, also accumulating seven rebounds and six assists. Both Cuthrell and Linguard picked up 10-point, 10-rebound double-doubles, the first tandem on the stat since last February against Western Kentucky.

Up Next
UTSA will close out the week in Denton for a Saturday, Feb. 24 matchup at North Texas. New week presents the rematch with Tulsa on Greek Night at The Convo, Feb. 28., followed by a road swing to meet SMU on March 2.