UTSA’s Jackson ‘just trying to win as many games as possible’

The UTSA Roadrunners didn’t have much to celebrate in the wake of a 100-62 loss at Old Dominion on Thursday night.

It was the worst loss of the season for the Roadrunners.

Regardless, it’s worth noting that guard Jhivvan Jackson broke a 19-year-old school record for most points in a season by a freshman.

Jackson scored 22 against the Monarchs, hiking his season total to 488.

With his effort, the 6-foot Puerto Rico native surpassed the previous record of 483 points by Devin Brown, who did it in 1998-99.

Brown, from South San West Campus High School, went on to play in the NBA and claimed a championship ring with the Spurs.

Jackson was never aware that he ranked among the top freshmen scorers in the nation or that he could break the UTSA school record until it came up in media interviews last month.

At the time, he said, “It really just comes down to how much my teammates and my coaches trust me with the ball and give me the right to make plays. They trust me to do that.

“That’s really what I’m doing. Trying to win as many games as possible for this team. Just, making the right play and making everyone better.”

Jackson, averaging 18.8 points per game, ranks fifth among freshmen on the NCAA scoring list.

Ranking ahead of Jackson on the national list are Trae Young of Oklahoma (first overall in Division I at 29.1 ppg), Howard’s RJ Cole (24.3), Marvin Bagley III of Duke (21.2) and Arizona’s Deandre Ayton (19.7).

UTSA freshman scoring leaders

1. JHIVVAN JACKSON 2017-18 488 18.8
2. Devin Brown 1998-99 483 16.7
3. Jeromie Hill 2010-11 455 13.4
4. Devin Gibson 2007-08 396 14.1
5. Derrick Gervin 1982-83 347 13.9
6. KEATON WALLACE 2017-18 290 11.2
7. Byron Frohnen 2016-17 280 8.5
8. Giovanni De Nicolao 2016-17 272 8.2
9. Kurt Attaway 2003-04 245 7.4
10. McEverett Powers 1998-99 221 7.6

Winning record in sight

Despite the loss Thursday night, the Roadrunners still have plenty to play for.

They’ll take a 14-12 record and 7-6 mark in the C-USA into a road test Saturday night at Charlotte, the first of five games remaining on the regular-season schedule.

If they can win at least three down the stretch, they’d clinch their first winning record in six years, no matter what happens at the C-USA tournament.

The tournament is set for March 7-10 in Frisco.

UTSA records since 2011-12

2011-12 18-14, 10-6 Southland
2012-13 10-22, 3-14 WAC
2013-14 8-22, 4-12 C-USA
2014-15 14-16, 8-10 C-USA
2015-16 5-27, 3-15 C-USA
2016-17 14-19, 8-10 C-USA

B.J. Stith scores 36 as Old Dominion throttles UTSA, 100-62

UTSA coach Steve Henson looks forward to playing at last-place Charlotte on Saturday night and trying to find a spark.

Trying to start a new winning streak. Trying anything to forget about Thursday night in Norfolk, Virginia.

After B.J. Stith and the Old Dominion Monarchs dominated in a 100-62 victory, Henson seemed to have a hard time shaking the feeling of his team’s worst loss of the season.

“We can’t let this destroy what we’ve done the last few weeks,” Henson said on the team’s radio broadcast. “We’ve been doing good things. We just got man-handled tonight.

“It was grown men just taking us to school. We didn’t have much response to it.”

Stith produced a career-high 36 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Monarchs, who won their fourth in a row.

In winning their eighth game out of nine, Old Dominion improved to 20-5 overall and 11-2 in Conference USA.

Winners of four straight coming in, UTSA fell to 14-12 and 7-6.

The 38-point margin of defeat eclipsed a 24-point loss that UTSA suffered at Middle Tennessee on Jan. 25 as the worst of the season.

Stith made an early statement, hitting a three-pointer 20 seconds into the game and then scoring 28 by halftime.

By that time, the Monarchs were in charge, 52-36.

“He was just fantastic in the first half,” Henson said. “He was pretty good overall. He just had a real good rhythm going and got hot and made threes. Got to the free-throw line. Did a little bit of everything.”

Jackson breaks UTSA freshman record

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson moved up to No. 1 in the UTSA record books for points scored by a freshman, surpassing Devin Brown.

Jackson pumped in 22, giving him 488 for the season.

Brown, who later played in the NBA and won a championship ring with the Spurs, scored 483 for the Roadrunners in 1998-99.

Around the C-USA

The struggling Charlotte 49ers fell to 5-19 overall and 1-12 in the conference after an 87-86 home loss to UTEP.

After Thursday’s games, Middle Tennessee leads the C-USA at 13-1, followed by Old Dominion and Western Kentucky at 13-2. Marshall is fourth at 9-4.

UTSA and North Texas are tied for fifth at 7-6, while Louisiana Tech and Alabama-Birmingham are next at 7-7.

After that, it’s Southern Miss (6-8), Florida International (5-8), Florida Atlantic (4-9), UTEP (3-10), Rice (2-11) and Charlotte (1-12).

Nearly tournament time

The top four teams in the standings get a first-round bye in the C-USA tournament, set for March 7-10 at Frisco. The top 12 teams qualify.

Evans scores 26 as No. 7 Texas Tech beats Oklahoma, 88-78

Texas Tech’s best season in 13 years just got a little better.

Guard Keenan Evans scored 26 points Tuesday night as the seventh-ranked Red Raiders pulled away late to down No. 23 Oklahoma, 88-78, in a Big 12 game at Lubbock.

Alone in first place in the conference, the Red Raiders (22-4, 10-3) held OU freshman Trae Young to 19 points in running their winning streak to seven.

Texas Tech hasn’t won 22 games in a season since 2004-05, when the Bob Knight-coached Red Raiders finished 22-11.

Young entered the ESPN national-television game leading the nation in scoring (29.5) and assists (9.4).

In a strategy that proved effective, Tech employed traps with taller perimeter players in holding Young to 4 of 16 shooting.

Guarded alternately by Jarrett Culver, Zhaire Smith and Niem Stevenson, all of them with at least a three-inch height advantage, the Red Raiders hounded the 6-2 Young into an 0-for-9 night from 3-point range.

It was a eventful homecoming for Young, a Lubbock native whose father played for the Red Raiders.

Not only was the Tech defense all over him, so were the fans who booed and chanted.

“I get that everywhere I go,” Young told newsok.com. “Just because I’m back here in Lubbock, I didn’t think I was going to get a welcome-home type of feel.

“I wasn’t expecting anything different tonight.”

In the beginning, Oklahoma jumped out to an early five-point lead and hung on to lead by one at the half.

The Sooners (16-9, 6-7) continued to play well as a team and mustered a 64-63 lead with 8:51 remaining.

But the Red Raiders were too tough down the stretch.

After Evans drove for a dunk to give Tech an 81-74 lead, OU never got any closer.

Young even dribbled off his foot for a turnover on one possession.

Evans, a senior from Richardson, hit 9 of 15 shots from the field. He also tied a season high with 4 three-point buckets on 7 attempts.

Three other Texas Tech players reached double figures in scoring, including center Norense Odiase with 14. Smith scored 13 and Stevenson had 12 off the bench.

“We’re defending. We’re locking people down,” Odiase told lubbockonline.com. “We’re really harping on defense. … We’re tightening it up together in these last six to seven games. We’ve been playing on that end.”

Baylor beats Texas, 74-73, in double OT for fourth straight win

Forward Terry Maston scored 26 points Monday night as the Baylor Bears beat the Texas Longhorns, 74-73, in double overtime.

In a hotly-contested Big 12 Conference game played at Austin, Texas guard Kerwin Roach II scored on a layup with 21 seconds left, lifting the Longhorns into a 73-72 lead.

But Baylor answered on the other end, with guard Manu Lecomte driving and missing a layup that 7-foot center Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr., followed with a dunk for the game-winning points.

With the win, the Bears improved to 16-10 and 6-7 in the Big 12 to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.

The Longhorns, alternately, fell to 15-11 and 5-8 after a performance regarded as damaging to their NCAA chances.

Baylor built an eight-point lead with four minutes left in regulation and couldn’t hold it.

With 12 seconds left, Matt Coleman knocked down two free throws to cap a UT rally and tie the game, 56-56.

Baylor, on the last possession, passed it to forward Nuni Omot, who missed a wide-open, off-balance three.

Lual-Acuil’s follow shot from close range bounced off the rim at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

In the first OT, Maston produced two quick baskets and hit two free throws in the opening minutes.

A jumper by Lecomte gave the Bears a 64-60 lead with 45 seconds left.

But once again, Texas didn’t flinch.

The Longhorns rallied to tie on two free throws each by Coleman and Roach.

When Lecomte missed a long three-pointer with two seconds left, the game moved into the second OT tied, 64-64.

Quotable

Baylor forward Terry Maston said the Bears are “just clicking right now on offense and defense.”

“Our zone has been really tough and Manu (Lecomte) is really leading us,” Maston said in comments posted on the UT website. “He’s hitting big shots and Jo (Lual-Acuil Jr.) is getting big rebounds. Me, Nuni (Omot) and Mark (Vital), I mean everybody, is just really playing well.”

As Texas players held a post-game meeting in the dressing room, Longhorns coach Shaka Smart described the mood as angry.

“They’re really, really upset and some of those guys are really angry, because it was a game that they really put their egos aside and really came together in terms of attacking and hanging in there together,” Smart said. “But obviously, we came up one stop short or one basket short depending on how you’re looking at it. The guys are really upset.”

Texas notes

The Longhorns have lost three straight and four of their last five. Four of their losses in conference have come by three points or less.

Texas freshman center Mo Bamba produced 16 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. He hit 7 of 17 from the field.

Dylan Osetkowski, Coleman and Roach all scored 15 for the Longhorns, who shot poorly as a team at 36.1 percent.

Baylor notes

Baylor’s Terry Maston, a senior from Desoto, is the nephew of former Texas Tech star Tony Battie.

Bears guard Jake Lindsey is the son of Dennis Lindsey, the general manager of the Utah Jazz. Dennis Lindsey worked as assistant general manager of the Spurs from 2007-12.

Lecomte finished with 16 points and 7 assists. He struggled shooting the ball, hitting only 5 of 15.

Lual-Acuil had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.

Baylor swept two games from Texas this season, both in grind-it-out fashion. The Bears won 69-60 in Waco on Jan. 6.

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Prince or frog? Texas Tech’s Beard wary of Big 12 hype

The Texas Tech basketball program on Sunday discovered yet another sign that the Red Raiders have joined the conversation as a dark horse candidate to play deep into March during the NCAA tournament.

In Jerry Palm’s latest projection for CBS Sports, the Big 12-leading Red Raiders are pegged as a No. 2 seed in the West region, headed for Dallas to play in the round of 64.

Of course, a month remains before Selection Sunday.

But both the experts and amateurs alike are busily trying to sort out what the bracket might look like.

In dissecting how the Big 12 teams will be slotted, Palm has projected the surprising Red Raiders (21-4, 9-3) as a No. 2 and Kansas (19-6, 8-4) as a No. 3.

West Virginia is pegged as a No. 5 seed and the Oklahoma Sooners, who will roll into Lubbock to play the Red Raiders Tuesday night, are a No. 6.

TCU is viewed as a No. 10, with Texas and Kansas State slotted precariously on the No. 12 line.

All very interesting, except Texas Tech coach Chris Beard isn’t buying any of it.

Beard has joked that, in the Big 12, you can be a prince one day and a frog the next.

“A two-game losing streak feels like your life is over,” he told reporters Saturday night.

Life is good at the moment for Beard, whose team has won six in a row.

In their latest statement, the Red Raiders went on the road and convincingly whipped the Kansas State Wildcats, 66-47, to gain sole possession of the conference lead.

Pressed on what he is telling his players now that they hold a one-game edge on defending champion Kansas, Beard said the message is simple.

Stay the course.

“I’m getting this question a lot,” Beard said. “I wish I had a better answer for you. I’m not trying to be like Debbie Downer.

“(With our team) … the next day is the most important. We’re just trying to win the next game on our schedule.”

UTSA beats UTEP for first win in El Paso since 2011

Forward Deon Lyle scored 18 points Saturday night, and UTSA held off the UTEP Miners, 63-59, for the program’s first victory in El Paso since 2011.

In a sloppy game with poor shooting by both teams, Lyle hit five 3-point baskets, allowing UTSA to sweep UTEP 2-0 for the first time in five seasons of Conference USA play.

The Roadrunners (14-11, 7-5) have won four straight and five of their last six to move into a tie for fifth in the C-USA.

Bewitched by 47 percent shooting from the free-throw line, the Miners (7-17, 2-10) lost their sixth in a row.

UTSA won in spite of shooting 39 percent from the field and 50 percent at the free-throw line (11 of 22).

“Coach said it was going to be ugly,” UTSA forward Nick Allen said on the team’s radio broadcast.

Added Allen: “It’s hard to come in here and win, you know, it’s a historical place, with a lot of pride.

“There’s a lot of support behind (the program).

“So, we knew it was going to be hard. We knew it was going to be chippy. But we got it done.”

Frustrating the home fans, UTEP hit only 18 of 50 from the field (for 36 percent) and 16 of 34 at the line.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said the Roadrunners “made it ugly” in the first half with their own lack of execution.

“A lot of stuff going on was our own fault,” the coach said. “(But) we kind of withstood it and responded well there at some point … and had a decent run.

“So many things to go back and look at. So many mistakes down the stretch (at the end of the game).

“Great learning opportunities. You know, we got some young guys out there and (we) made some mistakes, but it’s a lot better to learn from those when you win.”

The Roadrunners led by eight with 55 seconds left and nearly let the game get away from them.

After UTEP’s Isaiah Osborne made two free throws and missed a third with nine seconds left, the Miners had trimmed the lead to two.

Fortunately for UTSA, guard Giovanni De Nicolao put the game away with two free throws with five seconds remaining.

After De Nicolao made the first one, UTEP called time to try to ice him.

But after the break, the sophomore from Italy stepped up and hit the second one, as well, sealing the victory and improving UTSA’s record in C-USA road games to 3-2.

Forward Byron Frohnen produced 12 points and 7 rebounds for the Roadrunners. Allen had 9 points and 13 boards, as UTSA dominated on the glass, 48-35.

De Nicolao and Jhivvan Jackson had 10 points apiece. Jackson, the fifth leading freshman scorer in the nation, was held nine under his scoring average.

He hit 3 of 12 from the field, but Jackson also contributed nine rebounds and had a steal and a break-away layup that gave UTSA a 57-51 lead with 3:24 remaining.

For UTEP, center Matt Willms scored 12 and Paul Thomas and Kobe Magee, a freshman guard from Brandeis, both had 11.

Abilene Christian cruises past Incarnate Word, 80-69

Guard Jaren Lewis produced 20 points and 17 rebounds Saturday afternoon, lifting Abilene Christian to an 80-69 victory over the Incarnate Word Cardinals in Southland Conference men’s basketball.

Playing in Abilene, the Wildcats (15-11, 7-6) built a 16-point lead at intermission and stayed in front by double figures for most of the second half.

The Cardinals (5-17, 0-12) effectively attacked the basket and gained an advantage by hitting 26 of 36 free throws, to only 9 of 14 for the home team.

But they shot 40 percent from the field in losing their 14th straight game. Freshman Keaton Hervey led UIW with 17 points.

Baylor beats No. 10 Kansas, keeps NCAA hopes alive

Guard Manu Lecomte scored 11 points in a late surge Saturday as the Baylor Bears pulled away for an 80-64 victory over the 10th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

Playing at home, Baylor (15-10, 5-7) won its third game in a row to keep alive hopes for a fifth straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Kansas (19-6, 8-4) whittled a 13-point deficit to two in the second half but couldn’t sustain the momentum in falling out of first place in the Big 12 conference.

The Jayhawks have won 13 straight Big 12 titles.

Seven-foot center Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. led Baylor with 19 points. Lecomte heated up late and finished with 18. Nuni Omot came off the bench for 17.

Devonte’ Graham paced Kansas with 23 points. But backcourt mate Svi Mykhailiuk was held to only 2 points on 1 of 8 shooting.

Mykhailiuk entered the game averaging 16.4 points.

Big 12 standings

Texas Tech 20-4, 8-3
Kansas 19-6, 8-4
West Virginia 18-7, 7-5
Kansas State 17-7, 6-5
Oklahoma 16-8, 6-6
TCU 17-8, 5-7
Baylor 15-10, 5-7
Texas 15-10, 5-7
Okla. State 15-10, 5-7
Iowa State 13-11, 4-8

Saturday’s scores

Baylor 80, Kansas 64, at Waco
Iowa State 88, Oklahoma 80, at Ames, Iowa
Oklahoma State 88, West Virginia 85, at Morgantown, W.Va.
TCU 87, Texas 71, at Fort Worth
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 7 p.m.

UTSA plays at UTEP looking for a 2-0 series sweep

The surging UTSA Roadrunners will start a three-game Conference USA road swing Saturday night in El Paso against UTEP.

UTSA (13-11, 6-5) and UTEP (7-16, 2-9) will meet at the Haskins Center in a game that starts at 8 p.m. central time.

If the Roadrunners win, they would complete a two-game, regular-season sweep of the Miners for the first time in five seasons of UTSA’s membership in the C-USA.

UTSA beat UTEP 65-61 in San Antonio on Jan. 20.

A victory also would keep alive hopes for the Roadrunners to claim a top-four finish in the C-USA standings, which would be rewarded with a first-round bye in the postseason tournament.

Currently, Middle Tennessee leads the conference at 11-1, followed by Old Dominion and Western Kentucky at 9-2 and Marshall and North Texas at 7-4.

After winning three straight, UTSA is in sixth place at 6-5, while Louisiana Tech and Alabama-Birmingham are tied for seventh at 6-6.

Freshman guard Jhivvan Jackson has led the Roadrunners in wins over UAB, Marshall and Western Kentucky, averaging 23 points per game during the streak.

The Roadrunners play on the road next week at Old Dominion and Charlotte.

UTSA notes

UTEP swept two games against UTSA in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

UTSA split in each of the past two years, winning at home and losing on the road.

All time, UTSA is 4-10 overall against UTEP and 1-7 in El Paso.

The Roadrunners’ one and only victory over the Miners at the Haskins Center came on Nov. 11, 2011.

On that night, UTSA guard Michael Hale III produced 12 points, 3 assists and 3 steals as the Roadrunners won the season opener for both teams, 73-64.


Sophomore guard Giovanni De Nicolao drives and twists a reverse layup off the glass in UTSA’s 65-61 victory over UTEP on Jan. 20.

Worthy of a highlight reel: A&M upsets No. 8 Auburn

After a poor start in Southeastern Conference play, Texas A&M has won three in a row to bolster its NCAA tournament hopes.

The Aggies knocked off the eighth-ranked Auburn Tigers 81-80 on the road Wednesday night.

Troubled with injuries, A&M (16-8, 5-6) lost the first five games on its SEC schedule.

But the Aggies won at home last week against Arkansas and South Carolina and now have won on the home floor of the first-place team in the conference.

With a little more than a month remaining before NCAA Selection Sunday, A&M appears to be in good shape.

The Aggies are 20th in the nation in the latest ratings percentage index and are projected as a No. 9 tournament seed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

A&M hosts Kentucky on 24th-ranked Kentucky on Saturday at Reed Arena.