Bracey scores 23 as Louisiana Tech knocks off UTSA, 72-67

DaQuan Bracey scored six of his game-high 23 points in the final 1:35 Saturday to lift the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to a 72-67 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

UTSA’s hopes of a regular-season title in Conference USA took a major hit, as the Roadrunners made too many mistakes down the stretch and hit only 5 of 29 for the game on three pointers.

Old Dominion leads the C-USA title chase at 11-3. Western Kentucky, Southern Miss and UTSA are 9-5. UAB and North Texas are 8-6.

Coming up

UTSA next will complete the regular season with four games in the C-USA’s new bonus play format.

Group 1 teams in bonus play will include No. 1 Old Dominion, followed by No. 2 Western Kentucky, No. 3 Southern Miss, No. 4 UTSA and No. 5 UAB.

Projected pairings

A C-USA spokesman said earlier this week that No. 4 would host Nos. 1 and 5 and play on the road against 2 and 3.

Which means, presumably, that UTSA will host Old Dominion and UAB and play on the road at Western Kentucky and Southern Miss.

Trying to hold on for the regular-season title, Old Dominion is expected to host Western Kentucky and Southern Miss and play on the road at UTSA and UAB.

The official pairings and schedule are expected to be released tonight.

Records

UTSA 15-12, 9-5
Louisiana Tech 17-10, 7-7

Texas takes down 11th-ranked Kansas, 73-63

The Texas Longhorns emerged from a funk that lasted for more than three weeks with a 73-63 home victory Tuesday night over the 11th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

The Longhorns entered the game on a two-game losing streak. They had lost five of their last six.

But they registered their best win in Big 12 play by holding Kansas star Dedric Lawson to 13 points on 4 of 14 shooting.

Combined, Lawson and Marcus Garrett went 5 for 18 as Kansas, a 14-time defending conference champion, lost its second straight game.

On the other end, Texas played patiently and forced Kansas into too many fouling situations.

Taking advantage, the Longhorns hit 21 of 23 from the free-throw line.

Dylan Osetkowski scored 16 points to lead four Texas players in double figures.

Kerwin Roach II had 15, Jase Febres 13 and freshman center Jaxson Hayes 12 for the Longhorns.

With the win, Texas snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series against Kansas.

Records

Kansas 16-5, 5-3
Texas 12-9, 4-4

UTSA vs. Charlotte photo gallery

Adokiye Iyaye scored 12 points off the bench for UTSA.

Adokiye Iyaye scored 12 points off the bench for UTSA.

UTSA beat Charlotte 88-43 on Thursday night at the Convocation Center.

UTSA vs. UTEP photo gallery

Atem Bior had 8 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.

UTSA beat UTEP 75-65 on Thursday at the UTSA Convocation Center.

UTSA’s Steve Henson: ‘We’ve got to defend every single night’

Steve Henson speaks with a referee on the sideline last weekend during a game against Southeastern Oklahoma. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Steve Henson (left) speaks with a referee on the sideline last weekend during a game against Southeastern Oklahoma. Assistant coach Mike Peck (right) listens in. – Photo by Joe Alexander”

Last year, the UTSA Roadrunners set out on a nightly basis to push the pace and shoot the 3-pointer.

Even if the long ball was hoisted fairly early in the shot clock, that was OK, because they had enough threats to run and hoist field goal attempts with just about anyone.

And with just about any degree of difficulty.

As UTSA enters Conference USA play tonight, hosting the UTEP Miners at 7 at the Convocation Center, the Roadrunners have established a different mindset.

Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace are expected to fire away, as usual, but the Roadrunners have evolved into more of a team based on defense.

UTSA has held eight straight opponents to 42 percent shooting or less during a 6-2 streak that has given the team hope after an 0-5 start.

“Guys are practicing the right way, buying into it,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “We have five guys who have played a lot, so it wasn’t shocking that we’d end up being a good defensive team.”

Even the younger players have developed a good grasp on what is expected of them on a daily basis.

“Really, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to our leaders about taking control of that, taking control of the defense,” Henson said. “That needs to be their identity.

“Again, that was the thing we had to work through. Who are we? What gives us the best chance to win? Is that 90 possessions a game? Or is it being a great defensive team?

“We’ve gone along here and recognized that we’ve got to defend every single night.”

Notable

UTSA and UTEP will play back-to-back games to open C-USA play, a byproduct of a revamped scheduling system within the conference. The teams will meet again Saturday night in El Paso.

Records

UTEP 5-6
UTSA 6-7

Big Ten states its case with seven teams in the Top 25

Michigan coach John Beilein addresses the media at the NCAA Final Four.

Is the Big Ten regaining its swagger in NCAA Division I men’s basketball?

Led by undefeated Michigan, the Big Ten leads all conferences with seven teams in this week’s edition of the Associated Press Top 25, according to the poll released on Monday.

Michigan, an NCAA Tournament finalist last year, moved up one spot to fourth. Michigan State dropped one place to 10th.

Others from the Big Ten in the seventh installment of the Top 25 include Ohio State (15), Wisconsin (16th), Indiana (22), Iowa (23) and Nebraska (25).

The ACC has five teams in, including Duke (2), Virginia (5), North Carolina (9), Florida State (11) and Virginia Tech (13).

Last year, the Big Ten’s image took a blow when only four of its teams reached the field of 68 in the NCAA Tournament.

It was the lowest total for the conference since 2008.

In addition, only two Big Ten schools — Michigan and Purdue — reached the Sweet 16.

Michigan helped the conference save face when it stormed through the West as the No. 3 seed to reach the Final Four in San Antonio.

At the Alamodome, Michigan knocked off Loyola-Chicago to reach the championship game, where it was throttled 79-62 by Villanova.

AP Top 25
1. Kansas 9-0 Big 12
2. Duke 9-1 ACC
3. Tennessee 8-1 SEC
4. Michigan 11-0 Big Ten
5. Virginia 9-0 ACC
6. Nevada 11-0 Mountain West
7. Auburn 9-1 SEC
8. Gonzaga 9-2 West Coast
9. North Carolina 8-2 ACC
10. Michigan State 9-2 Big Ten
11. Florida State 8-1 ACC
12. Texas Tech 10-0 Big 12
13. Virginia Tech 9-1 ACC
14. Buffalo 10-0 Mid-American
15. Ohio State 9-1 Big Ten
16. Wisconsin 9-2 Big Ten
17. Mississippi State 9-1 SEC
18. Arizona State 8-1 Pac 12
19. Kentucky 8-2 SEC
20. Marquette 8-2 Big East
21. Houston 10-0 American
22. Indiana 9-2 Big Ten
23. Iowa 8-2 Big Ten
24. Furman 12-0 Southern
25. Nebraska 9-2 Big Ten

Texas State beats UTRGV, 77-68, extends streak to eight

Texas State won its eighth game in a row Saturday night, playing on the road and downing UT Rio Grande Valley, 77-68.

Within the winning streak, the Bobcats have won four straight on the road, claiming victories at Portland, UTSA, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and UT Rio Grande Valley.

Tre’Larenz Nottingham scored 19 and Nijal Pearson 16 for the Bobcats. Lesley Varner II had 20 for the Broncs.

Records

Texas State 10-1
UT Rio Grande Valley 7-5

Notable

Trailing by 16 with 13 minutes left, the Broncs rallied to within six. With about two minutes left, UT Rio Grande Valley had a chance to cut it to four twice on one possession, but Varner and Jaron Levi missed. Eric Terry responded with a layup and Nottingham hit a free throw to put the game away for the Bobcats, who haven’t lost since Nov. 17 at Drake.

LSU wins 91-50, as free throw streak for UIW’s Peevy ends at 24

Christian Peevy’s streak of consecutive free throws made ended at 24 on Sunday afternoon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Peevy, a University of the Incarnate Word sophomore from Chicago, hit his first three in a game against the LSU Tigers.

But he finally missed on the second of two with 9:52 left in the opening half during LSU’s 91-50 victory in the Maravich Assembly Center.

The Peevy streak included: 14 straight at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Nov. 25. Seven (in seven attempts) at home last week against Trinity. Finally, three at LSU.

After his lone miss, he finished with six straight, giving him 9 of 10 for the game and 59 of 65 for the season (90.7 percent).

Before the game at LSU, Peevy vowed to try to break the NCAA record for consecutive makes held by UIW assistant coach Darnell Archey.

Archey made 85 in a row over parts of three seasons at Butler from 2001-03.

UTSA runs away from Mid-America Christian, 104-74

Sophomore guard Keaton Wallace scored a career-high 35 points to lead UTSA to a 104-74 victory over Mid-American Christian on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Sophomore guard Keaton Wallace scored a career-high 35 points to lead UTSA to a 104-74 victory over Mid-American Christian on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. – photo by Joe Alexander

With Keaton Wallace and Jhivvan Jackson leading a rejuvenated offense, the UTSA Roadrunners blew out the NAIA Mid-America Christian Evangels, 104-74, Saturday afternoon.

Yes, it was fun for the Roadrunners to win at home again, finally, after an 0-3 start at the Convocation Center. It also felt good to produce season-highs in points and field goal percentage (60.3).

But more than that, UTSA coach Steve Henson commended the players’ focus and work ethic in practices since a deflating 69-68 home loss to Texas State last Saturday.

“I liked the entire week,” Henson said. “Certainly, this is a results-based thing that we’re involved in here and we have to find a way to win ball games. But we also have to find a way to get better every week and every opportunity. I think we really took advantage of that this week.”

Individuals

UTSA — Wallace scored a career-high 35 points on 12 of 16 shooting. He was one off the school record with nine threes. Jackson produced a season-high 28 on an 11-for-21 effort.

Mid-America Christian — Char Beauregard, Jr., scored 15. Daniel William and Justin Bogle had 13 apiece.

Records

UTSA 3-6
Mid-America Christian 6-3

Notable

Henson shuffled his starting lineup, giving Jackson his first start of the season. Jackson responded with a 25-minute performance that included six rebounds, three assists and a team-high four turnovers. The move seemed to create space on the floor for Wallace, who was getting open looks consistently.

Quotable

Asked what went into the decision to start Jackson, Henson said: “Today was the first day we didn’t have to monitor his minutes. We didn’t know where his conditioning would even be prior to being unrestricted. So, it was good to see that that was not a factor. Really, just to give us a jolt offensively.”

Jhivvan Jackson. UTSA beat Mid-American Christian 104-74 on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson produced a season-high 28 points against Mid-America Christian.

Texas State beats A&M-Corpus Christi for sixth straight win

Freshman forward Alonzo Sule scored 22 points, and the Texas State Bobcats won their sixth game in a row Wednesday night with a 61-55 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Junior guard Nijal Pearson added 16 points to secure the road win for the Bobcats in Corpus Christi.

Jayshawn Talton scored 12 for A&M-Corpus Christi.

The Islanders pulled to within two points of the Bobcats with 13 seconds left (57-55) when forward Elijah Schmidt sank a layup.

Bobcats guard Tre Nottingham sank four free throws and forced a turnover in the last nine seconds to clinch it.

Texas State is off to its best start in men’s basketball since the 1960-61 season.

Records

Texas State 8-1
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-5