Jackson scores 23 to lead UTSA past Marshall, 81-77


Guard Jhivvan Jackson out-races a defender en route to the game-clinching basket with 43 seconds left.

Guard Jhivvan Jackson scored 23 points Thursday night, and the UTSA Roadrunners held off the Marshall Thundering Herd 81-77 at the Convocation Center.

The big play on the defensive end for UTSA came with less than a minute remaining courtesy of Giovanni De Nicolao.

Trailing by one, Marshall had the ball and a chance to take the lead.

De Nicolao had other ideas. He made a steal on the baseline, and UTSA advanced the ball quickly.

Jackson, on the dribble, out-raced a Marshall defender to the rim and scored a layup with 43 seconds left for an 80-77 UTSA lead.

Marshall’s C.J. Burks and Jon Elmore misfired on threes on the next two possessions to end the threat.

UTSA’s Keaton Wallace hit a free throw with a second left for the final point, as the Roadrunners won their second in a row and their third in four tries.

Consecutive victories over UAB and Marshall have boosted UTSA’s confidence leading into a Saturday home game against Western Kentucky.

“It just tells us we can come out here and beat anybody,” Jackson said. “We just got to keep playing the way we are, keep getting better on defense every day, and it just going to come out.”

Records:
UTSA 12-11, 5-5, T7 in C-USA
Marshall 14-8, 5-4, T5 in C-USA

UTSA did a good job in keeping Burks under control, but Elmore was hard to handle.

Elmore produced 23 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for the Herd. He hit five three-point buckets.

Burks, on the other hand, was held in check with 16 points. He made only six of 16 shots and misfired on all six three-point tries.

“They’re a really good offensive team,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “I’m proud of the way our guys hung in there.”


UTSA forward Deon Lyle hits a three out of the corner late in the first half against Marshall.

Playing in El Paso, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defeated the UTEP Miners, 72-60.

Justin Johnson, a 6-7, 245-pound forward, had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Western Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers improved to 16-6 and 8-1 in conference, a half game behind Middle Tennessee.

Starks leads Texas A&M past Arkansas, 80-66

Freshman point guard T.J. Starks hit four 3-point baskets and scored 16 points Tuesday night as Texas A&M beat Arkansas 80-66 in Southeastern Conference basketball.

Playing at home in College Station, the Aggies broke open a close game and snapped a two-game losing streak by outscoring the Razorbacks 47-34 in the second half.

Starks, from Lancaster, hit 4 of 5 from long distance in making his second straight start.

Center Tyler Davis produced 15 points and 13 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass.

Daryl Macon scored 20 off the bench to lead the Hogs, who had won three in a row.

Records

Texas A&M: 14-8, 3-6
Arkansas: 15-7, 4-5

Texas Tech moves up to No. 10 in AP Top 25

After two come-from-behind victories last week, the Texas Tech Red Raiders moved up four spots to No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25, according to the wire service poll announced Monday.

Texas Tech hosts Texas on Wednesday night in Big 12 play.

Last week, the Red Raiders ended a two-game losing streak when they rallied from 15 points down at home to knock off Oklahoma State, 75-70.

Over the weekend, they trailed by five with six minutes remaining at South Carolina in a Big 12/SEC challenge match before turning the momentum in their favor and winning 70-63.

Tech’s 17-4 record has matched the second-best start in program history through 21 games.

This year’s team joins the 1953-54 team under Polk Robison, the 1975-76 squad under Gerald Myers and the 2003-04 team under Bob Knight.

The 1995-96 team under James Dickey amassed a 30-1 start sparked by a program-record 23-game winning streak.

AP To 25

1. Villanova 20-1 Big East
2. Virginia 20-1 ACC
3. Purdue 21-2 Big Ten
4. Duke 18-3 ACC
5. Michigan State 20-3 Big Ten
6. Xavier 19-3 Big East
7. Kansas 17-4 Big 12
8. Cincinnati 19-2 American
9. Arizona 18-4 Pac-12
10. Texas Tech 17-4 Big 12
11. Auburn 19-2 SEC
12. Oklahoma 15-5 Big 12
13. Saint Mary’s 21-2 West Coast
14. Gonzaga 19-4 West Coast
15. West Virginia 16-5 Big 12
16. Wichita State 17-4 American
17. Ohio State 18-5 Big Ten
18. Tennessee 15-5 SEC
19. North Carolina 16-6 ACC
20. Clemson 17-4 ACC
21. Kentucky 16-5 SEC
22. Rhode Island 17-3 Atlantic 10
23. Florida 15-6 SEC
24. Michigan 17-6 Big Ten
25. Arizona State 16-5 Pac-12

Big Monday

Seventh-ranked Kansas plays at Kansas State in a rivalry game tonight at 8 on ESPN.

The Jayhawks have won two straight off the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

Brunson, Bridges spark No. 1 Villanova past Marquette, 85-82

Jalen Brunson scored 31 and Mikal Bridges did the dirty work down the stretch Sunday in No. 1 Villanova’s 85-82 victory over Marquette.

Despite tweaking his ankle and sitting down for treatment in the second half, Brunson finished the game with 10 of 19 shooting.

“I’m fine,” Brunson told a Fox television reporter later. “A little thing. I’m moving forward.”

Villanova was already hurting coming into the Big East game, playing without guard Phil Booth for the first time since he fractured his right hand last week.

The Wildcats met the challenge with balanced scoring from Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo (23 points) and Bridges (16).

Bridges made a critical play in the final minute.

After Brunson missed a three, he grabbed the offensive rebound, and fed DiVincenzo.

DiVincenzo hit a layup for an 85-80 lead with 19 seconds remaining.

Marquette guard Andrew Rowsey hit five three-pointers and scored 29, but back-court mate Markus Howard was held scoreless after intermission.

Howard, who scored 52 in overtime on Jan. 4 at Providence, finished with 13 points on 5 of 18 shooting.

Records

Villanova 20-1, 7-1

Marquette 13-8, 4-5

Middle Tennessee defense dominates UTSA, 75-51

Championship teams share a few common characteristics.

They play with consistent aggression and never allow an opponent to think they can win.

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders used that formula to dominate the UTSA Roadrunners 75-51 Thursday night in Conference USA men’s basketball.

In the game played at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the Blue Raiders buried the Roadrunners with a 40-24 second half.

“They just took it right to us,” UTSA coach Steve Henson told the team’s radio broadcast. “They wore on us and wore on us and dominated the glass, and … we just couldn’t make…we just didn’t compete offensively.

“We just don’t compete enough. We just settle for shots. When it’s hard, we don’t know how to respond, and it was hard.”

After representing the C-USA at the NCAA tournament two years in a row, the Blue Raiders showed why they are projected to make it three straight.

Forwards Nick King and Brandon Walters had their way, with King scoring a game-high 22 points and Walters grabbing 14 rebounds.

Middle Tennessee (15-5, 7-1) also enjoyed a strong showing from guard Antwain Johnson, who scored 15.

Jhivvan Jackson scored 17, but nobody else hit double figures as UTSA (10-11, 3-5) recorded its fewest points in a game this season.

Henson said he liked how his players protected the ball in the first half, when they led briefly 14-11 and went into the dressing room down only 35-27.

“Other than that, offensively, you got to drive it down in there and expect to finish,” Henson said. “We’re taking jump shots. I think guys shooting ’em are expecting ’em to go in. It’s just easier to let it fly.

“We got to find a better balance between having some offensive freedom and taking bad shots. We got to drive it. We don’t get to the free throw line. We got to get on the attack. We got to … get in the paint and finish around the rim.”

UTSA hit 4 of its first 8 from 3-point range and then went cold, hitting only 3 of 16 the rest of the way.

The Blue Raiders held the Roadrunners to 21 of 61 from the field overall for 34 percent.

“I thought our guys started the game with a terrific mindset,” Henson said. “I thought we were fighting defensively. We did some really good things from the scouting report.

“We took away some of their strengths. We did a good job on (guard Giddy) Potts all night. We paid extra attention to him. But (with) their style, their toughness, just wore on us, just kept chipping away at us.

“Kind of shows us how far we’ve got to go to become a good ball club.”

UTSA will move on to play at Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday night. UAB broke a two-game losing streak by defeating UTEP 85-78 Thursday.

Lewis Sullivan scored 19 as the Blazers (14-7, 5-3) shot 55.2 percent from the field.

UIW’s losing streak hits 10 as Houston Baptist wins, 102-86

The Houston Baptist Huskies broke a nine-game losing streak Wednesday night in a 102-86 victory over the slumping Incarnate Word Cardinals.

Playing at home, the Huskies got off to a hot offensive start behind guard Jalon Gates to build a 44-36 halftime lead.

Afterward, HBU was never seriously challenged in extending UIW’s losing streak to 10 games.

Forward Charles Brown III led the Cardinals with 22 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Shawn Johnson added 16 points and Cody Graham 14.

Not to be deterred, the Huskies got 23 points from Gates, a sophomore from Clemens, and 22 each from Braxton Bonds and David Caraher.

Will Gates Jr., Jalon’s older brother, scored 11.

HBU capitalized off of UIW’s mistakes, producing a 20-8 edge in points off turnovers.

The Huskies also dominated with a 27-10 advantage on second-chance points.

Records: UIW (5-13, 0-8), Houston Baptist (5-16, 1-7)

Coming up: UIW hosts New Orleans Saturday at 2 p.m.

Photo caption: Guards Will Gates Jr. (left) and Jalon Gates of Houston Baptist.

Clutch shooting lifts OU past Kansas, 85-80

Christian James and Brady Manek knocked down clutch three pointers in the final 69 seconds Tuesday night as 12th-ranked Oklahoma rallied for an 85-80 victory in Big 12 men’s basketball over No. 5 Kansas.

National player of the year candidate Trae Young, a freshman, assisted on both baskets.

Playing at home before an energized crowd, Oklahoma (15-4, 5-3) led for much of the first half and held a two-point edge at halftime.

But first-place Kansas (16-4, 6-2) started to click after intermission, surging into a 10-point advantage with nine minutes left.

When guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk buried a three pointer with 9:26 remaining, the Jayhawks had a 72-62 lead.

At the end, Kansas seemed to have control when Lagerald Vick followed a Devonte’ Graham miss.

The basket silenced the crowd and put the Jayhawks up 80-77 with 2:33 left.

From there, the Sooners went on an 8-0 run to the final buzzer.

Young hit a couple of free throws and then created plays for James and Manek.

On the first play, Young drove baseline and, from under the goal, he passed outside to James on the wing.

James, who was 0-for-6 from three-point range in his last game, swished the shot with 1:09 remaining to give the Sooners an 82-80 lead.

After Mykhailiuk missed a three on the other end for Kansas, Young got the ball in his hands again, and he punished the visitors.

Dribbling at the top of the three-point circle, Young drove to his right. With his head down, he hooked a no-look pass to Manek on the right wing.

Manek swished it with 27 seconds left for the final points.

Young, who ranks No.1 in the nation in scoring and assists, finished with 26 points and nine assists. James scored 15 points and Manek had 14.

Mykhailiuk scored 24 to lead the Jayhawks, while Malik Newman added 20.

Graham, Kansas’ leading scorer at 18 points per game, had a rough night shooting the ball, hitting only 4 of 19 from the field.

He finished with 11 points and nine assists.

Around the Big 12

Down by 15 points in the second half, 14th-ranked Texas Tech came from behind to stun Oklahoma State, 75-70, in Lubbock…

The conference race has tightened considerably, with Kansas (6-2) leading by a game over Oklahoma, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Kansas State (all 5-3). Texas (4-4) is two games back …

Villanova, Virginia, Purdue remain 1-2-3 in AP Top 25

Villanova, Virginia and Purdue remained 1-2-3 in the Associated Press Top 25, according to the wire service’s weekly college basketball poll released Monday.

In a resurgence for traditional programs, Duke and Kansas moved up to the 4-5 spots, respectively.

The AP is reporting that Kentucky has fallen out of the Top 25 for the first time since 2014.

Three games will be played tonight in the Big 12, including a feature match on ESPN between TCU (14-5, 2-5) and seventh-ranked West Virginia (16-3, 5-2) in Fort Worth.

The injury-scarred Frogs fell out of the Top 25 in the wake of a 1-1 week with a home victory over Iowa State and a road loss at Kansas State.

TCU has lost standout guard Jaylen Fisher to a knee injury that he suffered in practice last Tuesday.

Fisher had surgery on Thursday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Also tonight, Texas hosts Iowa State and Baylor hosts Kansas State.

AP Top 25

1 Villanova 18-1 Big East
2 Virginia 18-1 ACC
3 Purdue 19-2 Big Ten
4 Duke 17-2 ACC
5 Kansas 16-3 Big 12
6 Michigan State 17-3 Big Ten
7 West Virginia 16-3 Big 12
8 Xavier 18-3 Big East
9 Cincinnati 17-2 American
10 North Carolina 16-4 ACC
11 Arizona 16-4 Pac 12
12 Oklahoma 14-4 Big 12
13 Ohio State 17-4 Big Ten
14 Texas Tech 15-4 Big 12
15 Gonzaga 17-4 West Coast
16 Saint Mary’s 19-2 West Coast
17 Wichita State 15-4 American
18 Clemson 16-3 ACC
19 Auburn 17-2 SEC
20 Florida 14-5 SEC
21 Arizona State 15-4 Pac 12
22 Tennessee 13-5 SEC
23 Nevada 18-3 Mountain West
24 Rhode Island 15-3 Atlantic 10
25 Michigan 17-5 Big Ten

UTSA ends skid by rallying past UTEP, 65-61


UTSA’s Jhivvan Jackson strips Omega Harris and races for a layup, giving the Roadrunners a three-point lead with 12 seconds left.

Freshman guard Keaton Wallace broke out of a scoring slump with 20 points, and the UTSA Roadrunners ended a three-game losing streak with a 65-61 victory Saturday night over the UTEP Miners.

The lead changed hands three times in the final minute of a tense contest played before a season-high crowd of 2,210 at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Forward forward Nick Allen hit a short runner in the lane with 24 seconds left as the Roadrunners took the lead for good, 62-61, with 24 seconds remaining.

On UTEP’s next possession, UTSA freshman guard Jhivvan Jackson picked up a steal and drove three quarters of the court for a layup, making it a three-point game.

In response, UTEP went to Isiah Osborne, who hit five three-pointers in the game.

But Osborne missed a three from the top of the key with four seconds left, effectively sealing UTSA’s first victory since Jan. 4.

UTSA made a free throw on the other end for the last point and then celebrated.

“It feels good,” UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao said. “It feels good, because we needed it. When we were minus one with two minutes (left), we were talking on the bench (saying) we got to win this.

“We can’t keep losing close games.”


UTSA junior forward Nick Allen weaves through traffic to hit a short runner as the Roadrunners take the lead, 62-61, with 24 seconds left.

With the Conference USA regular season a little more than a third of the way complete, UTSA (10-10, 3-4) tinkered with its rotation.

Coach Steve Henson elected to insert Jackson into the starting five for the first time and bring Wallace off the bench.

The Miners (7-12, 2-5) seemed to have the answers to anything Roadrunners threw at them early, jumping out to a 21-5 lead after the first eight minutes.

But when Wallace entered the game and teamed with Jackson and Deon Lyle to spread out the UTEP defense, the momentum shifted.

Wallace scored 12 in the first half as the Roadrunners rallied to make it a four-point game, with UTEP leading 42-38 at intermission.

The Miners surged again after intermission, scoring seven in a row to boost their lead to 49-40.

Not to be denied, UTSA answered by slugging it out in a slow, methodical push for a 14-4 run.

De Nicolao capped the streak with back-to-back driving layups that pushed the Roadrunners back out front, 54-53, including a nifty, go-ahead bucket when he sliced into the paint and twisted a reverse off the glass.


UTSA sophomore Giovanni De Nicolao seemingly made all the right moves down the stretch. Here, he twists a reverse layup off the glass to give UTSA a 54-53 lead.

The story of the game might have been Wallace, the talented lefty from Richardson who had shot 3 for 25 from the field over his last three games.

Extended back to his last six, he had been 16 of 60.

Wallace put all that behind him against the Miners, nailing 7 of 12 from the field and 3 of 7 from three.


UTSA freshman Keaton Wallace gets open and sinks a foul-line jumper in the first half against UTEP.

Louisiana hits 13 threes, downs Texas State, 80-55

Guard Malik Marquetti knocked down five of his team’s 13 three-point field goals Saturday afternoon, lifting the streaking Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to an 80-55 victory over Texas State.

Playing a game for the Sun Belt Conference lead at Texas State’s Strahan Coliseum, the Cajuns (17-3, 7-0) won their seventh in a row by smothering Bobcats, who shot only 32 percent shooting from the field.

As a result, Texas State (13-8, 6-2) had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Marquetti and Justin Miller hurt Texas State badly with perimeter shooting.

A transfer from Southern Cal, Marquetti hit 5 of 6 from three-point range. Miller knocked down 4 of 7.

Miller and starting guard Frank Bartley IV scored 14 apiece for the Cajuns, from Lafayette, La.

Judson grad Shelby Adams led the Bobcats with 10 points off the bench. But the Bobcats’ leading scorers — Nijal Pearson and Tre Nottingham — were held in check with five apiece.

Pearson was limited to 2 of 13 shooting.

The Bobcats entered the match-up with high hopes, having knocked off their last six foes, including Coastal Carolina, South Alabama, Troy, Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock and Louisiana-Monroe.