UTSA-Charlotte elimination game set for Saturday morning

Officials announced Friday night that an elimination game between UTSA and Charlotte at the Conference USA tournament has been postponed because of weather concerns and will be played at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Southern Miss defeated UTSA 5-3 earlier in the day, sending the Roadrunners into the losers’ bracket.

UTSA is 1-1 in the tournament after beating Charlotte 11-1 on Thursday and then losing to Southern Miss, the top seed.

After losing to UTSA, Charlotte defeated UAB 2-0 in a game that started late Thursday night and finished early Friday mornning.

The tournament is being held at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss.

The Southern Miss Golden Eagles choked off a ninth-inning UTSA rally Friday and downed the Roadrunners 5-3 in a winners’ bracket game at the Conference USA tournament.

With the loss, UTSA was sent tumbling into the losers’ bracket, where they will face the Charlotte 49ers tonight. Estimated game time is 9 p.m. The tournament is being played in Biloxi, Miss.

Slugging Matt Wallner hurt the Roadrunners with a home run and a single and two RBI. Hunter Slater also contributed three of the Golden Eagles’ 12 hits.

Tony Beam ripped a two-run homer for UTSA. But Southern Miss pitching held UTSA in check most of the day, allowing eight hits.

Lefthander Stevie Powers (5-1) earned the victory with seven innings of work. He left the game leading 4-2. Trent Driver pitched the last two inninngs for the save.

The Roadrunners made it interesting by scoring a run off Driver in the bottom of the eighth to pull within 4-3. The Golden Eagles retaliated in the top of the ninth with a run to account for the final margin.

In the bottom half, UTSA put two runners on base, only to ground into a game-inning double play. Southern Miss third baseman Luke Reynolds fielded a ground ball, tagged a base runner, executed a spin move and threw to first for the final out.

Starting pitcher Steven Dressler (5-4) worked five innings and took the loss for the Roadrunners.


Southern Miss third baseman Luke Reynolds, the C-USA Player of the Year, executes a sensational game-ending double play.

Records

UTSA 32-22
Southern Miss 41-15

Notebook

UTSA stroked 18 hits in defeating Charlotte 11-1 to open the tournament on Thursday. The bats weren’t quite as hot against Southern Miss.

Golden Eagles pitching limited the Roadrunners to eight hits.

UTSA senior and team RBI leader Ben Brookover hasn’t played in either game. No word yet on the reason for his absence.


UTSA second baseman Aldo Buendia, a former standout at Laredo Alexander, robs Matt Wallner of a hit with a leaping catch in the eighth inning. At the plate, Buendia is 3 for 8 in two games in the tournament. He is 6 for 16, hitting safely in his last four games overall.

UTSA beats Southern Mississippi for its 16th victory

Nearly two years have passed since the UTSA men’s basketball program bottomed out with a 5-27 record.

Nick Allen was a part of that squad, and so he takes great pride in knowing that he has figured prominently in re-making a culture that prides itself on winning.

Allen produced a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds Thursday night, and UTSA won its 16th game with a 64-56, grind-it-out victory over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at the Convocation Center.

The 6-8 junior from Arizona was beaming when a reporter asked about the atmosphere in the locker room.

“I think we’ve won six out of the last seven, so that’s huge,” Allen said. “The locker room culture has definitely changed. I was part of the team that didn’t do too hot two years ago.

“And, it’s crazy how much the culture’s changed. We want to win. It’s a lot (more fun). Everybody wants to win. Everybody wants to be here. So, it’s definitely nice.”

With the victory, UTSA improved to 16-12 overall and 9-6 in Conference USA. Southern Miss fell to 13-16 and 6-10.

The Roadrunners remain on pace for their best record since the basketball program transitioned out of the Southland Conference six years ago.

UTSA finished 18-14 and 10-6 in conference in 2011-12, its last year in the SLC.

The nine conference victories are the most for any UTSA team in the past five years, since it played one year in the Western Athletic Conference and the past four in the C-USA.

With three games left in the regular season, plus the C-USA tournament, the possibility of reaching 19 or even 20 victories in coach Steve Henson’s second year as coach seems to be a distinct possibility.

“We’re proud of our guys,” said Henson, who finished 14-19 last year. “(But) we’re not talking about a win total right now. We’re talking about what we’re still playing for.

“The results tonight put us back in the hunt for that No. 4 seed, which is huge in the conference tournament.”

After losing 84-79 to Old Dominion, fourth-place Marshall (19-9, 10-5) now leads fifth-place UTSA by only a game.

A tie for fourth would go to UTSA since it beat Marshall 81-77 in San Antonio on Feb. 1.

The top four seeds gain a bye through the first round in the 12-team C-USA tournament.

UTSA’s defense forces a Southern Miss turnover, leading to a layup on the other end, during a key sequence in the second half.

After leading by 22 early, UTSA ducked into the dressing room at intermission with only a 37-28 advantage.

Southern Miss played well in final eight minutes, out-scoring the home team, 19-6.

Guard Tyree Griffin led the charge with seven points. Guard Domini Magee also produced a key sequence with a layup, a steal and another layup.

At one point, the Roadrunners held a 31-9 advantage when forward Deon Lyle nailed a three with 8:19 remaining.


Nick Allen scores on a fast break layup on an assist from Keaton Wallace early in the first half.

Stat leaders

UTSA: Nick Allen (18 points on 8 of 13 shooting, 11 rebounds); Deon Lyle (14 points, including four 3-pointers); Jhivvan Jackson (10 points, seven rebounds); Keaton Wallace (10 points, four assists).

Southern Miss: Tyree Griffin (17 points, two 3-pointers, four assists); Cortez Edwards (12 points, seven rebounds). 2 of UTSA’s first 14 points.

Coming up

Saturday: Louisiana Tech at UTSA, 7 p.m., Southern Miss at UTEP.

Tournament time

March 7-10: C-USA tournament at Frisco.