Jackson scores 28, as UTSA rolls past Charlotte, 88-43

Sophomore guard Jhivvan Jackson steps back behind the three-point line to hoist a shot. Jackson hit six threes against the Charlotte 49ers. — Photo by Joe Alexander

The UTSA Roadrunners didn’t like the feeling of losing two in a row in Conference USA.

In response, they took out their frustrations on the Charlotte 49ers, rolling to an 88-43 victory Thursday night at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Coming on the heels of road losses at Middle Tennessee and UAB, it was UTSA’s largest winning margin against an NCAA Division I program in three seasons under Coach Steve Henson.

It was also the program’s widest margin of victory in a C-USA game since joining the conference for the 2013-14 season.

Sophomore Jhivvan Jackson led the way with 28 points on an efficient 11 of 19 shooting from the field. He hit six three-pointers.

UTSA led by 25 at intermission and boosted it into the 30s four minutes into the second half.

The lead expanded into the 40s with two minutes left and grew to 45 on the last bucket of the night, a layup by reserve forward Adrian Rodriguez, with 19 seconds remaining.


Charlotte 5-14, 2-6
UTSA 11-9, 5-2


Previously, UTSA’s largest margin of victory in a C-USA game (21) came three years ago against Southern Miss. The Roadrunners beat the the Golden Eagles 74-53 on Feb. 20, 2016 at the Convocation Center.


“We were really locked in defensively. Then Jhivvan got hot. We did some good things offensively anyway, and then he got real, real hot, and we popped the game open in the first half.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson.

Coming up

UTSA will host the C-USA title-contending Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday at 3 p.m. Old Dominion downed the UTEP Miners, 50-48, Thursday in El Paso.

With the win, the Monarchs improved to 16-5 and 6-2 in the C-USA. They lead the conference standings over Marshall, North Texas, UTSA and UAB, all at 5-2.

Jackson hits one of his five first-half three pointers. He swished this one after a defender put a hand in his face. Jackson created some space between him and the defender with a slight lean to his right.

First half

Jackson scored 21 points in 18 minutes in the first half for the Roadrunners, who rolled to a 44-19 lead on Charlotte at intermission.

Jackson was 8 of 13 from the field and was particularly deadly from long distance, hitting five of nine.

He hoisted his last trey from a spot directly in front of the Charlotte bench (see video above).

Sophomore Keaton Wallace breaks free for a floater in the lane as UTSA scores off an out-of-bounds play in the second half.

Taking an early lead

Charlotte was in the game for the first five minutes. The 49ers took an 8-6 lead when guard Jon Davis sank a driving layup.

After that, UTSA responded with a 16-0 run, capped by three consecutive threes from Jackson.

The last one made it 22-8 with 10:52 remaining.


Jackson effectively bounced back from two erratic shooting nights on the road. He hit a combined 18 of 49 from the field last week against Middle Tennessee and UAB … The Roadrunners have won eight of their last 10 games overall … They connected on 55.7 percent from the field for a season best against a Division I opponent … In addition, they also established a season high by limiting the 49ers to 29.6 percent … Jon Davis, Charlotte’s scoring leader, was held nine points under his average. He finished with 12.


Charlotte — Jon Davis, 12 points, 5 of 11 shooting.

UTSA — Jackson, 28 points on 11 of 19 from the floor and 6 of 12 from three. Keaton Wallace, 15 points and three assists. Adokiye Iyaye, 12 points, 5 of 6 shooting, three offensive rebounds.

Jackson scores his final basket with 6:46 remaining as he picks up a loose ball in the lane and lays it in. The ball popped out when two Charlotte players fumbled the rebound, emblematic of a tough night for the 49ers.

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.

Back home, UTSA hopes to rediscover the winning formula

Byron Frohnen. Oklahoma beat UTSA 87-67 on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Byron Frohnen says he’s encouraged by the team’s focus leading into tonight’s home game against Charlotte. – Photo by Joe Alexander

As much as UTSA forward Byron Frohnen hated the outcome of his team’s two most recent games, he said Wednesday he liked the attitude and the attention to detail at practice this week leading into tonight’s home test against the Charlotte 49ers.

Players have more on their minds right now with school back in session, Frohnen said, but he added that the Roadrunners have been determined to get back to their winning formula.

“Everyone’s got classes,” Frohnen said. “Some people are coming in late for practice, which kind of sucks. But I did feel like we were locked in, and the intensity was good. All of us are a little tired, fatigued. But we just got to keep fighting through it.

“It’s just another week in conference. There’s a lot of season still to go.”

When the Roadrunners last played at the UTSA Convocation Center 12 days ago, they defeated North Texas for their seventh straight win. They also moved into sole possession of first place in Conference USA.

Since then, they were humbled with consecutive road losses at Middle Tennessee and UAB.

The loss in Tennessee stung, in particular, because the Blue Raiders had lost 13 straight before they knocked off the Roadrunners, 89-86.

After falling to UAB 83-73 last Saturday, the Roadrunners have dropped into a tie for fourth in conference, while bracing for homecourt challenges against the 49ers tonight and the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday afternoon.

In practices this week, the Roadrunners tried to clean up execution on both offense and defense, all while preparing for a quirky opponent in the 49ers, who play deliberately and try to milk as much of the shot clock as possible.

They feature senior guard Jon Davis, who leads the C-USA in scoring, averaging 21.4 points.

Two years ago, in the first season for a UTSA coaching staff led by Steve Henson, Davis beat the Roadrunners in San Antonio with a late shot.

“He’s a big-time scorer,” Henson said. “I know when we got the job here two years ago, people said he was one of the best guards in the league. He’s two and half years older than he was then, so we have a great deal of respect for him.”

Charlotte is coming off a 76-70 loss at home on Monday against Old Dominion. UTSA has won six in a row on its home court.

C-USA Standings

North Texas 5-1, 17-2
Marshall 5-1, 12-7
Old Dominion 5-2, 15-5
UAB 4-2, 12-7
UTSA 4-2, 10-9
FIU 4-3, 13-7
W.Kentucky 3-3, 10-9
LATech 3-4, 13-7
SouthernMiss 3-4, 11-8
Rice 2-4, 7-12
MiddleTenn 2-4, 5-14
FAU 2-5, 11-9
Charlotte 2-5, 5-13
UTEP 1-5, 6-11

Kansas State smothers 14th-ranked Texas Tech, 58-45

Guard Barry Brown Jr. scored 15 points, and the Kansas State Wildcats won their fifth straight game by smothering the 14th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, 58-45, Tuesday night in Manhattan.

In handing the Red Raiders their third straight loss in the Big 12, Wildcats forward Dean Wade added 13 points and four rebounds in his fourth game back from a foot injury.

Kansas State’s team defense was relentless, holding Texas Tech to its lowest point total of the season. The Red Raiders shot 32.7 percent from the field. Jarrett Culver led Texas Tech with 17 points and 7 rebounds.

In the first meeting of the two teams in Lubbock on Jan. 5, Texas Tech claimed a 63-57 victory, with Davide Moretti scoring 19 and Matt Mooney 14. On the other end of the floor, the Red Raiders held the Wildcats to 33.3 percent shooting.

In the rematch, Kansas State nearly reversed the outcome. The Wildcats held Moretti to six points and Mooney scored only two on 1 of 9 shooting.


Texas Tech 15-4, 4-3
Kansas State 15-4, 5-2


With Wade out of the lineup, Kansas State lost its first two Big 12 games this season. K-State has now won five in a row against West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas Tech.

On the other hand, Texas Tech won its first four, only to lose its last three to Iowa State (68-64), Baylor (73-62) and Kansas State.

Both teams reached the Round of Eight in the NCAA Tournament last year.

Shooting woes

Texas Tech was shooting 47.1 percent from the field as a team coming into Manhattan.

But the Red Raiders have been struggling to put the ball in the hoop lately. In their last three games, they shot:

1) 26 of 63 for 41.3 percent at home vs. Iowa State
2) 21 of 45 (46.7) on the road at Baylor.
3) 16 of 49 (32.7) on the road at Kansas State.

Ninth-ranked Kansas rallies past No. 24 Iowa State, 80-76

Forward Dedric Lawson contributed 29 points and 15 rebounds as the ninth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks rallied past No. 24 Iowa State 80-76 on ESPN Big Monday.

Playing in front of a rowdy home crowd at Allen Fieldhouse, Lawson hit 13 of 17 shots from the floor to turn back the upstart Cyclones.

Lawson’s biggest moment came with 23 seconds remaining and with Kansas clinging to a two-point lead. He nailed a three-pointer from the top of the circle to make it 77-72.


Kansas 16-3, 5-2
Iowa State 14-5, 4-3

Making a run

Iowa State controlled the action for much of the night, but Kansas responded in the second half with a defensive stand that held the Cyclones scoreless for more than five minutes. On the other end of the floor, the Jayhawks scored 14 consecutive points to take a 61-53 lead.

Avenging a loss

A little more than two weeks ago, Iowa State stunned Kansas, 77-60. Playing at home, the Cyclones hit 13 three-point baskets to rout the Jayhawks. Kansas turned the tables on its home court. While Iowa State made another 12 threes, Kansas responded with 51.6 percent shooting from the field overall to avoid a sweep in the regular-season series.

Avoiding a slump

Bidding for a 15th-straight Big 12 title this season, Kansas needed a victory in the worst way after going on the road Saturday and losing to last-place West Virginia, 65-64. They got it with supporting act performances from Marcus Garrett (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) and Lagerald Vick (14 points) and Devon Dotson (11 points, 8 assists).

Having an impact

Senior guard Marial Shayok entered the game leading the Big 12 in scoring at 19.4 points per game. He more than lived up to the billing with 26 points on 9 of 18 shooting. Shayok, a senior transfer from Virginia, also hurt Kansas in the first meeting with 24 points. Lawson, who entered second in the conference in scoring at 18.9, is a transfer from the University of Memphis.

Tennessee takes over at No. 1 in the Associated Press poll

I don’t see every televised college basketball game here at The JB Replay.

But I see my share. And so it’s clear from here that the Tennessee Vols deserve the No. 1 ranking in this week’s Associated Press Top 25.

Riding a 12-game winning streak, Tennessee is 16-1 overall.

The Vols are 1-0 against teams ranked in the top four (with a win over Gonzaga), 1-1 vs. the top eight (with its only loss to Kansas) and 2-1 against the top 23 (including an early-season victory over Louisville).

In addition, they’re 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference, with four of the victories in double figures, including two by double-digit margins at Missouri and Florida.

For awhile last Saturday afternoon, it looked as if Avery Johnson’s Alabama Crimson Tide would steal a victory on Tennessee’s home floor.

It was a one or two-possession game down the stretch before the Rick Barnes-coached Vols pulled it out, 71-68.

Not the best performance of the year from Tennessee. But, like any good team, it found a way, even though it wasn’t a thing of beauty.

With a one-point lead, the Vols forced Alabama’s John Petty into a traveling violation with three seconds left and then hit two free throws to seal it.

Later Saturday night, the Duke Blue Devils made up for a loss earlier in the week and downed Virginia.

It was a victory that some felt might keep Duke at No. 1. But Tennessee got the nod when the new poll came out Monday, while the Blue Devils fell to second.

Meanwhile, Virginia parlayed a victory over Virginia Tech and the solid showing against Duke to move up to No. 3.

Gonzaga, looking very strong lately with the return of two injured players, moved up to No. 4.

This week, Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt (9-8) in SEC play on Wednesday and West Virginia (9-9) in the SEC/Big 12 challenge on Saturday.

AP Top 25

1.Tennessee 16-1 SEC
2. Duke 15-2 ACC
3. Virginia 16-1 ACC
4. Gonzaga 18-2 West Coast
5. Michigan 17-1 Big Ten
6. Michigan State 16-2 Big Ten
7. Nevada 18-1 Mountain West
8. Kentucky 14-3 SEC
9. Kansas 15-3 Big 12
10. Virginia Tech 15-2 ACC
11. North Carolina 14-4 ACC
12. Marquette 16-3 Big East
13. Maryland 16-3 Big Ten
14. Texas Tech 15-3 Big 12
15. Buffalo 17-1 Mid-American
16. Auburn 13-4 SEC
17. Houston 18-1 American
18. Villanova 14-4 Big East
19. Iowa 16-3 Big Ten
20. Ole Miss 14-3 SEC
21. North Carolina State 15-3 ACC
22. Mississippi State 14-3 SEC
23. Louisville 13-5 ACC
24. Iowa State 14-4 Big 12
25. LSU 14-3 SEC

The return of Geno Crandall and Killian Tillie has helped bolster the depth of the fourth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Fans start to take notice of Division I hoops in San Marcos

Keaton Wallace had 19 points for UTSA. Texas State beat UTSA 69-68 on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Texas State forward Chandler Davis (left) defends against UTSA’s Keaton Wallace. The Bobcats beat the Roadrunners 69-68 on Dec. 1 in San Antonio. – Photo by Joe Alexander.

Texas State Bobcats coach Danny Kaspar likely has known for awhile now that his team could emerge in March as one of the most special in school history.

He hasn’t said so in as many words.

At least, not until Saturday, when he started comparing his squad favorably to some of the best in school history.

Moments after a stirring 77-64 victory over Arkansas State in front of 4,163 fans at Strahan Arena, Kaspar credited the fans for their support and talked about how helpful they could be down the stretch.

“I know the crowd helped us, but it also wowed (the players) when they walked out there,” he said, in a video posted on the program’s website. “I mean, other than the Air Force game, that’s the first good crowd we’ve had.

“And, of course, a lot of our students are in town and that makes a difference.”

Texas State drew 4,058 on Nov. 9 in an opening-night 67-57 victory over Air Force.

With that performance, the Bobcats started to build momentum, which has carried them to a 16-3 record, including 5-1 in the Sun Belt.

Now tied for first in the standings, Texas State will commence preparation for a meeting with Sun Belt co-leader Georgia State Thursday night in Atlanta.

A demanding coach who chooses his words carefully, Kaspar said his team is “worth a look” when it returns home to play at Strahan in coming weeks.

“I just think this team is playing some of the best basketball in the Division I era (of the university),” Kaspar said. “I know that they had some great teams during the NAIA years.

“But in the Division I era, this is about as good as anyone’s been playing, since the Jeff Foster days, the Donte Mathis days.”

Formerly a NAIA and NCAA Division II program, Texas State transitioned into Division I in the 1984-85 season.

Success has been spotty, with the Bobcats reaching the NCAA tournament in 1994 and 1997. They haven’t been back since.

Could this year be the year? Given that the Bobcats are 14-2 since mid-November, the coach issued an appeal to the fans.

“I’m hoping people will say, ‘Maybe it’s worth a look,’ and start coming out,” Kaspar said. “I think they have fun when they’re here.”

Minnesota’s Murphy ties career high with 21 rebounds

The Minnesota Golden Gophers couldn’t afford to let another easy game get away from them.

They were routed by Illinois last Wednesday and on Saturday, they were trailing Penn State at the half at home.

Jordan Murphy, a Minnesota senior from San Antonio’s Brennan High School, knew what he had to do after talking to Gophers coach Richard Pitino.

“Coach just told me to keep my mind on rebounding because I was too much in my head in the first half,” Murphy told the Associated Press. “He just told me to keep my mind on rebounding, just getting stops, then everything else would follow, so that’s what I did.”

Murphy finished with 19 points and tied a career high with 21 boards as the Gophers came from behind to down the Nittany Lions, 65-64.

The Gophers (14-4, 4-3) are projected as a No. 9 seed in the latest bracket projections at cbssports.com leading into a Tuesday night challenge at Michigan.

Murphy is among the nation’s top rebounders at 12.1 per game.

Hot-shooting UAB Blazers down UTSA, 83-73

The UAB Blazers shot 53.6 percent from the field Saturday night and walloped the UTSA Roadrunners, 83-73, in a Conference USA game at Birmingham.

UAB knocked down 30 of 56 shots from the floor for the second-best shooting night against the Roadrunners this season.

Only South Dakota State, hitting 60 percent at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida on Nov. 20, shot it better than UAB against a usually sound UTSA defense.

Senior guard Jalen Perry led six UAB players in double figures with 18 points.

Center Makhtar Gueye hurt the Roadrunners on both ends of the floor, as the 6-10 post produced 11 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Keaton Wallace led the Roadruners with 33 points and eight rebounds.

Disappointing trip

It was the second loss in three nights on a disappointing Conference USA road trip for UTSA.

After starting the trip on a seven-game winning streak, the Roadrunners fell from first in the conference by stumbling against both Middle Tennessee and UAB.

UTSA trailed by 21 in the second half at last-place Middle Tennessee on Thursday and rallied at the end, coming up short, 89-86.

Scoring droughts

Against the Blazers, the Roadrunners started fast but went through three extended scoring droughts.

As a result, they were playing from behind for most of the night.

Early in the second half, they rallied to within two and then faltered, giving up a 12-0 run burying them in a 14-point deficit with 12:52 left.

The Roadrunners fell behind by 20 at one point and came no closer than eight the rest of the way.


UTSA 10-9, 4-2
UAB 12-7, 4-2

Coming up

UTSA plays twice at home next week, hosting Charlotte on Thursday and Old Dominion on Saturday.


The back-to-back losses were the first for UTSA since November against UC Irvine and South Dakota State in Florida. Those losses capped an 0-5 start to the season.


“Road trip wasn’t good for us. Our guys are practicing the right way. I got to help ’em figure out how we can get better offensively. This was probably one of our worst defensive games, but a lot of that was them — they just attacked us.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson

Stephen F. Austin holds off Incarnate Word, 74-71

UIW guard Jordan Caruso brings the crowd to its feet with a slashing layup that tied the game with 44 seconds left.

Guard Kevon Harris produced 25 points and seven rebounds Saturday afternoon, and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks held off the Incarnate Word Cardinals, 74-71, in the Southland Conference.

In a game played before an announced 1,139 fans at UIW, the Cardinals erased an eight-point deficit and tied the defending SLC tournament champions in the last minute.

A driving layup by UIW freshman Jordan Caruso made it 71-71 with 44 seconds to play. But the Cardinals came up short at the end.

Despite one off its most inspired efforts of the season, UIW dropped its third straight and fell to 3-9 in its last 12 games.

“We fought hard and played with all our hearts for 40 minutes,” Cardinals forward Christian Peevy said. “We just hve to stay together and move forward.”

After UIW tied the game late, SFA responded with a possession in which Harris was fouled and hit both free throws for a two-point advantage.

UIW, on its next play, came down and watched as Augustine Ene misfired on an open look three-point shot from the right wing.

The rebound caromed out of bounds off SFA, giving UIW the ball out of bounds under its own basket.

After a timeout, Ene inbounded a pass intended for Charles Brown on the same right wing.

But SFA’s Davonte Fitzgerald lashed into the picture and got a hand on it, knocking it off Brown and out of bounds, giving the possession to the Lumberjacks.

Lumberjacks guard Shannon Bogues hit one of two free throws for the final point of the game with two seconds left.

UIW rushed it upcourt and got a shot off, a desperating three by Brown, but it was long and off to the side as time expired.

“We did some nice things and I was happy for the guys as far as their ability execute things and play together,” UIW coach Carson Cunningham said. “It’s just very difficult to win college basketball games.

“We’re just going to have to keep plugging and trying to break through.”


Stephen F. Austin 9-8, 2-3
Incarnate Word 6-12 1-4