Florida Atlantic starts fast, then holds off UTSA, 80-71

The UTSA Roadrunners traveled to Florida on Thursday night to open a four-game run in Conference USA bonus play.

The FAU Owls sent them home with a frustrating loss.

Starting fast, the Owls surged into a 22-point lead in the first 11 minutes en route to an 80-71 victory over the Roadrunners at Boca Raton.

Down by 23 in the second half, the Roadrunners pulled to within nine in the final two minutes behind a Jhivvan Jackson scoring spree.

But even with Jackson producing 38 points, it wasn’t enough, as UTSA fell to 2-5 in its last seven games.

Michael Forrest drained six shots from beyond the arc and finished with 21 for the Owls.


UTSA 6-9, 12-16
Florida Atlantic 8-8, 16-13

Coming up

UAB at UTSA, Sunday, 2 p.m.


The Roadrunners close out the regular season with three games, starting with a rematch against the UAB Blazers Sunday at the Convocation Center.

UAB won at the Convo on Jan. 30, beating UTSA 76-68.

In the last few days of the regular season, UTSA travels to meet Old Dominion on March 4. UTSA finishes its regular-season on March 7 at home against Marshall.

At stake down the stretch is improved seeding in the C-USA tournament. Currently, the Roadrunners are 10th.

The C-USA tourney is set for March 11-14 in Frisco, with the winner earning an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.


“We really got off to a bad, bad start there on both ends of the floor. They were making shots and we weren’t. I thought we were getting some good looks there early. (But) they built the lead and got real, real comfortable.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson, in an interview on the team’s radio broadcast.

UTSA to open bonus play on Feb. 27 at Florida Atlantic

Keaton Wallace. Western Kentucky beat UTSA 77-73 in overtime in Conference USA on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Junior guard Keaton Wallace averages 19 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Roadrunners.

The UTSA Roadrunners will close out their regular-season schedule in bonus play with a four-game set against the FAU Owls, the UAB Blazers, the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Marshall Thundering Herd, the Conference USA office announced Sunday.

UTSA schedule

Thursday, Feb. 27 — UTSA at FAU, 6 p.m.

Comment: An extremely difficult bonus-play opener for the Roadrunners. The Owls had home-court advantage on Jan. 2 in the C-USA opener for both teams, and they used it to run up a big early lead that the Roadrunners couldn’t overcome. FAU won 79-64.

Sunday, March 1 — UAB at UTSA, 2 p.m.

Comment: Another tough game. The Blazers beat the Roadrunners 74-68 in San Antonio on Jan. 31. In doing so, they won the rebounding battle, 46-24. The Blazers also dominated 38-22 in points in the paint and 15-2 in second-chance points.

Wednesday, March 4 — UTSA at Old Dominion, 6 p.m.

Comment: In one of their better efforts this season, the Roadrunners beat the Monarchs 85-81 in overtime at Norfolk on Feb. 6 behind Jhivvan Jackson’s season-high 45 points. The Roadrunners will need to do a better job in the rematch on Malik Curry, who scored 30, and A.J. Oliver, who added 20.

Saturday, March 7 — Marshall at UTSA, 3 p.m.

Comment: Didn’t we just see these guys? Yes. The Roadrunners won at home, beating the Thundering Herd 72-63 four days ago. Both teams shot poorly, with the Roadrunners at 30 percent and the Herd at 33 percent. UTSA won the game at the free-throw line, with the Roadrunners 21 of 26 against the Herd’s 11 of 19.

Tournament time

The C-USA tournament will be played March 11-14 in Frisco, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

To earn the automatic bid for the program’s first NCAA appearance since 2011, the Roadrunners will need to win four games in four days.

W. Kentucky wins in OT; UTSA’s Jackson breaks school records

Jhivvan Jackson. Western Kentucky beat UTSA 77-73 in overtime in Conference USA on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson set school records for career and single-season scoring during Western Kentucky’s 77-73 overtime victory at UTSA. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson on Saturday established school records for career and single-season scoring, but he had a hard time celebrating any of it after the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers carved out a 77-73 victory in overtime.

An announced crowd of 1,576 at the Convocation Center watched as the 6-foot junior from Puerto Rico surpassed the records of UTSA legends Devin Brown (for career scoring) and Derrick Gervin (for single-season points).

Both Brown and Gervin went on to play in the NBA.

Jackson secured the single-season record late in regulation and established the career record during overtime.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough for the slumping Roadrunners, who lost to one of Conference USA’s powers, falling to 4-6 in their last 10 games.

By scoring 27 for the game, Jackson pushed his totals to 1,924 points for his career and 727 on the season.

“We still took the loss,” Jackson said. “To me, I mean, I don’t really play for records. I mean, it’s an honor. But we still took the ‘L.’ We just got to come in and get better on Monday and get better and get ready for pod play. Got to get better.”

Jhivvan’s day

Hounded by Taveion Hollingsworth and others for Western Kentucky, Jackson finished with 8 of 24 shooting.

He was off the mark on a long three and on a driving two in the final minute of regulation, either of which could have tipped the game into the Roadrunners’ favor.

In overtime, Jared Savage had five of his team-high 24 points as the Hilltoppers won the extra period, 13-9.

Jackson misfired on five of his six shots in OT, perhaps one reason why he was practicing his jumper in the gym long after most of his teammates were either still dressing or had left the building.

It’s the type of diligence that pushed him to become the No. 2 scorer in NCAA Division I this season and the leader in Conference USA each of the past two.

“I’m just going to remember how hard I worked,” Jackson said. “You know, I mean, that record is all about my work ethic. I take great pride in working out and getting better every day.

“That’s really what I just do. I mean, I just try to work hard every day and once I step on the floor in the game, I just translate it. It’s been working out for the past few years.

“I’m going to keep doing it, and hopefully we can get in the (C-USA)Tournament and make a run, because we all excited about it, and I know we will.”


UTSA 12-15, 6-8
Western Kentucky 18-8, 11-3

First-half highlights

A story-line emerged in the opening half with the Roadrunners not shooting a free throw, while the Hilltoppers sank 11 of 15. Late in the half, the visitors kept pressing the action and exploded on a 14-4 run to take a 12-point lead. Keaton Wallace hit a three and Adrian Rodriguez a layup to bring the Roadrunners to within 41-34 at the break. Wallace kept UTSA in it with 16 points.

Second-half highlights

The Roadrunners played well enough to win the game for most of the second half but couldn’t make the key plays late. Early after intermission, the Hilltoppers were up by eight. But Jackson started to hit and UTSA rallied. The Roadrunners led by two three times down the stretch, the last time at 1:48 when Jackson drained a jumper. But in the final minute, Hollingsworth drove for a bucket to tie. Both teams misfired in the final 15 seconds.

Jacob Germany. Western Kentucky beat UTSA 77-73 in overtime in Conference USA on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA freshman Jacob Germany had his first double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. – photo by Joe Alexander


UTSA played poorly on the offensive end and, in spite of it, had a chance to win in the final minute. Wallace’s three pulled the Roadrunners to within two points with 48 seconds left. On Western Kentucky’s next possession, UTSA center Jacob Germany went for a steal and fouled, sending Hollingsworth to hit two for a four-point lead with 30 seconds left. That was, essentially, the ball game.

Coming up

Conference USA teams will begin bonus, or “pod” play next week. Teams in first through fifth place positions will compete in one pod. Teams from No. 6 through 10 (including UTSA) are in a second group. In addition, teams 11-14 are in a third. All teams play four games.

Former San Antonio Spurs guard Avery Johnson covering Saturday's UTSA vs. Western Kentucky Game for CBS Sports Network. - photo by Joe Alexander

Former San Antonio Spurs guard Avery Johnson calling the game for CBS Sports Network. – photo by Joe Alexander

Teams in the first pod are playing for top-four seeding and a first-round bye in the C-USA tournament. Meaning, the top four teams after pod play will only need to win three games to win the tournament for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Teams in the second and third groups can’t get the bye, meaning that if the Roadrunners have any hope of playing in the NCAAs, they’ll have to do it the hard way.

They’ll need to step up their level of play in their last four games, create some momentum and then hope to win four games in four days at the tournament from March 11-14 at Frisco.

UTSA vs. Western Kentucky photo gallery

Jhivvan Jackson set the UTSA single-season scoring record with this free throw with 5:10 left in Saturday's game against Western Kentucky at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson set the UTSA single-season scoring record with this free throw with 5:10 left in regulation in Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Western Kentucky beat UTSA 77-73 in overtime in Conference USA on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center.

During the game, UTSA junior guard Jhivvan Jackson broke the school records for single-season scoring and career scoring.

Jackson led UTSA with 27 points and Keaton Wallace had 25. Jacob Germany had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

UTSA locks down defensively, defeating Marshall, 72-63

Jhivvan Jackson shot 10-of-28 from the field, 1-of-8 on 3-pointers and 4-of-8 on free throws on Thursday against Marshall. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson shot 10-of-28 from the field against the Marshall Thundering Herd. – photo by Joe Alexander

The UTSA Roadrunners strapped a strong defensive and rebounding effort on the Marshall Thundering Herd in forging a 72-63 victory in Conference USA basketball Thursday night at the Convocation Center.

Jhivvan Jackson produced a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Roadrunners.

Derrick Gervin watches a UTSA men's basketball game at the UTSA Convocation Center on Feb. 13, 2020. Gervin holds the UTSA men's basketball single-season scoring record (718 points in 1984-85). He is the second player in program history to have his jersey retired. - photo by Joe Alexander

Former UTSA great Derrick Gervin, watching from the bleachers, holds the school’s single-season scoring record with 718 points set in the 1984-85 season. Jhivvan Jackson trails Gervin by 18 leading into Saturday’s home game against Western Kentucky. – photo by Joe Alexander

“We were working pretty hard defensively,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “Had a few good stretches in the first half defensively. Had an eight or nine-point lead late in the half and then just had a horrible stretch. Second half we came out and I think we had 10 straight stops at one point.

“They had 17 points in a 13-minute stretch. We took away their transition and easy buckets. We were working pretty hard defensively.”

UTSA tied a school record with 67 boards, dominating the visitors 67-44. Atem Bio pulled down 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, and Byron Frohnen had nine.

On the defensive end of an ugly game, UTSA held Marshall to 33 percent shooting, including 21.9 percent in the second half.

The Roadrunners struggled shooting the ball, as well. They connected on 30 percent from the floor and 11.5 percent from long distance.

UTSA hit only 3 of 26 on three-point shots.

The Roadrunners essentially won the game at the free-throw line, making 21 of 26, including 15 of 18 in the second half.


UTSA 12-14, 6-7
Marshall 12-14, 6-7

First half

The Thundering Herd surged late in the half to build a 38-34 lead on the Roadrunners at intermission. Taevion Kinsey scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the first 20 minutes.


UTSA guard Knox Hellums sat out with a fracture in the tip of his right thumb. Hellums suffered the injury in a road loss at Charlotte last Saturday.

By scoring 25 points, Jackson pulled to within striking distance of two school records.

He has scored 700 points for the year and is 18 shy of Derrick Gervin’s single-season record of 718, set in 1984-85. He also has 1,897 points for his career, 25 shy of Devin Brown’s 1,922 established from 1998-2002.

UTSA vs. Marshall photo gallery

UTSA's Jhivvan Jackson gets smacked in the face by Marshall's Iran Bennett while putting up a shot. Jackson had 25 points and 10 rebounds in UTSA's 72-63 Conference USA victory over Marshall on Thursday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Jhivvan Jackson gets smacked in the face by Marshall’s Iran Bennett while putting up a shot in UTSA’s victory over Marshall.

Jhivvan Jackson had 25 points and 10 rebounds as UTSA beat Marshall 72-63 in Conference USA on Thursday at the UTSA Convocation Center.

Shepherd scores 26 as Charlotte rolls past UTSA, 91-84

Jordan Shepherd scored 26 points to lead four players in double figures in a 91-84 victory Saturday over the UTSA Roadrunners.

Charlotte held UTSA to 8 of 31 shooting on three-pointers, with UTSA scoring star Jhivvan Jackson limited to 1 for 11.

At one point late in the game, the Roadrunners were 4 for 23 from deep.

Guard Keaton Wallace hit three 3-pointers in the last two minutes en route to a team-high 27 points.

Jackson, the nation’s second-leading scorer, had 25 points and eight rebounds as the Roadrunners split two games on a Conference USA road trip.


Charlotte 14-9, 8-4
UTSA 11-14, 5-7


UTSA had won its last two C-USA road games, including an 85-81 overtime victory at Old Dominion on Thursday night. But Charlotte had too many hot hands. Besides Shepherd, Malik Martin (19 points), Jahmir Young (16) and Drew Edwards (13) riddled the Roadrunners’ defense.


“You know, we really wanted to come in here and sort of back up what we did at ODU the other night. But we couldn’t get it done.” — UTSA coach Steve Henson told KTKR radio.

Jackson scores 45 as UTSA wins 85-81 in OT at Old Dominion

Record-setting Jhivvan Jackson scored nine of his season-high 45 points in overtime Thursday night, leading the UTSA Roadrunners to an 85-81 road victory at Old Dominion.

Jhivvan Jackson. UTSA beat Illinois State 89-70 on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson set Chartway Arena and Old Dominion opponent records with 45 points Thursday night. — File photo by Joe Alexander

With the performance, Jackson set both the Chartway Arena and Old Dominion opponent scoring records. His point total fell one shy of his career-high 46, established last year on the road at Western Kentucky.

Keaton Wallace scored 21 points and freshman Jacob Germany pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds for the Roadrunners, who snapped a two-game losing streak with their second straight win on the road in Conference USA play.

UTSA played its best half of the season on the road in the first half, building a 44-27 lead behind Jackson’s 28 points.

For the game, Jackson hit 17 of 33 shots from the field and 8 of 18 from three-point territory.

Included in his repertoire for the night were floaters, including one off of a dribble drive in which he split defenders and got into the lane, and another when he went baseline and hoisted a high-arcing shot over a defender.

Plus, he splashed more than a few 3-pointers that were good from 25 feet and beyond.

Malik Curry led the Monarchs with 30 points on 10 of 21 shooting. He scored 16 in the second half when Old Dominion roared from behind to force overtime. AJ Oliver also nailed three 3-pointers to aid the second-half surge.

UTSA led by as many as 20 points late in the first half.


UTSA 11-13, 5-6
Old Dominion 9-15, 5-6


As Jackson lit it up early, another major development emerged as UTSA held Old Dominion to 31 percent shooting from the field in the first half.


“It was a great win,” Jackson told Andy Everett on KTKR Radio. “In the first half, our defense was just phenomenal … We got, like, nine stops in a row. That’s why we played so great in the first half.”

By the numbers

Jackson scored in the 40s for the second time this season, following a 41-point performance on Dec. 21 at home against Illinois State. He has also produced eight games in the 30s and 11 in the 20s …

The 6-foot junior from Puerto Rico tied his career high with eight 3-point baskets. He was 8 of 18 for the game, including 6 of 10 in the first half. He followed in the overtime period by hitting 2 of 3 …

With the scoring outburst, Jackson increased his scoring average to 27.1. Marquette’s Markus Howard leads NCAA Division I with 27.9 per game, followed by Jackson.


“He really did have it going,” UTSA head coach Steve Henson said. “To get 45, without getting the free throw line a lot, sometimes in those big scoring games, guys are shooting eight, 10, 12 free throws, he just kept after it. His floaters and mid-range were terrific. He hit some deep shots early. He just really had it going.”

More numbers

Germany was up to the task of a battle against Old Dominion forward Aaron Carver, the leading rebounder in the conference. Carver pulled down 20 boards but Germany grabbed 15, including six on the offensive end.

Out-rebounded badly in two home losses last week, the Roadrunners won the boards, 46-45…


“He had a great game. He had 10 at the half,” Jackson said of Germany, who started for the second straight night. “Our coaches told the bigs it was all about the rebounding game. They did a heck of a job.”

Last-place Middle Tennessee State stuns UTSA, 83-80

Jacob Germany. UTSA lost to Middle Tennessee on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Freshman Jacob Germany made his first start for UTSA and scored six points in 14 minutes. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The last-place Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders gave up a 15-point lead and then hung on Saturday afternoon to stun the faltering UTSA Roadrunners, 83-80, in Conference USA basketball.

An announced crowd of 1,389 fans at the Convocation Center watched as UTSA, trailing by the eventual final score, tried to push the ball upcourt in the last two seconds for a shot to tie.

After two quick passes, Keaton Wallace was off the mark and late with a three-point attempt, and the Roadrunners lost at home for the second time in three days.

Blue Raiders guard C.J. Jones was the difference at the end, hitting three free throws after getting fouled with 2.8 seconds left.

Roadrunners coach Steve Henson issued a stern message to his players in the dressing room.

“It wasn’t a very positive one,” Henson said. “I just told ’em they needed to sit in there and let it sink in. Lost at home. Lost to a team that’s at the bottom of the standings. It’s not OK. We can’t be OK with it.”

The Roadrunners trailed by 15 points twice in the second half before mounting a rally that nearly resulted in a victory.

They went on a 23-8 run to tie the game at 78-all. They were tied again at 80-80 when Jhivvan Jackson missed a jumper and retrieved a loose ball to sink an 8-footer with 15 seconds left.

“It was a tough loss today,” Wallace said. “We were at home today and couldn’t get it done.”


UTSA — 10-13, 4-6
Middle Tennesseee — 6-17, 2-8

By the numbers

Middle Tennessee was ranked 311th in the NCAA’s NET rankings of 353 Division I programs. UTSA was 193.

The Blue Raiders were 1-8 away from home this season and 0-5 on the road in conference before registering their biggest victory of the season.

The Roadrunners had won seven in a row and were 8-1 at home before losses to the UAB Blazers (76-68) and the Blue Raiders this week.

On Thursday night, UAB punished UTSA with a combination of offensive rebounding and inside scoring. Middle Tennessee basically won the game at the 3-point line, knocking down 14 from beyond the arc to UTSA’s nine.


Middle Tennessee — Jones and Eli Lawrence scored 27 points apiece for the Blue Raiders. Lawrence, playing off the bench, sank and 7 of 9 threes. The 6-foot-5 freshman from Atlanta was averaging only 5.9 points per game coming in.

UTSA — Jackson finished with 32 points and seven rebounds. Wallace finished with 22 points, three rebounds and three assists.


UTSA shuffled its playing rotation, as 6-foot-11 freshman center Jacob Germany made his first career start. He finished with six points in 14 minutes. After getting bullied in the paint by UAB Thursday night, the Roadrunners did a better job on that front, with Adrian Rodriguez (17 minutes) contributing. But the change might have been detrimental to Luka Barisic, who went scoreless in seven minutes.

UTSA vs. Middle Tennessee photo gallery

C.J. Jones scored 27 points and made three free throws with 2.8 seconds left to give Middle Tennessee an 83-80 victory on Saturday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

C.J. Jones scored 27 points and made three free throws with 2.8 seconds left to give Middle Tennessee a victory.

UTSA dropped its second straight home game on Saturday, falling to Middle Tennessee State 83-80 in a Conference USA matchup at the Convocation Center.