By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay
The UTSA Roadrunners are playing a team tonight that likes to use most of the 30-second shot clock on each possession.
In the Charlotte 49ers, they’ll face an opponent that sets picks and cuts and passes and forces the defense to make fast-twitch movements in a confined area.
One wrong movement and a defense that loses focus can give up a back-door layup. Or two. If the trend continues, a team like UTSA that likes to play fast can get frustrated.
“Their style has the (capability) of sucking the life out of the crowd, to suck the life out of the opponent’s defense,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “If you get a little impatient and ratchet up your aggressiveness, then they’ve got you.
“You got to stay true to the game plan. You got to stay beneath them. You’ll have some breakdowns but you’ve just got to keep playing.”
Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry said the key to speeding up the game centers on playing sound defense and forcing misses.
“We’ve just got to play really good defense and run,” Ivy-Curry said.
Charlotte at UTSA, tonight at 7, at the Convocation Center.
Charlotte 8-7, 2-1
UTSA 7-9, 1-2
Playing a team with a slow-down style similar to Charlotte, UTSA suffered a 63-53 loss at home on Dec. 21. On that night, the Roadrunners hoisted 30 attempts from the 3-point line and made only five. Since then, they have come alive with an offense averaging 92.5 points over their last four games. In games against Prairie View, UAB, Rice and Memphis, the Roadrunners have knocked down a total of 52 3-point field goals. The Roadrunners are sizzling from outside the arc during that stretch, hitting 41.3 percent.