Trailing by 10 points late in their third game in three days, the UTSA Roadrunners rallied Wednesday for a 60-57 victory over the IUPUI Jaguars.
UTSA was down 54-44 with 6:44 remaining when Jaguars guard Bobby Harvey buried a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
From there, the Roadrunners ripped off a 16-3 run to the buzzer, with forward Cedric Alley Jr. hitting the boards hard and newcomer Dhieu Deing scoring seven of the points.
What changed for the home team down the stretch?
“We really stopped feeling sorry for ourselves,” said Alley, who had a monster game with eight points and 14 rebounds. “We had to pick up our energy. I know that has to start with me.
“That’s why I started crashing the boards as hard as I could to try to get second-chance or third-chance opportunities.”
Despite the late collapse, IUPUI still had a chance to win in the final minute.
On one possession, Bakari Lastrap turned it over with a pass that was deflected, leading to a fast break layup by Deing that lifted UTSA into a 58-57 lead.
Deing missed the free throw, allowing the Jaguars one last chance. After an IUPUI timeout, though, Lastrap turned it over again.
As Alley grabbed the ball, he was fouled, and went to the line to shoot a 1-and-1. He made both to account for the final score.
While Alley was a force defensively, Deing also did his part, producing 20 points and five rebounds.
“Man, this feels real good right now,” said Deing, a newcomer who has scored 13, 15, 16, 11 and now 20 points in his first five games for the Roadrunners.
Deing said the Roadrunners just wanted to stay together as a team after IUPUI posted the double-digit lead.
“We’re just trying to see what our identity is as a team,” Deing said. “At that timeout when we were down six with about two minutes left, I told the team, ‘We’re going to do this together.’ ”
B.J. Maxwell led the Jaguars with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Maxwell scored 10 points in the first half for the Jaguars, who shot 50 percent from the floor in taking a 33-28 lead.
The Jaguars nailed four 3-point baskets, including two by Maxwell.
Despite poor shooting, UTSA stayed in the game because of its defense. It was the first time this year that the Roadrunners trailed at the half and won.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at UTSA, Sunday, 3 p.m.
IUPUI stands for Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Division I athletics teams at IUPUI play in the Horizon League. For IUPUI, Chuks Isitua hit 4 for 4 shots off the bench and finished with 10 points.
UTSA got contributions from Jacob Germany with 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting and four rebounds. Jordan Ivy-Curry, who scored a career-high 27 Tuesday night against Denver, was held to nine points on 3 of 14 shooting.
The Roadrunners pulled out the win despite shooting 33.3 percent from the field as a team.
Last Friday, the Roadrunners were humbled in a 96-44 loss at the University of Oklahoma. Then as the multi-team event opened on its home court Monday, UTSA lost a heart-breaker, falling 65-62 to Texas A&M-Commerce on a buzzer-beating, 3-point shot.
The Roadrunners rebounded Tuesday night to beat Denver 78-64.
Ivy-Curry has emerged after five games as UTSA’s leading scorer with 15.6 per game. Dhieu Deing is averaging 15 points, 6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. Jacob Germany is third in scoring at 13.4.