By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay
If the Little Rock (Ark.) Trojans were rattled by the UTSA Roadrunners’ 3-point shooting early in the game, they shook it off in due course, coming alive in the second half on their home court to register a 93-84 victory on Wednesday night.
In the end, the Little Rock guard duo of Jamir Chaplin and Bradley Douglas took down UTSA and its three-game winning streak.
Chaplin, a 6-foot-5 transfer from South Florida, led the Trojans with 22 points. The 6-1 Douglas sizzled at the end of the game, scoring 11 of his 20 in the final five minutes.
Guard Christian Tucker led UTSA with 23 points. Adante’ Holiman, Tucker’s backcourt mate, sat out his second straight game as he recovers from concussion symptoms.
Once again, the Roadrunners shot it well from the perimeter. After making a school-record 19 three-point shots at home on Sunday against Division II Arkansas-Fort Smith, the Roadrunners knocked down 14 of 34 from the arc.
UTSA was particularly effective early, making nine triples in the first half. But after surging to a 35-21 lead, the Roadrunners failed to hang on. By late in the half, the Trojans had taken the lead. UTSA got a bucket by Massal Diouf in the final minute to move back ahead by 43-42 at intermission.
In the second half, the Trojans started guarding the shooters better and began to crank their own offense. They hit 16 of 27 from the field for 59.3 percent.
Little Rock 5-6
UTSA at Oregon State, 2 p.m.
Isaiah Wyatt tried to rally UTSA, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. Wyatt also finished with a team-high nine rebounds. Guard PJ Carter and Dre Fuller produced 12 points apiece and Carlton Linguard Jr. had 10. With the loss, UTSA fell to 1-4 on the road.
It’s too early to tell if a federal district judge’s ruling on Wednesday will allow the Roadrunners to play some of their players sitting out as transfers in the next two weeks.
Judge John P. Bailey granted a 14-day temporary restraining order during a hearing in his West Virginia court room, giving college athletes who have transferred more than once in their careers immediate eligibility at least for the next 14 days, according to a story by Ross Dellenger in Yahoo Sports.
“As a result of today’s decision impacting Division I student-athletes, the association will not enforce the year in residency requirement for multiple-time transfers and will begin notifying member schools,” the NCAA said in a statement released to Dellenger.
Multiple-time transfers for UTSA include Jordan Ivy-Curry, Justin Thomas and Juan Reyna. Ivy-Curry and Thomas are scholarship players and Reyna is a walk-on who has been practicing well.
By the letter of the ruling, it appears that the three theoretically could be deemed eligible to play in at least two games — against Oregon State on Sunday and against Army at home on Dec. 21. The judge is expected to address the issue again on Dec. 27.
UTSA coach Steve Henson didn’t talk about the judge’s ruling or the statement by the NCAA during his post-game radio comments.
He did say that he felt like the Roadrunners were in “pretty good shape” in the middle of the first half when the Trojans made their big run to intermission.
“Defense in the second half was disappointing,” Henson told Andy Everett, the team’s radio voice. The coach went on to say that the Trojans “just won a lot of individual battles, just kind of went right at us, scored right in our face. Got to compete to get that stop.”