UTSA holds off Charlotte, 72-62, advances to C-USA quarterfinals

The UTSA Roadrunners celebrated in the locker room Wednesday night after opening the Conference USA championships with a 72-62 victory over the Charlotte 49ers.

At the same time, the good vibes were mixed with a sense of urgency on what comes next.

“We were excited that we were going to enjoy it for the next 20 or 30 minutes or so,” UTSA center Jacob Germany said. “But, we came here to win more than one game. So, we’re all feeling good, confident. But we’re locked into the next one, too.”

The Roadrunners advanced in the bracket into a quarterfinal matchup Thursday against the powerful Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The tournament is being held at The Star in Frisco.

In running up a 41-26 lead at halftime, the Roadrunners held the 49ers to 28 percent shooting, and senior guard Jhivvan Jackson exploded for 18 points.

UTSA’s defense played well at the outset, as well. Players really clamped down in the closing minutes of the half, limiting the 49ers to 1 of 8 shooting from the floor.

In the half, the 49ers hit only 7 of 25 shots.

Jackson was as good as ever in the early going. He hit two threes and scored 10 in the first eight minutes. For the half, he was 7 of 13 from the field.

UTSA experienced a scare with its leading scorer with about four minutes left before intermission, as he came out of the game holding his left shoulder. Jackson, who had suffered what Coach Steve Henson described as ‘like a stinger,’ returned with 3:49 remaining and played the rest of the way.

In the second half, Jackson wasn’t the same offensively as he went scoreless on 0 for 6 shooting. But as the 49ers rallied to get back into it, Keaton Wallace and Germany stepped in to stop the charge.

Wallace poured in 11 of his team-high 20 points and Germany scored 10 of his 16 after intermission. Germany also finished with 10 rebounds for his first postseason double-double.

Asked if he was worried when the 49ers started to make a run, Germany said, “Mmm, kind of.”

“Coach told us they were going to get into their little groove offensively and try to slow the game down,” he said. “We always knew they would eventually get going. But I think we did a good job in responding and controlling the game.”

For the streaking Roadrunners, it was their 10th win in their last 12 games. It was also their first win at the C-USA tournament since 2018 when they beat UTEP in the opening round before bowing out with a loss to Middle Tennessee in the quarterfinals.

In 2019, the Roadrunners had a first-round bye into the quarterfinals but stumbled in a loss to the UAB Blazers.

Last season, UTSA lost in the opening round, falling to UAB for the second straight year on March 11, the day before the tournament was scrapped because of the pandemic.

Charlotte’s season ended on a nine-game losing streak. The 49ers were led by guards Jordan Shepherd with 20 points and Jahmir Young with 19.

Records

UTSA 15-10
Charlotte 9-16

Coming up

Conference USA quarterfinals
Thursday, at The Star, in Frisco

UTSA vs. Western Kentucky, 5:30 p.m.
Rice vs. UAB, 6 p.m.

Looking ahead

Western Kentucky (18-6) is the No. 1 seed out of the C-USA East Division. The Hilltoppers boast the Player of the Year, center Charles Bassey. Bassey, a 6-11 center, averages 17.6 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.

Guard Taveion Hollingsworth (14.3 points and 2.3 assists) is also a threat. The Hilltoppers won in non- conference play against Memphis, Rhode Island and on the road at Alabama. They topped the C-USA East standings at 11-3. It’s the first game of the tournament for WKU, which earned a first-round bye. Because of the unbalanced schedule this year, the Roadrunners did not play them.

“They had a terrific year,” Henson said. “We didn’t get to play all the teams in the East this year. But we’re excited. We’ve got great respect for them. They’re clearly one of the best teams in the East and the No. 1 seed. We know what Bassey will do, and it’s not a one-man show. You know, and they’ve got some other really, really good players. It’ll take a great effort. But, shoot our guys are fired up. They’re excited.”

UTSA set to play Charlotte in C-USA championships

The UTSA Roadrunners will open play in the Conference USA basketball championships against the Charlotte 49ers, according to the bracket announced Saturday.

The 14-team men’s tournament starts Tuesday with a pair of first-round games at The Star in Frisco. As the No. 4 seed in the West, UTSA will open play in the second round on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against the 49ers, the No. 5 seed in the East.

UTSA enters tournament play having won nine of its last 11, while Charlotte has lost eight straight. The two teams were scheduled to play Feb. 19-20 in North Carolina, but the games were scrapped because of the winter storm in Texas.

If the Roadrunners beat the 49ers, they would advance to play in the third round Thursday against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, the No. 1 seed in the East. UTSA will need to win four games in four days to secure the C-USA’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

UTSA hasn’t played in the NCAA tournament since 2011.

Records

Charlotte 9-15, 5-11
UTSA 14-10, 9-7

Notable

Please click on the link for full details on the C-USA championships.

UTSA road games at Charlotte are postponed

The last road trip of the regular season for the UTSA Roadrunners has been postponed because of winter-weather issues in Texas over the past week, it was announced Thursday night.

UTSA had been scheduled to travel on Thursday afternoon in order to play road games against the Charlotte 49ers on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

But the trip was scrapped in the wake of winter storms that have adversely affected the state of Texas for the past four days. A release from UTSA did not mention possible make up dates.

The Roadrunners (12-9, 8-6 in Conference USA) had won four in a row, sweeping two on the road at Florida International and two at home against Florida Atlantic.

According to the news release, UTSA “will now return to action with its final games of the regular season,” hosting the UAB Blazers Feb. 25-26 at the 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.

Records

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

Notable

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.

Quotable

“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 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.

Records

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

Notable

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.

Quotable

“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.

Sub-plots

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.

Individuals

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.

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

Charlotte wins 10-4 to end UTSA’s season

Todd Elwood stroked two hits and produced three RBI Saturday as the Charlotte 49ers beat UTSA, 10-4, at the Conference USA tournament.

The setback ended the season for the Roadrunners.

Charlotte put the game away with five runs in the seventh inning.

Drew Ober capped the rally with a two-run double.

Trent Bowles hit a grand slam to give the Roadrunners a 4-2 lead in the third.

Records

UTSA 32-24
Charlotte 33-24

UTSA preparing for C-USA tournament after beating Charlotte, 5-1

UTSA backed a strong performance from starting pitcher Karan Patel with 13 hits Saturday to defeat the Charlotte 49ers 5-1 in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Roadrunners coach Jason Marshall said UTSA will face Charlotte next Wednesday in Biloxi, Mississippi, on opening day in the Conference USA postseason tournament.

UTSA will travel to Mississippi seeking its first NCAA tournament berth since 2013.

The Roadrunners, who took two of three from the 49ers on the last weekend, will need to win the eight-team C-USA event to earn a spot in one of the NCAA regionals.

Patel carried UTSA in the regular-season finale by hurling six scoreless innings while allowing only three hits.

In the field, Patel was supported with standout defensive plays from outfielders Ryan Stacy and Trent Bowles and shortstop Joshua Lamb.

Marshall said he was pleased with the team’s play against Charlotte in the final three games, particularly the pitching, which allowed only six runs in three days.

The 49ers beat the Roadrunners 2-0 on Thursday. But the Roadrunners bounced back to take the second game, 4-3.

Records

UTSA 31-22, 16-13
Charlotte 31-22, 17-13

Notebook

Starters for opening day in the tournament are two lefties in Charlotte’s Josh Maciejewski (9-2, 2.46) against UTSA’s Steven Dressler (5-3, 2.81).

Charlotte beats UTSA 2-0 with a two-run ninth inning


Charlotte’s Todd Elwood high chops a ground ball to second base in the ninth inning, driving in the first run of the game for the 49ers.

The Charlotte 49ers scored twice in the top of the ninth inning Thursday night to defeat light-hitting UTSA, 2-0, winning the first game of a three-game series and registering their fourth straight victory in Conference USA.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jonah Patten closed for his ninth save of the year, giving the 49ers a win at Roadrunner Field to open a series that will complete the regular season for both teams.

The series continues with Game 2 on Friday at 6 p.m. Game 3 is set for Saturday at 10 a.m.

Charlotte and UTSA both will advance to the C-USA postseason tournament, set for next week in Biloxi, Mississippi. Right now, it appears that the 49ers might have a decent chance to make a run at the title.

With the victory over UTSA, the 49ers showcased some dominant pitching to extend a streak of success that includes 10 victories in their last 12 games.

UTSA coach Jason Marshall lamented a ninth-inning rally fueled by a few fortuitous bounces for Charlotte.

“The (ground) ball ricocheted off of (UTSA pitcher) Derek Craft to get that thing going, and then they dump that single into right center,” Marshall said. “It’s what I told our guys, it was just the way it was flowing.

“It was going to boil down to a big hit, somebody in scoring position and somebody delivering the big blow, the knockout.”

Records

Charlotte 31-20, 17-11
UTSA 29-22, 14-13

The details

The Charlotte pitching trio of Josh Maciejewski, Chase Gooding and Patten limited UTSA to just three hits — all of them singles.

UTSA pushed runners to second base in the first and sixth innings and put another one at third base in the seventh.

But each opportunity fizzled, leaving them to think about their second shutout loss in their last four games.

“You never know at what part of the game you can deliver that blow,” Marshall said. “We had a chance in the first inning. We really didn’t give ourselves a lot more chances (afterward).

“There were only a few other chances where we got a runner to second or third. Their starter (Maciejewski) has great numbers, Then the guy they brought out of the pen even threw better than the starter.”

Not everything went wrong for the Roadrunners.

UTSA pitched and played defense extremely well. The Roadrunners very nearly matched Charlotte in stringing all zeroes across the scoreboard.

But in the ninth, the 49ers had a few bounces go their way to tack on the only two runs they would need.

With one out, Craft got a hand on a chopper hit by Drew Ober, only to have it carom past shortstop Joshua Lamb for a base hit.

Ober promptly took advantage of the break, speeding from first to third on a single by Dominick Cammarata.

With runners at first and third and still one out, Craft worked a 1-2 count to Todd Elwood.

At that point, Marshall elected to go to the bullpen to bring in lefty Jordan Rodriguez to finish off Elwood, a left-handed hitter.

After working the count to 3-2, Elwood chopped a ball that bounced just high enough to get over Rodriguez and just slow enough to allow Ober to score from third.

Even though Elwood was thrown out at first, pinch runner Jake Whitcomb took second, leaving another runner in scoring position.

Tommy Bullock answered with an RBI single to center off reliever Andre Shewcraft, making it 2-0.