Louisiana Tech nails 14 threes, scores a lopsided victory at UTSA

Lachlan Bofinger. The UTSA men's basketball team lost to Louisiana Tech 79-63 on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Lachlan Bofinger battles Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Lofton Jr. for a rebound Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center. Lofton and the Bulldogs won 79-63 to complete a two-game, Conference USA sweep in Texas this week. – Photo by Joe Alexander

In the beginning, 6-foot-7, 275-pound sophomore Kenneth Lofton Jr. picked up a nifty steal on the perimeter and then made like a mack truck in over-drive, dribbling the length of the floor for a layup.

But in the end, it wasn’t really the Lofton show as much as it was an Amorie Archibald highlight reel.

UTSA limited Lofton to 5 of 14 shooting from the field, only to see Archibald and the Louisiana Tech perimeter players get on a red-hot shooting roll in a 79-63 victory for the Bulldogs over the slumping Roadrunners at the Convocation Center.

Jordan Ivy-Curry. The UTSA men's basketball team lost to Louisiana Tech 79-63 on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Jordan Ivy-Curry scored 22 points, including 13 in the second half. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Archibald, a senior guard, scored a game-high 31 points. He hit 12 of 14 shots from the field and 6 of 6 from three-point distance, helping his team sweep a two-game Conference USA road trip through Texas.

After downing the UTEP Miners in El Paso Thursday night, the Bulldogs came to San Antonio and toyed with the Roadrunners, knocking down 14 of 28 threes.

The performance sent UTSA reeling to its second-straight, C-USA loss of the week, both at home, and its fifth loss in its last six games overall.


Louisiana Tech 13-3, 4-0
UTSA 7-9, 0-3

A coach’s lament

In a post-game visit with reporters, UTSA coach Steve Henson didn’t sugar-coat his feelings, implying that his locker room speech to players may have been a little bit blunt.

Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Kenneth Lofton Jr. finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. Lofton grabbed 34 rebounds combined in victories over UTEP and UTSA this week.. – Photo by Joe Alexander

But he also tried to stay positive with three straight road games looming.

“They know I’m not going to go in there and try to make ’em feel better,” Henson said. “You know, we lost a game and didn’t make enough plays to give ourselves a legitimate chance to win. I also told them there were some stretches, some things we can build on.

“We’ve got a great deal of respect for (LA Tech). They’re one of the two or three best teams in the league. They’ve got depth. They’ve got so many good players.”

UTSA dropped to 0-3 in conference for the second straight season. Last year, the Roadrunners pulled it together and finished 9-7 in the C-USA. Can they do something like that again? Let’s just say, there is a lot of work to be done.

Assessing the Bulldogs

How good are the Bulldogs?

They entered play ranked No. 70 in the NET rankings, the tool that the NCAA uses to sort out the relative strength of its 358 Division I teams. Going up against the Roadrunners, at No. 336, they were expected to win — and they did.

At the same time, it’s never easy to sweep a road trip in the C-USA, and they did it in workman-like fashion, winning at UTEP by 12 points and at UTSA by 16. In El Paso, they held the Miners to 33 percent shooting. In San Antonio, they shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 57.1 percent in the second half.

Cedrick Alley Jr. The UTSA men's basketball team lost to Louisiana Tech 79-63 on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Cedrick Alley Jr. squeezes off a shot Saturday afternoon against Louisiana Tech. – Photo by Joe Alexander

They led by as many as 23 mid-way through the second half after Archibald came out firing after intermission. Archibald was four-for-four from long distance in the half, and he celebrated after some of them by blowing kisses to the sky.

“My coaches and my teammates just tell me to keep shooting when I’m open,” he said. “Last game, I didn’t really play to the best of my abilities. I just wanted to come out and give my team my best effort.”

Archibald said he felt like the Bulldogs “played great” the day after a long day on the road.

“Coming from El Paso, that’s a lot of traveling,” Archibald said. “But I feel like we battled through the adversity. That’s what coach talks about a lot. You know, those (road) sweeps don’t really come a lot in Conference USA. So, we took that into consideration, that we could do it, and I feel like we executed.”

Individual highlights

Louisiana Tech — Archibald, 31 points. Cobe Williams, 15 points, including 5 of 8 on three pointers. Lofton, 12 points and 16 rebounds in 27 minutes.

UTSA — Jordan Ivy-Curry, 22 points on 9 of 17 shooting. Jacob Germany, 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting. Also, 13 rebounds. Off the bench, Lamin Sabally, 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting, including 2 of 3 on three pointers. Darius McNeil, 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in 21 minutes off the bench.


The Roadrunners fell to 0-2 since they announced the departure of guard Dhieu Deing from the program. Deing had been averaging 15.3 points and 5 rebounds a game … Both Cedrick Alley, Jr., and Aleu Aleu were held to a combined three points. Pressured when he touched the ball on the perimter, Aleu went scoreless. He got off only one shot — a three-point attempt — and missed it. Alley was 1 for 7 from the field …

Darius McNeill. The UTSA men's basketball team lost to Louisiana Tech 79-63 on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Senior guard Darius McNeill finished with seven points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Defensively, UTSA did a good job with Lofton, a 2021 Conference USA all-freshman team member. The sophomore from Port Arthur came in averaging 17.1 points. Outside of a few plays, he never found a rhythm while being shadowed by the taller Germany and banged around by Phoenix Ford and others … In bench play, UTSA got a little more production than it had been getting, with freshman Lamin Sabally and senior Darius McNeil leading the way. The Roadrunners also played well offensively in the second half, shooting 51.7 percent and scoring 37 after intermission.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Louisiana Tech shooting guard Keaston Willis. Willis played last year at San Antonio-based Incarnate Word and led the Cardinals into the Southland Conference tournament. Willis finished with 3 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He was 1 for 8 from the field. Afterward, he met with some friends wearing the UIW red and black.

Coming up

Jan. 13 — UTSA at Old Dominion.
Jan. 15 — UTSA at Charlotte.
Jan. 20 — UTSA at UTEP.
Jan. 23 — UTEP at UTSA.

Frustrated Roadrunners know they can play at a higher level

Steve Henson. men's basketball lost to Southern Miss 74-73 on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Steve Henson’s Roadrunners face a daunting stretch of games starting with Louisiana Tech at home on Saturday. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Plenty of questions swirled around the UTSA Roadrunners Friday morning as they prepared for a film session at noon, followed by a short practice and then an afternoon game Saturday against the powerful Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

Guard Dhieu Deing, their leading scorer, has left the program to pursue professional basketball opportunities.

In addition, they’ve lost four of their last five games, including four straight against NCAA Division I competition.

Perhaps most concerning, the Roadrunners have now dropped their first two on the Conference USA schedule leading into Saturday’s 3 p.m. tipoff against Kenneth Lofton, Jr., and the Bulldogs.

It doesn’t get any easier after that as UTSA braces for three C-USA games in a row on the road.

Addressing the team’s situation after a 74-73 loss at home Thursday night to Southern Miss, UTSA coach Steve Henson acknowledged the challenge but maintained a positive outlook, given 16 games remaining on the C-USA schedule, including one Covid-related makeup.

“A lot of games left,” Henson said. “We got to play better, bottom line. This was an important game, because it was a home game. We talked about the early stretch (in conference) with a bunch of road games and home games against good opponents.

“So, it’s going to be important for our guys to stay together. They’re a little frustrated. We’re not playing the way we think we can. It doesn’t get any easier on Saturday. We know that. Then we go on the road for two.

“We got to keep our heads up and make progress.”

Coming up

Saturday, 3 p.m. — Louisiana Tech at UTSA.


Louisiana Tech 12-3, 3-0
UTSA 7-8, 0-2


The Bulldogs ran their record in conference to 3-0 late Thursday night with a 64-52 road victory at UTEP. LA Tech smothered UTEP defensively, holding the Miners to 33 percent shooting. The Bulldogs also were aggressive in controlling the boards, 42-31.

Much of that was because of Lofton, who had 11 points and 18 rebounds. Outside of Lofton, one of the premier post players in the nation, sophomore guard Cobe Williams has evolved into a dangerous offensive threat.

Williams has scored 57 points in conference, including 22 against Marshall and 18 against Western Kentucky in home victories last week. The 6-footer from Dallas had 11 of his 17 on the Miners in the first half, when the Bulldogs surged to a 41-25 lead.

Lofton, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound sophomore, is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds.