UTSA coach Steve Henson: ‘We’re searching’

Senior guard Gerdarius Troutman hits a three with nine seconds left to give Florida Atlantic the lead.

UTSA coach Steve Henson admitted Saturday afternoon that his team is searching for an answer in the wake of a 73-69 home loss to Florida Atlantic.

The Roadrunners have lost three in a row and four of their last five.

“We’re just not playing right,” the coach said. “We’re not playing well enough, not together enough. Not tough enough, the things that we’re always talking about.

“Not playing hard enough on the defensive end of the floor, and the ball’s not moving the way it was earlier in the year.

“We’re searching. We’re searching, and we got to figure it out fast because it doesn’t get any easier from here.”

Florida Alantic (8-9, 2-3 in Conference USA) beat UTSA at the end with a low-post offensive attack led by 7-foot center Ronald Delph.

With the game tied 61-61, the Roadrunners (9-10, 2-4) couldn’t stop Delph in the paint as he scored seven points in a key stretch.

Delph hit three free throws and two shots in close to give the Owls a 68-66 advantage with 1:33 remaining.

From there, UTSA regained the lead by one when freshman Jhivvan Jackson buried a three from the corner.

But in the final seconds, the Owls went up 71-69 when Gerdarius Troutman knocked down a wide-open trey from the wing, off an assist from Anthony Adger.

With time running out, UTSA point guard Giovanni De Nicolao turned it over on the dribble trying to take it to the basket, forcing the Roadrunners to foul.

Troutman hit two free throws with three seconds left for the final points. He led the Owls with 19 for the game.

Three other FAU players finished in double figures, including Delph (15), Justin Massey (14) and Jailyn Ingram (13).

UTSA sophomore forward Byron Frohnen works his way inside for a layup off a miss by George Willborn III.

What has happened to the UTSA offense?

In two games at home this week, the Roadrunners finished with sub-40 percent shooting from the field.

Against Florida Atlantic, the Roadrunners went cold in the second half with 32.1 percent shooting, finishing at 37.1 for the game.

Freshman guard Keaton Wallace and junior forward Deon Lyle, two mainstays of the Roadrunners’ attack, were off the mark against Florida Atlantic.

The two combined for 2 of 14 from the field.

After starting the season with three weekly honors as C-USA Freshman of the Week, Wallace has fallen into an extended slump.

The 6-foot-3 lefty hit 2 of 10 against the Owls to make him 16 of 60 over his last six games.

Freshman Jhivvan Jackson played one of his better games of the year in defeat.

He scored 28 points. Jackson knocked down 8 of 15 from the field, 4 of 8 from three and 8 of 9 from the line.

UTSA leads Florida Atlantic 36-33 at intermission Saturday afternoon.

The Roadrunners rallied at the end of the half by hitting five of their last seven shots.

UTSA’s last bucket was emblematic of how hard it had to work to get a shot against FAU’s defense.

Moving without the ball, Jhivvan Jackson (see No. 2 in the video above) finally gets an open look and buries it.

Guard George Willborn III is leading UTSA with 11 points at the break.