Wallace scores 31 as UTSA routs Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 89-67

Keaton Wallace. UTSA beat A&M-Corpus Christi 89-67 on Tuesday night at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Hard-driving Keaton Wallace takes it into the paint against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. – photo by Joe Alexander

Junior guard Keaton Wallace connected on a school-record 15 free throws without a miss Tuesday night en route to a season-high 31 points in UTSA’s 89-67 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.

Bouncing back from a Saturday night loss to Prairie View A&M, the Roadrunners placed four men in double figures for the team’s first victory of the season against an NCAA Division I opponent.

UTSA shot a season-high 54.5 percent from the field, improved to 2-6 on the season and won for the second time in three games on a season-opening home stand.

The Islanders fell to 3-5 after rolling into San Antonio on a three-game winning streak. Nolan Bertain led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 18 points. He hit four 3-point shots.

Notable

Wallace’s 15-for-15 effort at the free-throw line highlighted a 23-of-26 team effort. Wallace broke the 26-year-old UTSA record held by guard Afis Olajuwon, who made 14 of 14 at home against Sam Houston State on Jan. 9, 1993.

Quotable

“That’s actually crazy. I didn’t even know I shot that many free throws. But that’s great. I feel great about that. You know, big time.” — Keaton Wallace, on what it means to get the school record.

Coming up

UTSA plays at Texas State on Saturday. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. in San Marcos at Strahan Arena.

Wallace’s resurgence

Keaton Wallace entered the game averaging a modest 12.9 points a game on 29.5 percent shooting from the field and 22.8 percent on 3-pointers.

He was 4 of 14 afield and 0 of 8 at the 3-point arc in a 79-72 loss to Prairie View.

The performance capped a mystifying seven-game stretch for Wallace, who emerged as one of the top players in Conference USA last year.

Henson said it was “really good” to see Wallace hit 8 of 12 from the field against the Islanders.

“We’ve been talking about our struggles, really, across the board,” Henson said. “Defensively, we haven’t been good enough. Offensively, the ball has not been going in the hole. Kind of felt like Keaton is a big key to all of this. We know that we need him to get going. We knew he was ready just at any moment to pop it, and so it was really good to see that happen.”

Hellums, Germany shine

Knox Hellums and Jacob Germany each scored 12 points off the bench for the Roadrunners. Hellums, a 6-5 junior transfer from Pepperdine, hit 4 of 4 from the 3-point arc. Germany was 5 of 7 including a couple of slam dunks. Jhivvan Jackson, one of the leading scorers in the nation, had 12 points in only 17 minutes.

First-half recap

Eleven players played and nine scored in the first half Tuesday night as the UTSA Roadrunners took a 41-25 lead against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Slumping junior Keaton Wallace led the way with 16 points. He hit 3 of 3 from the field and 10 of 10 at the free throw line.

UTSA rolls past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 64-50

Sophomore guard Jhivvan Jackson notched his seventh straight game of 20 points or more on Thursday night, scoring 22, as UTSA registered a 64-50 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Jhivvan Jackson. UTSA overpowered Bethany 101-77 on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Jhivvan Jackson

In the game played at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, the Roadrunners held the Islanders to 29 percent shooting from the field.

Jackson hit four 3-point buckets and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Roadrunners, who have won two in a row and five of their last seven.

Kareem South led the Islanders with 23 points.

Records

UTSA 5-7
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 5-6

Notable

In his seven-game streak, Jackson has scored 21 against both Florida Gulf Coast and Houston Baptist, 22 against Texas State, 28 (Mid-America Christian), 20 (Arkansas), 23 (Bethany) and 22 (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). He started the season on the bench, sitting out the first three games to complete rehabilitation from knee surgery.

Quotable

“I’m feeling great. I’m getting, basically, my conditioning back. My knee is good. It’s not bothering me or anything, and I’m just looking forward to the rest of the season.” — UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson said on the team’s radio broadcast.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi wins, completes sweep against UIW

The Jackson Owens-fueled Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders turned back the Incarnate Word Cardinals 8-3 Sunday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep.

Owens beat UIW at the plate and on the mound.

He hit a double and a triple and drove in three runs for the Islanders, and he also pitched the last 2 and 2/3 innings, earning credit for the win.

The series was played in Corpus Christi at Chapman Field.

Records

Incarnate Word 29-23, 13-14
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 27-26, 11-16

Series notes

The Cardinals held the lead in all three games but failed to win any of them.

As a result, they fell into a tie for seventh with New Orleans leading into the final days of the SLC race.

Eight teams qualify for the SLC tournament.

UIW and New Orleans are tied for seventh at 13-14, followed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Nicholls, both 11-16.

Each team has three games remaining.

Looking ahead

Hoping to secure its first SLC tournament berth, UIW plays at home Thursday, Friday and Saturday against first-place Sam Houston State.

UIW is hosting a team that is coming off historic success.

Last year, the Bearkats won the NCAA Lubbock Regional and advanced to the tournament’s Super Regional round.

At that point, Florida State knocked out Sam Houston State in two straight for a berth in the College World Series.

Recently, the Bearkats (35-17, 21-6) bounced back from a four-game losing streak to win two in a row against Houston Baptist.

Sam Houston State clinched at least a share of the SLC’s regular-season title with a 9-6 victory over Houston Baptist on Sunday.

Tournament time

The SLC tournament is scheduled May 23-26 at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.

Ayala pitches Texas A&M-Corpus Christi over UIW

Freshman A.G. Ayala pitched the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders to a 4-3 victory Saturday over Incarnate Word at Chapman Field.

Ayala held visiting UIW to two runs on four hits in seven innings as A&M-Corpus Christi won its second game in a row in the Southland Conference series.

The Islanders will try for their first SLC series sweep of the season Sunday at 1 p.m.

Trailing by two runs, the Cardinals scored once off reliever Will Floyd in the eighth inning to trim the lead to 4-3.

But Cody LeCompte entered the game and got the last six outs for the save.

Tyler Miller was the hard-luck losing pitcher, throwing all eight innings for the Cardinals.

He gave up only two earned runs on seven hits and struck out nine.

Records

Incarnate Word 29-22, 13-13
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 26-26, 10-16

Series notes

With the loss, UIW will enter Sunday’s game in seventh place, one game ahead of eighth-place New Orleans, in the SLC race.

Eight teams qualify for the SLC postseason tournament.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is tied for 10th place, one game out of ninth and two games out of the eighth.

Both UIW and A&M-Corpus Christi have four SLC games remaining.

Team in transition

For the past four years, UIW has been ineligible for postseason play in the SLC because of its status as a team in transition to NCAA Division I.

This year, the Cardinals have moved past the transition, and would be eligible if they can just win some games down the stretch.

To complete the season schedule, they are scheduled to play three games at home next week with first-place Sam Houston State.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rallies past UIW, 56-51

UIWs Shawn Johnson splits the defense on a drive against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. (Soobum Im / The University of the Incarnate Word)

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rallied in the final eight minutes Saturday afternoon to claim a 56-51 victory over the slumping University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals.

Trailing by three with 8:32 remaining at UIW’s Convocation Center, the Islanders surged behind Joe Kilgore and Deion Rhea down the stretch to win their fourth straight.

Kilgore and Kareem South each scored 11 points apiece for A&M-Corpus Christi (8-12, 5-5 Southland Conference).

UIW (5-15, 0-10) has lost 12 straight, its longest losing streak since it moved up to NCAA Division I and joined the SLC in 2013.

Shawn Johnson and Charles Brown III each produced 14 points for the Cardinals.

Johnson also had nine rebounds and two blocks, two assists and one steal while playing all 40 minutes.

Center Konstantin Kulikov had four blocks and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

With eight games to play in the regular season, UIW hosts Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday.

UIW forward Charles Brown III takes it strong to the basket against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. (Soobum Im / The University of the Incarnate Word)