By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay
The Wichita State Shockers sank their first eight shots from the field Wednesday night, setting the tone for a fairly easy 84-64 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners in the American Athletic Conference.
In a matchup of struggling teams in the AAC, the Shockers raced to a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the game at Wichita, Kan.
UTSA tried to play with tempo but kept turning it over and eventually fell behind by 20 points at halftime. The Shockers, who entered the night tied for last place in the AAC, led by as many as 26 late in the second half.
“We got whooped tonight, no way around it,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said on the team’s radio broadcast. “Guys are dejected, frustrated. It’s the way they should feel. It was bad. We got to go back, get to class in the morning get in the weight room. Get in the film room and work. We need two good practices to play better on Saturday.”
UTSA hosts East Carolina on Saturday at 3 p.m.
In the team’s first visit to Wichita as a member of the AAC, it was a frustrating night for everyone. Henson, a Kansas native and a former star guard at Kansas State University, grew weary of the officiating in the second half and drew a technical foul with 7:15 left in the game.
The Roadrunners’ problems were plentiful. The Shockers’ played well defensively, holding the visitors to 32 percent shooting from the field in the first half and 38 percent for the game.
UTSA’s bread and butter, the 3-point shot, was not falling even with open looks. The Roadrunners hit only 5 of 22 from deep.
Dre Fuller Jr. led the Roadrunners with 13 points, including 11 in the second half. Adante’ Holiman had 12 points and Trey Edmonds 10.
Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, UTSA’s leading scorer, was held to five points on one for 10 shooting. Christian Tucker, the team’s second leading scorer and the assist leader in the AAC, had a tough night. He finished with two points, five rebounds, one assist and six turnovers.
UTSA’s Carlton Linguard Jr. hit his first shot attempt, a long three, to give the Roadrunners a 3-0 lead.
From there, Linguard could not keep it going as he finished one for four from the field and one for three from long distance. The Roadrunners’ stretch power forward finished with five points and five rebounds.
For Wichita State, guard Colby Rogers led a balanced Shockers offense with 18 points and six rebounds. Backcourt mate Harlond Beverly, a transfer from the University of Miami, Fla., added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. Big man Quincy Ballard finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Guard Xavier Bell also had 11 points.
UTSA 8-15, 2-8
Wichita State 10-13, 2-8
East Carolina at UTSA, Saturday, 3 p.m.
Wichita State center Jacob Germany, a former four-year player at UTSA, played four minutes off the bench. He went scoreless on zero for two shooting. It was only his seventh game played for the Shockers this season. When Germany entered the transfer portal last spring, the lefty from Kingston, Okla. left UTSA ranked among the school’s career leaders — ninth in points with 1,293, fourth in rebounds with 779 and tied for third in blocks with 105.