Oklahoma beats UTSA, 97-85, as Jackson scores 31

Oklahoma broke from a five-point lead at halftime Monday night to knock off UTSA 97-85 in Steve Henson’s return to the OU campus.

Henson, UTSA’s second-year head coach, worked for five seasons on OU’s staff before taking the job in San Antonio in 2016.

Freshman Jhivvan Jackson scored 31 points for UTSA. Trae Young, the nation’s leading scorer, produced 28 for Oklahoma.

“We had some good stretches,” Henson told the team’s radio broadcast. “Kind of the same theme. We know we can score in bunches and score in transition.

“We showed that tonight. Just had stretches where we didn’t get enough stops, enough rebounds. The three-pointers (for OU) were killer in the second half on some of the possessions that we guarded pretty well.”

OU (6-1) produced a couple of offensive streaks in the second half that put away the visitors.

Trailing by two, UTSA (5-5) allowed an 8-0 run in a two minute stretch to fall behind 58-48.

The Roadrunners retaliated with back-to-back, three-pointers from Jackson to cut the OU lead to four.

Later, UTSA was within five when Oklahoma produced a 11-0 streak that was fueled by five points from 6-foot-10 sophomore Jamuni McNeace.

Leading scorers

UTSA: Jhivvan Jackson 31, Keaton Wallace 17, Deon Lyle 16, Nick Allen 10.

Oklahoma: Trae Young 28, Jamuni McNeace 15, Christian James 14.

Henson toiled from 2012 through 2016 on Lon Kruger’s staff at OU. Together, Kruger and Henson led the Sooners to at least 20 wins four times.

OU broke through with a trip to the Final Four in 2016.

Tonight, Henson’s Roadrunners (5-4) will play against Kruger’s high-scoring Sooners (5-1) at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

UTSA is playing well. Staying with Oklahoma on the boards early, UTSA is within five points with five minutes left in the half. OU star Trae Young has already scored 15. George Willborn III has six points and five rebounds for UTSA.

As the first half comes to a close, OU takes a 42-37 lead into the dressing room. UTSA will take it. The Roadrunners outscored the Sooners 6-0 in the final 1:38.

Young has scored 18, which is no surprise. He’s averaging a nation-leading 28.8. Freshmen Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace have scored 9 each.

UTSA leads OU 27-25 on the boards at the break. But the Roadrunners haven’t found a rhythm yet offensively, hitting only 13 of 39 from the field.

Fortunately for UTSA, the Sooners aren’t shooting it much better, connecting on 15 of 37.

The pace of the game has picked up quite a bit early in the second half.

Both teams have started to hit shots. Pace could favor the Sooners, who average an NCAA third-best 94 points per game.

But UTSA is hanging tough with the Big 12 opponent. OU leads 67-59 with 11:55 remaining.