UTSA erupts for a 125-64 victory over first-year Ottawa

UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao takes it inside to score in the first half Thursday night. Video: theJBreplay.com

UTSA sophomore guard George Willborn III says he considers basketball a team game.

With that, he credited teammates for his career-high, 22-point explosion Thursday night in a 125-64 rout over the Ottawa Spirit at the Convocation Center.

“It’s a team game,” Willborn said. “We worked hard on defense and got a lot of easy buckets. That was our main focus.”

The Roadrunners (5-3) placed six men in double figures and hit 50 percent from the field en route to the fourth-highest scoring game in the school’s 37-year history.

Out-rebounded by 20 in a 100-96 loss at Tulsa Tuesday night, UTSA dominated the boards 67-33. The 67 rebounds were a school record.

Willborn punctuated his best individual effort in two years by nailing 8 of 16 from the field and making all three attempts from 3-point range.

Guard Tanner Riley scored 14 to lead the Spirit (2-7), who are in their first season as a program.

With solid execution on both ends, the Roadrunners built a 37-point lead at halftime (62-25) and stretched it to as many as 63 points (123-60) with less than two minutes remaining.

Playing against a less-established program, with smaller and less-athletic players at virtually every position, it would have been easy for UTSA to let the game get sloppy.

But coach Steve Henson said he liked his players’ approach.

“We kept talking to our guys about playing the right way, defending the right way, making the right play,” Henson said. “We had a lot of success in driving it and scoring in the paint. We just told our guys to continue to focus and keep it simple.”

UTSA’s highest-scoring games

136-68, vs. East Central Oklahoma, 11-22-2008 (Coach Brooks Thompson)
132-97, vs. Texas State, 11-24-1990 (Coach Stu Starner)
128-70, vs. Georgia State, 2-10-1990 (Coach Ken Burmeister)
125-64, vs. Ottawa, Ariz., 11-30-2017 (Coach Steve Henson)
118-97, vs. Centenary, 1-12-1991 (Coach Stu Starner)