Pass the pepperoni, please.
The UTSA Roadrunners planned to celebrate with a post-game pizza on Thursday night after they snapped a five-game losing streak with a rousing 98-79 victory in overtime at Southern Mississippi.
In the five-minute OT, UTSA hit an eye-opening eight-for-eight from the field and won going away with a 22-3 burst.
Guard Dhieu Deing produced 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Roadrunners, who extended the Golden Eagles’ losing streak to eight games.
UTSA walk-on Isaiah Addo-Ankrah added a career-high 21 points, including 9 of them on three, 3-point baskets in the overtime.
Jacob Germany and Erik Czumbel had 16 points apiece, and guard Darius McNeill added 14 points, five assists and two steals.
Both steals by McNeill ignited the Roadrunners on the defensive end in the extra period, while Addo-Ankrah and Deing sparked the offense.
Addo-Ankrah, once a practice player for the University of Houston women’s basketball team, hit three for three from long distance in overtime. Deing was two for two.
“I can’t believe this right now,” Addo-Ankrah told Andy Everett on the team’s radio broadcast. “It went to overtime and I’m like, ‘Oh, please, please God. Please.”
It was UTSA’s first win since Jan. 27, a victory at home over the FIU Panthers. It was their first win of the year on the road after losing their first 10 away from home.
During the radio interviews on KTKR 760, UTSA coach Steve Henson chuckled at the improbable sight on the box score of eight-for-eight shooting in an overtime period.
This, from a team that entered the game with a discouraging 38.6 percent field goal percentage for the season.
“That was pretty amazing,” Henson said. “Got the (opening) tip and got a bucket. Got a steal and got a bucket. Just like that, we were up five. Then we ran a play and got a three. Guys executed. Then when we got a lead, we ran the clock, and after running some clock, we converted.
“Heck of a job there in overtime, on both ends of the floor.”
For the game, the Roadrunners hit 35 of 75 shots for 46.7 percent from the field. They hit 46.9 percent from three, knocking down 15 of 32.
Defensively, they were good when they needed to be good, limiting the Golden Eagles to 1 for 5 shooting and four turnovers in overtime. Southern Miss shot 43 percent for the game.
The Roadrunners hit seven three-point baskets and rallied from an 11-point deficit to forge a 38-38 tie against the Golden Eagles.
After the Roadrunners fell behind, 25-14, Deing, Czumbel and Addo-Ankrah led the comeback.
Deing hit three from long distance and led the Roadrunners in first-half scoring with 13 points. Czumbel and Addo-Ankrah hit two threes apiece. UTSA was 7 of 17 from the arc at intermission after entering the game shooting only 28 percent on treys.
Discovering the touch
UTSA’s shooting has been a problem for most of the season.
It started out that way against Southern Miss, with the Roadrunners making only two of their first 12 attempts from the field. But they warmed up just a bit to finish the first half at 35.9 percent. In the second half, they hit 46.4 percent. Then, they knocked down all eight of them for 100 percent in the overtime.
The game marked the return of Jordan Ivy-Curry after he had missed UTSA’s last contest with a sprained ankle. Henson said Ivy-Curry hasn’t been able to practice much in the last 10 days, but he finally got some work in on Wednesday. The Roadrunners’ leading scorer came off the bench to play nine minutes. He was 0 for 3 from the field and passed for two assists.
Sending it to OT
The Golden Eagles tied the game on a somewhat controversial final play of regulation. Taking it to the basket, Tyler Stevenson collided with UTSA’s Jacob Germany as he was shooting, and he missed. It could have been called a charge, but there was no whistle. After that, Stevenson got the rebound, and missed an easy one at the rim. He grabbed the ball again and put it back at the buzzer, tying the score 76-76, and sending it to overtime.
Golden Eagles numbers
Guard Wayln Napper led Southern Miss in scoring with 21 points. Napper played on the same team with Deing last season at Dodge City Community College in Kansas. Stevenson finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. DeAndre Pinckney had 17 points and 11 boards. Also, Isaih Moore chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots.
UTSA guard Erik Czumbel passed for a career-high 11 assists. In his last two games, against Western Kentucky and Southern Miss, he has 30 points and 15 assists … Deing produced his fifth 20-plus points game this season. Deing has had scoring games of 19, 8, 7, 9, 14, 3 and 26 in the seven games since he returned to the team, following a three-week absence in January.
UTSA 9-18, 2-12
Southern Miss 6-19, 1-11
Saturday — UTSA at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.