UTSA to host fast-paced FIU Panthers tonight

Emotions overflow at the end of a memorable game on Jan. 26 at the UTSA Convocation Center. After Keaton Wallace hits a falling-down three out of the corner for the go-ahead basket, Old Dominion misses three times in the last 15 seconds, setting off a wild celebration. UTSA erased an 18-point deficit in the final 4:43 to win, 74-73.

When the Florida International University Panthers are at their best, they’re pressuring the ball, pushing the pace and scoring points in a hurry.

Led by first-year head coach Jeremy Ballard, FIU is expected to bring that mindset to San Antonio tonight in a Conference USA road test against UTSA.

The Panthers have forced opponents into 20.3 turnovers per game, turning those miscues into 20.5 points — good for 23.9 percent of their scoring.

A game with pace might not be a bad thing for the Roadrunners, who have cranked up their offense to challenge for first place in the C-USA.

UTSA is coming off a wild road trip in which it scored 204 points in two games that both went to overtime.

In a 96-88 loss to Western Kentucky, and then in a 116-106 victory at Marshall, UTSA guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace took turns scorching the nets for more than 40 points.

Jackson had 46 at Western Kentucky and Wallace 45 at Marshall for the third- and fourth-best scoring games in school history.

UTSA has bigger plans than simply running up big offensive numbers.

The Roadrunners, under third-year coach Steve Henson, are playing to win the C-USA title and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

C-USA standings
Old Dominion 8-3, 18-6
North Texas 7-3, 19-4
UTSA 7-3, 13-10
UAB 6-4, 14-9
Marshall 6-4, 13-10
W. Kentucky 6-4, 13-10
Southern Miss 6-5, 14-9
FIU 5-5, 14-9
LA Tech 5-6, 15-9
FAU 4-6, 13-10
Rice 4-6, 9-14
Middle Tennessee 4-6, 7-16
UTEP 2-8, 7-14
Charlotte 2-9, 5-17

Tonight’s schedule
Charlotte at Middle Tennessee 6:30 p.m.
Old Dominion at UAB, 7 p.m.
FIU at UTSA, 7 p.m.
Marshall at North Texas, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at Rice, 8 p.m.
FAU at UTEP, 8 p.m.