UTSA looked like they came out of the gates cold in the first half of the weekend series opener against UAB on senior weekend, and just two minutes into the game, Coach Steve Henson was forced to use his first timeout. The thing about good coaching is that the players usually respond, and Henson’s players got the message – Whatever it was.
𝐉𝐨𝐢𝐧 𝐮𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: 𝐀 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐑𝐮𝐧 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐔𝐬✨
— UTSA Basketball (@UTSAMBB) February 25, 2021
The UAB Blazers (18-5, 10-4) came into the game with the second tied for second place in Conference USA, with a shot to still take the top seed before the conference tournament. To do that, they need to play spoiler in the Convocation Center against the UTSA Roadrunners (12-9, 8-6) who have lost just once at home all season, and are celebrating their seniors, a group that includes two of the most prolific players in program history in Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace.
The visitors came out hot right out of the gate, hitting five of their first eight shots to take a 10-0 lead that led to Coach Henson’s timeout. From that moment, UTSA went on a 11-1 run to tie things up at 11pts each, thanks to a three-point shot from Cedric Alley Jr. From that moment it was a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams trade misses and shots almost in sync as the teams spent 7:38 of the first 20 minutes tied. The quarter ended with UTSA leading 28-27.
ALLEY! Cedrick evens the game after an 11-1 Roadrunners run.
— UTSA Basketball (@UTSAMBB) February 27, 2021
The defenses for both teams have done well, but the fast-paced first half was also sloppy at times almost due to the speed, as the Blazers committed six turnovers and the Roadrunners had 11. UAB has generated six steals defensively, and UTSA has blocked four Blazer shot attempts.
On a night that’s celebrating the contributions of Jackson, Wallace and fellow senior Phoenix Ford, Jacob Germany led the team in scoring with nine points in the first frame, and Wallace was active on the glass, pulling in nine rebounds.
The UTSA guards are sure to have a larger role in the second half, as it has primarily been UTSA’s three-point shooting that’s been keeping the Roadrunners in this one. The Road runners have out-scored the Blazers 12-0 from beyond the arc.
The second half is up next from the Convocation Center, and it’s looking like this one will once again come down to the wire for UTSA. You can catch the rest of the action streaming on ESPN+, and be sure to check back here after the game for a recap on everything that happened.