Home General UTSA Still Winless On The Road, Splits Series With UTEP

UTSA Still Winless On The Road, Splits Series With UTEP


The UTSA Roadrunners Men’s Basketball program has a serious problem to address if they want to have a chance to compete for a Conference USA title in Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace’s senior season. They have to figure out how to win on the road.

After an impressive 86-79 win over UTEP (8-8, 4-6) in the Convocation Center on Thursday, UTSA (8-9, 4-6) followed it up on Saturday with one of their worst performances of the season, losing the second game of the home-and-home series to the Miners, 69-51. With the loss, UTSA falls back behind UTEP in the conference standings, and drops their road record on the season to 0-8.

A key reason for the road struggles is that they’ve averaged 66 points per game on the road versus 84 points per game at home in the Convo, and a large factor in that is the road play of senior guard Jhivvan Jackson. Jackson, college basketball’s leading active scorer, is averaging 15 ppg on the road, while picking up 24 points per game at home. Jhivvan struggled mightily on Saturday, converting just three of his field goal attempts, missing all five from the perimeter, and totalling just seven points for the game, while hurting the Roadrunners with five personal fouls and a pair of turnovers.

It wasn’t a great first half for UTSA on Saturday, but it also wasn’t great for UTEP either, as both teams shot under 40% from the floor, and the Miners didn’t even connect on any of their four attempts from beyond on the arc in the first frame. Both teams were also feeling the absence of two key contributors, with UTEP’s Bryson Williams and UTSA’s Jackson each picking up early fouls that limited their floor time. Neither Williams or Jackson had a very productive game by the end of things, with each scoring just seven points, but Williams at least contributed nine rebounds, though he turned the ball over four times.

When the game entered the second period, it looked for a moment like UTSA might make a comeback, especially when Eric Parrish tied the game at 44 points midway through the second half. That hope was short lived as the Miners went on a bit of a run to extend back out to an 18-point lead with three-and-a-half minutes left in the game. As evidenced by the math, UTEP out-scored UTSA 25-7 over the final ten minutes.

Leading the Roadrunners in Jhivvan’s relative absence was Keaton Wallace, the other standout guard for UTSA, who scored 15 points, but struggled on the night as well, missing all six of his three-point attempts, though shot a respectable 5-of-7 from the foul line. With Bryson Williams limited for UTEP, second-year center Jacob Germany took advantage and picked up 11 points of his own, as well as five rebounds for the Roadrunners. A three-point shooting team, UTSA shot just 11% from the perimeter, which didn’t help their FG% of 29.5% for the game.

Coach Rodney Terry for the Miners will take the win for his program, but likely will let his team know that performances like theirs on Saturday can’t be a standard. UTEP had 16 personal fouls and committed 17 turnovers in the game, all coming from the starting rotation. What helped the Miners was their aggressiveness on the glass, collecting 45 rebounds in the game, 18 more than the Roadrunners. Keonte Kennedy and Jamal Bienemy each recorded double-doubles in points and rebounds, to support Souley Boum’s team-high 20 points. For the game, UTEP made 44% of their shot attempts, and made 88% of their 18 shots from the charity stripe.

For the Roadrunners, their fortunes on the road will have to change, and fast. Next weekend they head out to Miami to take on the Panthers of Florida International University (8-10, 2-8) of Conference USA’s East Division. The Panthers are struggling heavily, losing seven straight games, including their last four home games, but UTSA would be wise to not overlook them. With UTEP hitting the road themselves to play the conference’s best team in UAB (14-2, 7-1), the Roadrunners could work their way back ahead of the Miners, should the Blazers of UAB prove to be too much to handle.

The series with FIU will be televised on ESPN+, and will start on Friday, February 5th at 6:00pm CST, before moving to 1:00pm CST on Saturday. Check back here at Project Spurs for halftime recaps and postgame analysis.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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