SAN ANTONIO. Texas (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi men’s basketball team simply could not overcome the University of Texas-San Antonio’s dynamic duo Saturday afternoon.
UTSA junior guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace, Division I’s highest scoring duo, combined for 39 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to help the Roadrunners past the Golden Eagles, 80-70, at the Convocation Center.
UTSA (8-9, 2-2 Conference USA) extended its home winning streak to six games.
USM freshman Artur Konotsuk landed in double figures since Nov. 27, scoring 14 points, sophomore guard Gabe Watson and senior forward Boban Jacdonmi added 13 points apiece and sophomore forward Tyler Stevenson had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore wing LaDavious Draine scored just five points, but three came on 3-pointer that gave him 144 baskets from beyond the 3-point arc. That pushed Draine out of a tie with former USM sharpshooter Jimmie Floyd and into fourth place alone.
Two days after making a program-best eight treys in a game on his way to 36 points, Jackson hit three more 3-pointers Saturday for UTSA on his way to 23 points. He added six rebounds and four assists.
Wallace had 16 points, four assists and three rebounds for the Roadrunners and senior forward Byron Frohen finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
USM shot 47.2 percent from the floor but hit just 3-of-14 treys. UTSA knocked down 15-of-27 shots from behind the 3-point arc, hitting 55.6 percent of its 3-point shots and 48.1 percent of its shots overall.
The game followed a pattern, with the Roadrunners building double-digit leads, only to see USM pull within striking distance.
For example, in the first half, UTSA led 33-22 before USM ripped a 9-0 run to get within a bucket with less than 30 seconds to play in the half. Jackson scored on a pull-up jumper to put the Roadrunners ahead 35-31 at halftime.
Then, in the second half, UTSA led 63-54 before Jacdonmi scored six consecutive points to get USM within 67-64 with 6:28 to play.
The Golden Eagles remained within three points at 67-64 before UTSA hit a pair of free throws and a layup to push the lead back to seven points. USM got no closer.
The Golden Eagles return home to continue C-USA play, welcoming the University of North Texas (9-8, 3-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Mean Green won its third consecutive game Saturday, taking down visiting Florida Atlantic University, 81-58.