MOSCOW, Idaho — Michael Hale III posted his third consecutive game with 20-plus points, but Kyle Barone registered a double-double of 25 points and 16 rebounds to help Idaho hold off UTSA, 74-70, on Saturday night at the Cowan Spectrum.
Barone was a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor and he made 5-of-6 at the free-throw line to help the Vandals improve to 8-11 overall and 4-5 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
Hale III, who scored 66 points combined in his last two contests, drained five 3-pointers en route to 21 points to help the Roadrunners (5-14, 1-8 WAC) rattle home a season-high 13 shots from beyond the arc. The senior point guard also dished out seven assists and was joined in double figures in scoring by Kannon Burrage (16), Edrico McGregor (career-high 10) and Hyjii Thomas (10).
Playing their fourth game in a row without starting forward Jeromie Hill (knee injury), the Roadrunners used their outside shooting to help offset a size disadvantage that helped contribute to a 38-24 Idaho edge on the glass.
Hale III gave UTSA a 55-53 advantage with a long 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 7:34 mark, but Idaho responded with a 7-0 run capped by a pair of Barone free throws to reclaim the lead, 60-55, with 5:03 left.
Jordan Sims and Thomas connected from downtown over the next two minutes to help trim the deficit to 63-62 with just over three minutes remaining.
Sims, who pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, drained another three from the wing to put UTSA up, 65-64 with 2:09 on the clock, but Idaho answered with a Stephen Madison layup at the 1:49 mark.
Mike McChristian then came up with a huge 3-pointer from the corner for the Vandals with a minute to play to make it 69-65. Barone then blocked a UTSA 3-point attempt and finished off a fast break with a reverse layup to put Idaho up by six.
After Burrage connected on a short jumper with 25.2 ticks left, the Roadrunners sent Connor Hill to the line, where he made the first but missed second, giving the ball back to the Roadrunners with 20.8 seconds left.
Hale III connected from long distance on the right wing to make it 72-70 with 8.9 seconds on the clock.
Hill was sent to the line once again and this time he made both to help ice the victory in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Hill totaled 15 points on the strength of four treys, while Madison added 13 for the Vandals, who shot 52 percent (26-of-50) and made 9-of-20 (45 percent) from downtown.
Idaho led for the majority of the first half and took a 36-28 lead on a Joe Kammerer layup at the 2:25 mark. The Vandals made five of their first 10 3-point attempts and shot 53.6 percent from the field overall in the frame.
UTSA caught fire from outside late in the first, as Burrage knocked down a fast-break jumper in the lane to kick-start a 10-2 run to close the half. Hale III then found Thomas for a dunk after a steal by Larry Wilkins before Burrage connected from downtown to pull the Roadrunners to within three at 38-35 with 25 seconds left. Wilkins came up with another theft and Hale III drained a long trey at the buzzer to knot the score at 38.
The Roadrunners shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the floor and was 13-for-28 (46.4 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 11-of-13 (84.6 percent) at the charity stripe. UTSA also turned 11 Idaho turnovers into 17 points.
The Roadrunners return home to host Denver (11-8, 7-2 WAC) on Thursday, Jan. 31. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.