UT Arlington hangs on for 68-63 victory against UTSA
ARLINGTON — Kannon Burrage poured in 22 points, but Kevin Butler led a balanced UT Arlington attack with 17 in a 68-63 home victory on Saturday night at College Park Center.
Shaquille White-Miller and Greg Gainey added 13 points apiece for the Mavericks (12-9, 7-5 WAC), while Jordan Reves pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with eight points.
Burrage was 7-of-16 from the field, 4-of-10 from behind the 3-point line and 4-of-6 at the free-throw line in topping the 20-point barrier for the seventh game this season and 11th time of his two-year career.
Michael Hale III posted 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting from the floor and Hyjii Thomas pitched in 11 on the strength of a 3-for-4 night from downtown. Jeromie Hill contributed eight points and shared the team lead of six rebounds with Jordan Sims and Larry Wilkins.
UTSA (5-18, 1-12 WAC) made a dozen 3-pointers, one shy of the season best, but it came on a season-high 36 attempts (33.3 percent). The Birds also struggled at the free-throw line with a 54.2-percent (13-of-24) effort and shot just 35.2 percent (19-of-54) overall.
The Roadrunners led by as many as seven in the first half and trailed by nine in the second half before making a late run to make things interesting.
UTSA, which held a 37-35 edge at the half, built a 45-41 lead on a baseline jumper by Burrage, but UTA responded with 13 unanswered points, the last three on a three-point play by Butler at the 8:33 mark that made it 54-45.
The Birds clawed back to within 56-54 with a 9-2 run that was capped by a Hale III trey in the corner with 4:08 to play.
White-Miller answered with a three of his own with the shot clock winding down to push the lead back to five. Gainey then blocked a UTSA 3-point attempt, which led to a Butler fast-break layup that put the Mavericks up, 61-54, with 2:12 left.
After a Wilkins free throw made it a six-point contest, UTSA was forced to foul and sent White-Miller to the line, where he made one of two for a 62-55 lead with a minute remaining.
After a missed jumper by the Roadrunners, White-Miller again was sent to the charity stripe and this time he made both to make it 64-55.
Wilkins again drew a foul at the other end and swished both freebies to make it 64-57 with 41.3 ticks on the clock. Hale III then answered another White-Miller free throw with a long three from the right wing to pull UTSA to within five at 65-60 with 31.8 seconds remaining.
UTSA quickly hacked Reves and the 58.1-percent free-throw shooter calmly drilled both to make it 67-60.
Burrage found the bottom of the net on an off-balance 3-pointer from the corner to make it 67-63 with 11.9 seconds on the clock, but White-Miller helped ice the victory with one more free throw.
UTA shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) overall, but it made just 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from downtown and 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) from the line. The Mavericks posted a 28-8 edge in points in the paint and converted 10 offensive boards into 14 second-chance points to help overcome 20 turnovers that led to 24 UTSA points.
The Roadrunners used a 14-4 run to turn an 8-5 deficit into a 19-12 advantage with 11:14 left in the first half. Burrage and Hyjii Thomas drilled a pair of treys apiece to key the stretch.
The Mavericks climbed back into the game with a 9-2 run that was capped by a Greg Gainey jumper at the 7:58 mark that knotted the scorer at 21.
The two teams traded leads four times before a late three by Hill and a Hale III free throw helped hand the Birds a 37-35 lead at intermission.
UTSA will step out of conference play and host CSU Bakersfield (9-15) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12.