UTSA races past Nicholls in Saturday BracketBusters tilt, 76-58
SAN ANTONIO — Kannon Burrage, Jeromie Hill and Michael Hale III combined for 49 points and UTSA raced past Nicholls, 76-58, on Saturday afternoon in the 11th annual Ramada WorldWide BracketBusters at the Convocation Center.
Burrage poured in a game-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half, while Hill and Hale III scored 16 apiece to help the Roadrunners (7-19) win their second consecutive game and first home contest since Nov. 17 (67-59 USC Upstate).
Hill also pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds in posting his third double-double of the year. The junior from Cairns, Australia, was 6-for-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point line.
JaMarkus Horace led the Colonels (7-18) with 14 points and nine boards, while Dantrell Thomas and Amin Torres added 10 points apiece.
The Roadrunners built a double-digit lead in the first half and never allowed their former Southland Conference foes any closer than seven points in the second half in winning for the 16th time in the last 18 meetings.
UTSA drained six of its first seven shots from beyond the arc in building a 23-13 lead midway through the first half. Hill was perfect on all three attempts while Hale III made 2-of-3 during the stretch.
After Nicholls cut the deficit to 27-23 following a 3-pointer and layup from Amin Torres, the Roadrunners used an 8-2 run that was highlighted by a thunderous one-handed dunk from Hyjii Thomas and a Jordan Sims trey to push the lead back to double digits at 35-25.
UTSA eventually led by as many as 13 after a dunk by Hill, who scored all 16 of his points in the half, at the 1:53 mark made it 43-30, and the home team took a 45-33 advantage into intermission after a layup by Thomas off a perfectly-executed inbounds play with 2.3 seconds on the clock.
Nicholls used a 7-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from Linden Smith-Hyde to pull to within 47-40 early in the second half, but the Roadrunners responded in a big way.
A layup by Horace at the 13:19 mark made it 54-44, but UTSA held Nicholls scoreless for the next 4:48 and scored 13 unanswered points to take a 67-44 lead after a tip-in by Edrico McGregor with 8:55 left to play.
Jeremy Smith stopped the Colonels’ field-goal drought with a driving layup at the 8:31 mark, and a late run saw the visitors pull to within a dozen (70-58) in the final two minutes, but UTSA held off any further threat to secure its fifth non-conference victory of the season.
The Roadrunners will return to Western Athletic Conference action against Idaho (9-16, 5-10 WAC) on Thursday, Feb. 28. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.