North Texas rallies past UTSA on Thursday night, 71-62
SAN ANTONIO — North Texas went on an 19-6 run midway through the second half to rally for a 71-62 victory at UTSA on Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
Edrico McGregor went 6-for-6 from the field for 13 points to go along with seven rebounds for the Roadrunners (8-19, 4-10 C-USA), while Devon Agusi neared a double-double with a dozen, nine rebounds and five assists. Keon Lewis joined the pair in double figures with 13 points.
UTSA shot 46 percent in the contest and scored 30 points in the paint.
Meanwhile, Jordan Williams paced the Mean Green (15-13, 6-8 C-USA) with a game-high 14 points and he was joined in double figures by Brandan Walton (13) and T.J. Taylor (10) off the bench.
North Texas shot 53 percent in the second half and held a 35-32 rebounding edge.
After trailing 32-24 at halftime, North Texas used its defense to cut into the deficit in the early minutes of the second half. The Mean Green forced three straight turnovers and converted those steals into six points as they started to chip away at the UTSA lead.
The visitors began to assert themselves inside, where they were outscored 20-6 in the paint in the opening half, and would register 24 points in the paint over the final 20 minutes.
The Roadrunners survived the opening flurry and led 49-42 with 12:26 to play following a 3-pointer from Hyjii Thomas.
But that’s when the Mean Green went on its 19-6 run to take the lead for good.
Williams started the spurt with a jumper and tied the score at 53 with a trey. Lewis’ basket regained a brief lead for the Roadrunners, but Walton and Colin Voss scored in the paint for a 58-55 lead and North Texas would not trail again.
UTSA got as close as four points, 66-62, with 1:13 to play on Agusi’s 17-footer, but the Mean Green went 5-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final minute to ice the game.
North Texas opened the contest with a pair of baskets before UTSA took its first lead with seven consecutive points. The home squad held the lead until a pair of free throws from Vertrail Vaughns gave the Mean Green a slim 11-10 lead.
Walton answered a dunk from McGregor with a pair of free throws that pushed the North Texas lead to 18-14, which was its largest of the half.
However, James Williams ignited a 16-3 run with a 3-pointer and the UTSA defense locked down to allow just two baskets over the final 10 minutes of the half.
A McGregor free throw tied the game at 18 with eight minutes to go in the period and with a 20-19 lead, Phillip Jones had back-to-back buckets before Lewis nailed a 3-pointer for a 27-19 advantage.
Lucas O’Brien’s layup with a minute to go before halftime gave the Roadrunners their largest lead of the stanza, 32-22, and the team took a 32-24 cushion to intermission.
UTSA will be back in action on Sunday at Tulsa (15-12, 10-3 C-USA).