-San Antonio, TX
Coming into the game UTSA knew New Mexico State's size disparity would be an issue. The Aggies recorded 12 blocks and changed numerous other shots.
Cold outside shooting down the stretch and an inability to finish contested shots in the paint eventually doomed UTSA.
It was not just that 7'5" center Sim Bhullar clogged the lane, but all of the other Aggie defenders were contesting seemingly every shot.
"That size is going to take its toll on you. I'm proud of our guys. I thought we fought hard," said Head Coach Brooks Thompson. "I thought we battled and had chances to make this game very interesting."
For the most part the Roadrunners hung tough with NMSU.
"We fought really hard tonight," said Michael Hale III. "We just have to keep coming with it. We just have to keep getting better. We just have to keep working."
A 14-3 run late in the 1st half saw the lead balloon to as much as 11. Following halftime, NMSU pushed that lead up to 14. UTSA would fight back behind some huge three pointers and some athletic plays that got the crowd into the game but it wasn't enough.
"We just have to get back to the drawing board," said Thompson.
Hale pace the Roadrunners with 20 points while Kannon Burrage pitched in another 18 points. Jordan Sims had 12 points on four made 3 pointers, all came in the first half.
For the game UTSA shot just 33% from the field while NMSU shot 49%.
The ‘Runners falls to 5-16 overall and 1-10 in WAC play while NMSU improves to 15-8 overall and 9-2 in WAC play.
UTSA next faces La Tech on Thursday in Ruston, La. Tip off is set for 7 pm.
Note: To begin the game, 5'9" Michael Hale III jumped the opening tip off vs 7'5" NMSU center Sim Bhullar. While it was a funny sight, the move was not made in jest. The strategy was to allow Larry Wilkins to get to the blocks first and battle for position in the opening possession.
Thompson also said Jeremy Hill is expected to return from injury on Thursday.
Jacket stat: Brooks Thompson removed his jacket at the 11:47 mark of the 2nd half.
A crowd of over 1,400 poured into the Convocation Center on Saturday night to see UTSA face off against the New Mexico State Aggies. It was another back and forth Western Athletic Conference matchup. In the end, the Aggies downed the ‘Runners.
UTSA gives another gritty effort but fall short.