'Runners Put Away Panthers, 69-59

UTSA Basketball used a key second half stretch in their home-opener to pull away from Prairie View A&M 69-59 Saturday night at the Convocation Center.

By Antonio Castillo
For InsideRunnerSports.com

Jeff Beverly and Byron Frohnen led the charge for UTSA in the second half as the 'Runners used a 10-2 run near the 9 minute mark to build an 11 point lead and keep the Panthers at bay the rest of the evening.

Beverly finished with 21 points on the night, and entrenched himself down low in the paint, helping UTSA manhandle the smaller Panthers, to the tune of a 42-14 advantage in the paint.

Freshman Byron Frohnen also had several key shots and put backs deep in the low post, finishing 8 of 11 from the field, and tying for the team high with 7 rebounds. He and Jeff Beverly both led the 'birds with 7 boards, and UTSA again out-rebounded it's opponent by a significant margin of 45-31 on the glass. 

"Coach Henson always makes it a huge point to be aggressive and attack the boards. I just go out there and do what he tells me to do. As a team we killed them on the glass," said Frohnen. "All the coaches hammer it down on us, we gotta win the boards. We have to win the offensive glass." 

Prairie View A&M would not go away easily, getting within 5 points on a Zachary Hamilton three pointer that would cut the UTSA lead to 61-56, with 3:09 to play. The 'Runners would tighten up the defense and close out the game on an 8-3 run and put it away for good, to notch Coach Henson's first ever win.

"It feels good! I'm really proud of the way our guys handled that road trip. We didn't get the results we wanted, it was a long trip, but we responded very-very well. Not just in the game tonight, that's what I told our players after the game in the locker room. Obviously I was proud of what we did on the court during these 40 minutes but the last two days was really-really impressive. They stayed together, kept their heads up and came in and worked, and we got better the last two days," said Head Coach Steve Henson.

Entering the contest, freshman Byron Frohnen was averaging near a double-double with 8 points and 8 boards. He continued his impressive start to the season and Coach Henson touched on it after the game. 

"He's just a talented kid. He can do so many different things, we ask him to do a lot, we really do. We want him in-bounding against the press, we want him catching it in the middle against the press. We want him guarding big guys, guarding little guys. Very versatile player, gets pretty good results," said Coach Henson. 

For the second consecutive game, UTSA started three true freshman, George Willborn III, Byron Frohnen, and Giovanni De Nicolao. The trio combined for 32 points and 19 rebounds on the night.

In the first half, both teams went back and forth, as UTSA led 33-30 at the break. The 'Runners largest lead was six points, and the lead changed hands three times. Freshman Bryon Frohnen paced the 'Runners at the break with 9 points and 3 rebounds. Jeff Beverly added 8 points and also 3 boards. 

With the win, UTSA is now 1-3 on the season, and will now prepare to face Lamar, in Beaumont, as they tip at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night. The action will be broadcast on ESPN3. 


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