By Antonio Castillo
It was the definition of an ugly win, but UTSA will take it. The 'Runners were able to hit clutch shots, sink ninety percent of their free throws, and put on a solid defensive effort holding Texas State Bobcats to only thirty percent from the field, in route to a 63-48 win on Friday night at the Convocation Center.
The 'Runners would heat up just enough, and use an 18-4 run late in the second half to put away the Bobcats. During that span, Jeff Beverly got hot and his teammates kept the rock coming. He would score 14 straight points during that span to help break open the game, and give UTSA a 56-36 lead with 3:37 to play.
He continued his impressive early season play coming on very strong, putting in 16 of his game high 22 points, in the second half and continued to be the go to guy for the UTSA offense.
"My teammates were finding me, we've been in the gym every day with Coach Henson. He's got us putting up 1,000 shots you know in the drills, whatever we're doing, putting up a lot of shots at game speed," said Beverly.
Head Coach Steve Henson praised Beverly afterwards and talked about him being the catalyst for the offense.
"He's one of our main go to guys. We've called his number on many occasions already this year. He really got it going there in one stretch when we needed it."
Out of the intermission, Texas State would claw themselves back into it on an 8-2 run, punctuated by a two handed Kavin Gilder-Tilbury dunk, that made it 33-28. Tilbury would elevate in transition and flush it over Giovanni De Nicolao for the points.
As UTSA started out the second half cold, it was the opposite to close out the first. On the strength of an 11-0 run, the Runners finished the first half holding a 31-20 lead. At the break UTSA was only shooting 37% from the floor, but hit 5 of 8 three pointers, two of them coming from Beverly.
Freshman Byron Frohnen had 6 points and 6 boards at the half, finishing with 9 points and 10 boards, just shy of another double-double. Senior Lucas O'Brien led UTSA with 7 points and 5 rebounds off the bench, including a trey, ending his night with 7 and 8 respectively.
Credit the UTSA defense, but the Bobcats did not help themselves, shooting a frigid 26% in the first stanza and only connecting on 5 of their 11 free throws.
Overall, the 'Runners had an outstanding defensive effort, holding the Bobcats to 48 points, the first opponent UTSA has held under 50 points since San Jose State, back in March of 2013. Head Coach Steven Henson deployed multiple defensive looks, 2-3 and a 3-2 zone, in order to combat Texas State's motion offense. The zone also extended, and bothered the Texas State shooters, yielding a 4 for 27 night from beyond the arc for the Bobcats.
UTSA (2-4) will have tomorrow off and then hit the road for a two game set with Cal Poly and Utah Valley State, starting on December 1st.
Steve Henson Post Game Interview