By JJ Perez
Walk-on Jeff Beverly scored a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds as he carried UTSA to victory over Florida Atlantic, 68-63, Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
“I wanted to come through for my teammates and the coaching staff,” said Beverly. “We work so hard everyday in practice, just pushing each other. I just wanted to come through for them.”
Beverly was consistent throughout the course of the game. But it was his jumper from the baseline with under 30 seconds to play that all but sealed the game for the Roadrunners.
Head Coach Steve Henson said Beverly was a workhorse for the ‘Runners.
“He had to work harder for those than he has. We just didn’t have much going on the offensive end,” said Henson. “FAU is a good team, they’re physical. A lot of the stuff Jeff got was just on his own.”
Another big moment in the game came with 1:18 to play. Guard Gino Littles fired a three pointer from the left wing as the shot clock expired. He drained it giving UTSA a 62-59 lead they would never surrender.
“Honestly I felt pretty good about it,’ Henson said about Littles’ deep three late in the game. “It was a little deeper than ones he’s hit but on the year he’s made a lot of those.”
Henson credited the team’s ability to take care of the ball as well as the defense for securing the win as UTSA would finish the game with eight turnovers.
“The thing we’ve been emphasizing the most lately is protecting the basketball,” said Henson. “It wasn’t our best defensive effort but we hung in there and made plays. Our guys believed they were going to win.”
Three players scored in double figures for the Roadrunners. Beverly had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Giovanni De Nicolao added 12 points and 5 rebounds, and Gino Littles pitched in 11 points.
The win keeps UTSA’s home winning streak alive. Dating back to last season, the Roadrunners have now won eight straight games. This season, UTSA is a perfect 7-0 in the friendly confines of the Convocation Center.
“It’s just a mindset,” De Nicolao said about UTSA’s home-winning streak. “We know that this is our home and nobody can come here and take a W.”
UTSA improves their record to 3-1 in Conference USA play and 8-9 overall. Up next for the Roadrunners is a Saturday afternoon contest vs Florida International. Tip off is set for 3pm.
-- Personnel Note: Following the game, Head Coach Steve Henson told media that Guard Nick Billingsley is done for the season due his academic issues.
VIDEO POST GAME QUOTES