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UTSA guard duo lighting up scoreboard

February 7, 2019

UTSA coach Steve Henson cut Monday’s practice a few minutes short, sending his players to the cold tubs for extra recovery time.

The Roadrunners have used a seven-man rotation through most of the Conference USA season, including overtime games Thursday at Western Kentucky and Saturday at Marshall, and guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace need to be ready to run. The dynamic sophomores continued to play huge minutes last week, posting gaudy scoring totals to match.

Jackson scored 46 points Thursday and Wallace had 45 on Saturday — both totals landed in the top five of UTSA’s single-game scoring list — as the pair shared the Conference USA Player of the Week award.

“Those two guys are really, really special,” Henson said. “I’ve been around some really good ones over the years. But what they’re doing right now is phenomenal. For one guy to go for 46 on Thursday and the other one to go for 45 two nights later, playing off of each other and doing good things for each other, defending and rebounding, making other good plays as well, it’s pretty special. And as sophomores. To see sophomores doing this is exciting.”

Jackson averaged 38 points and five rebounds in 43 minutes between the two games, while Wallace averaged 35.5 points and six rebounds in 40.5 minutes.

The game against the Thundering Herd included 97 possessions, the most this season in a game between Division I teams that didn’t go to multiple overtimes.

“It was probably the fastest game we’ve played,” said Jackson, who battled cramps at times during the game. “But it was just their play style. It’s so unique from everybody else. They just got us to play a different type of game than we usually play.”

Henson said the Roadrunners are comfortable playing at that pace. The skill likely will come in handy today as UTSA (13-10, 7-3 C-USA) hosts FIU, the nation’s leader in tempo, at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

greg.luca@express-news.net

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