Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics
Men's Basketball

Roadrunners open C-USA play at Rice Friday & Saturday

SAN ANTONIO -- The UTSA men's basketball team will open its Conference USA schedule with a pair of contests at Rice, facing the Owls at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The games will each be broadcast live on ESPN+ and Ticket 760 AM.
UTSA (4-3) will be returning to the court for the first time since a Dec. 22 rout of Lamar at the Convocation Center in San Antonio. Luka Barisic led the Roadrunners with career highs in points (18) and rebounds (10) in the first double-double of his two-year career. 
The Roadrunners wrapped up their non-conference schedule with a 4-3 record, including losses at Oregon State, at Oklahoma and at UTRGV. UTSA posted wins over non-D1 foes, including Sul Ross State, Our Lady of the Lake and UT Permian Basin, before the resounding win over Lamar to wrap up non-league play.
The Roadrunners are led by their elite backcourt senior combo of Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace. After leading the nation's backcourts in combined scoring over each of the last two seasons in an offensive attack that had to be dominated by the duo, the pair have allowed a more balanced and depth-laden roster pick up the slack in the scoring department. After averaging 46.5 points per game last year as a pair, the two average 28.9 points per game in 2020-21. Jackson leads the team with 17 points and 4.7 rebounds, per game, while Wallace chips in 11.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. 
UTSA's offensive attack boasts the contribution from post players in sophomore center Jacob Germany, who averages 9.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, and senior forward Luka Barisic, who chips in 9.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Juniors Eric Parrish and Cedrick Alley Jr., have started each game this year as instant-impact transfers, with Parrish averaging 8.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, and Alley averaging 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per outing. Erik Czumbel averages 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Jordan Ivy-Curry averages 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. 
UTSA is shooting 43.5 percent from the field as a team, including a 27.7 percent mark from the 3-point line. UTSA averages 81.3 points, 44.3 rebounds per game – eighth in the NCAA – 15.0 assists, 6.6 steals and 4.3 blocks per game. Opponents are shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from distance. 
UTSA leads the all-time series with Rice, 10-5, with the series even at 4-4 in games played in Houston at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Roadrunners have won four straight meetings, the longest winning streak in the series, with their last loss coming on Feb. 16, 2017 in Houston. 
Last year, the Roadrunners won a thriller at the buzzer in Houston against the Owls. Then-freshman point guard Erik Czumbel laid in the game-winning bucket in transition in the closing seconds to secure the 90-88 win. Jhivvan Jackson chipped in a game-best 25 points with seven rebounds and five assists, while Keaton Wallace added 24 points, with four boards and three assists. Byron Frohnen had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists. Rice was led by a 21-point outing from Ako Adams. The Roadrunners shot 50 percent in the win, making 12 of 27 3-pointers, while Rice shot 46 percent, including 18 of 35 3-pointers, good for a 51.4 percent clip. UTSA committed 24 turnovers in the win, with the Owls outscoring the Roadrunner bench, 46-15. UTSA held a 39-38 lead at halftime and outlasted the Owls in a wild second half that saw both teams scoring over 50 in the period. 
Rice (6-2) opened its season with four consecutive wins, besting UIW, Our Lady of the Lake LeTourneau and Houston Baptist, before falling vs. New Mexico and Sam Houston State. The Owls also own a second win over HBU and most recently vs. New Orleans on Dec. 22. 
The Owls have scored 80.5 points per game and surrendered just 68.8 points per outing, shooting 43.8 percent as a second and 34.5 percent from 3-point range. Opponents are shooting 42.4 percent and 32.8 percent from range. Rice averages 42.9 rebounds, 16.4 assists, 6.6 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. ­
Quincy Olivari leads the Owls with 18 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, starting one of eight games. Travis Evee averages 12.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, while Chris Mullins chips in 10.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Max Fiedler averages 9.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. 
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