Conference USA
Men's Basketball

UTSA falls at the buzzer to Rice in C-USA Championships

FRISCO, Texas – The 2022-23 men's basketball season ended in heartbreak on Wednesday evening as Japhet Medor's buzzer-beating floater, which was counted on the floor, was wiped away upon review, giving the Rice Owls a 72-71 victory in the first round of the C-USA Championships.
UTSA finishes its season 10-22, falling one point short of an upset of the sixth-seeded Owls. Rice (18-14) advances to face the third-seeded UAB Blazers tomorrow night. Rice dropped both regular season contests against the Blazers by an average of 23 points.
Medor finished the contest with 20 points, marking his eighth 20+ point scoring outing of the season. Medor also chipped in six rebounds and six assists, a team-high, to pair with a block and a steal. DJ Richards played a team-high 35 minutes and poured in 14 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds. Jacob Germany recorded 11 points and six rebounds to go with one block. His block pushed him into a tie for third place all-time in UTSA annals for career blocks as he and McEverett Powers each have 105. If tonight was his last game in navy and orange, Germany will finish as the ninth-highest scorer in school history, totaling 1,293. He will also finish top five in rebounding as he sits fourth with 779 total. Lamin Sabally had a whale of a first half, as the sophomore had his hands on everything. He finished with seven points, five rebounds and a pair of steals, finishing with the second-highest +/- of any Roadrunner. Isaiah Addo-Ankrah also had seven points and he pulled down five rebounds.

The Rundown
Right from the tip, Rice jumped on UTSA with an 8-0 run to start the game thanks to a pair of threes and a Max Fiedler layup. The Roadrunners battled back, cutting the lead to three as they were down 10-7 at the first media timeout. The Owls were able to extend their lead going into the second break, leading 21-13 thanks to a five-point spurt from Cameron Sheffield. Rice kept up the offensive intensity, pushing its lead to 10 by the under-eight and leading 33-23. The last four minutes featured back-and-forth action which saw the Owls take a 42-33 lead into the break, leading by nine. At the half, seven different Roadrunners had logged their name in the scoring column and Richards led all scorers with 11 points.
UTSA came out of the break with a different intensity and started to work away at the Owl lead. A pair of layups from Medor, a layup from Massal Diouf and a pair of triples from Richards and John Buggs III later, UTSA found itself knotted with Rice, 46-46, with 13:16 left in the game. An Owl three-pointer and an and-one pushed the Rice lead back to six as the clock ticked under 12 minutes to play. UTSA and Rice traded some empty possessions before the Roadrunners got a three-pointer from Sabally and an and-one from Medor to pull back within one point, trailing 60-59. UTSA would keep it close pulling within one, only to go down five, to pull back within one until the final minute of play. The Roadrunners found themselves down three with eight seconds remaining when Addo-Ankrah drove to the cup and laid it in to cut it to one. Immediately on Rice's inbound, UTSA fouled to force the Owls to shoot a one-and-one. Quincy Olivari missed the front end and the rebound went to Addo-Ankrah. He shoveled it to Medor who raced down the floor to get a baseline layup off a half second too late. Initially, the refs counted the basket, but on further review, they wiped it off the board and gave Rice a one-point victory.