Men's Basketball

UTSA squares off Sunday with Pac-12 foe Oregon State

SAN ANTONIO – Coming off a loss in its first road game in 23 days, the UTSA men’s basketball team (5-5) turns its sights westward as the Roadrunners travel to Oregon for the first game west of the Central Time Zone and a matchup at Oregon State (6-3). Taking on the fourth edition of the series, the Roadrunners and Beavers will tip off at 2p.m. CT (12 p.m. local time) on Sunday, Dec. 17, at Gill Coliseum. In addition to the radio broadcast on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket, the game will appear on Pac-12 Networks.

On the Air and the Web
Sunday's game will tip off at 12 p.m. in Corvallis at Gill Coliseum, that’s 2 p.m. back in San Antonio, and will air live on the Radio with Andy Everett. The broadcast will appear on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket and will feature a 30-minute pregame and 15-minute postgame show – available online at Ticket760.com or via the free iHeartRadio app.  

To watch the game live, fans whose TV provider carries Pac-12 Networks can WATCH LIVE on mobile devices. Rich Burk (play-by-play) and Eldridge Recasner (analyst) will have the call for Pac-12 Networks. 

Oregon State Athletics will also provide LIVE STATS from the Gill Coliseum.

Last Time Out
UTSA came out shooting hot at Little Rock and amassed a 14-point lead in the first half. However, the Trojans chipped away at the Roadrunners’ advantage and flipped the lead briefly in the closing seconds, before Massal Diouf put in a key shot to give UTSA a 43-42 halftime advantage.
Four lead changes came in the first seven minutes of the second half, with one tie. 
Little Rock strung together an 18-8 push to move in front while the Roadrunners were held without a field goal for six minutes – UTSA staying in it at the free throw line with the offense stalled – as Little Rock took a 69-62 lead.
UTSA fell behind by as many as 14 but late surges cut the deficit in half. As UTSA made its move down the stretch, Little Rock kept the rally at bay with a 10-of-12 conversion at the free throw line, holding off the Roadrunners to the 93-84 final.
Junior guard Christian Tucker was red hot in the first half, putting up 14 points and tying his career long-range best on 4-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. However, the Trojan defense smothered Tucker in the second half, holding him without a field goal for 19 second-half minutes. Tucker finished with a career-high 23 to lead all scorers, shooting 6-for-10 from the field and 7-of-8 at the line.
 Isaiah Wyatt added 16 points and nine rebounds, shooting a season-high 7-of-8 at the line. PJ Carter (12), Dre Fuller Jr. (12) and Carlton Linguard Jr. (10) rounded out five Roadrunners scoring in double-figures, despite the loss.
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Roadrunners.
Following suit of the prior two games, UTSA’s offense bent toward long-range shooting. Against UALR, UTSA made 14 threes. In the prior week-ending win over Arkansas-Fort Smith, UTSA set a program record for made threes (19) and attempts (47) to roll to a 33-point victory.
Earning the second-consecutive UTSA spot on the American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, Linguard scored a career-best 21 points with a career-high 5-for-7 three-pointers against Arkansas-Fort Smith. He also grabbed seven rebounds while only playing 23 minutes against the Lions.
Against UAFS, Wyatt also lit up the scoreboard for his second 20-point performance in a row. The junior guard was the previous week’s AAC Honor Roll awardee after logging a team season-high 27 points in the win over Lamar. He knocked down seven three-pointers to tie his career best with the most threes for UTSA since the 2021-22 season. Wyatt shot 50 percent from the field (8-16) while logging a 58.3-percent night from three (7-12). In addition, he was 4-for-6 from the line, grabbed six rebounds and made three assists – with one steal.
Tucker is the clear standout for ball distribution, now in his sixth consecutive week leading the American Athletic Conference in both assists (57) and assists per game (5.7), for which he’s ranking 26th and 27th in the NCAA, respectively.
Tucker also paces the Roadrunners with 14.0 ppg, snagging 3.1 rebounds and 12 steals on the year. His 2.84 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks seventh in the AAC and 90th nationally.
Fuller remains the rebounding leader at 7.1 rpg to complement 11.2 ppg, anchoring a UTSA rebounding effort that ranks second in the AAC in two categories – rebounds per game at 41.70 (28th nationally) and defensive rebounds per game at 28.40 (45th nationally).
The Roadrunners rank 14th in the NCAA in three-point attempts per game (28.9) and 21st in made threes per outing (10.1), leading the AAC in both stats. Pacing the effort, Wyatt ranks second in the conference and 112th overall with 24 long-range buckets, averaging an AAC fourth-best 2.40 threes per contest.
 UTSA is averaging 80.2 ppg as a team, while shooting 41.4 from the field. The Roadrunners allow 11.7 turnovers per game to rank 117th nationally.

Series with Oregon State
These teams will meet for the fourth time on Sunday, and the second time this decade – the last meeting was Dec. 16, 2020, in Corvallis, ending in a 73-61 OSU win. The Beavers lead the series 3-0, also facing UTSA in 2016 and 2019. UTSA has taken on a Pac-12 opponent in four of the last five years and is 2-12 against Pac-12 teams. The Roadrunners captured an overtime victory at Arizona State (87-85) in 1994 and topped Arizona on the road (57-56) in 1982.

Scouting Oregon State
The Beavers are 6-3 heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Roadrunners, coached by Wayne Tinkle in his eighth season leading the program. With both coaches starting their current position in the same season, Tinkle owns all three OSU wins over UTSA in the series. 
Oregon State is coming off an 11-21 campaign last year, and three consecutive wins this season – the last three at home in Gill Coliseum. The Beavers have an average win margin of 0.8 and have already seen three games go to an extra period, including double overtime wins over Troy and Cal Poly. Their losses are to Pittsburgh, Baylor and Nebraska.
Returning from a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team campaign, sophomore guard Jordan Pope leads the OSU scorers at 15.8 ppg on 41.1 percent shooting, leading the team with 17 threes and a team-high 95.8 percent at the free throw line.
Sophomore forward Tyler Bilodeau also adds 12.7 ppg on 52 percent shooting, one of three rebound leaders with 5.9 rpg to complement sophomore forward Michael Rataj (team-high 6.3 rpg) and sophomore center KC Ibekwe (5.2 rpg).
The Beavers’ defensive approach has proved limiting to teams on the perimeter, holding opponents to just 27 percent three-point shooting at No. 94 nationally – while holding average opponent scoring to 70.9 ppg thanks to a 40.2 percent opposing field percentage from the floor.
 Oregon State averages 71.7 ppg as a team and shoots 43 percent from the field but just 27.1 percent from beyond the arc. The squad has a solid free throw approach, ranking 18th nationally in free throws (18.8 per game) and 43rd in free throw percentage (75.8 percent). The Beavers collect 37.2 rpg and allow 14.6 turnovers per outing.

Up Next
UTSA comes home to the Convocation Center to face Army West Point in the Military Appreciation Game, celebrating Hoops for the Holidays on Dec. 21st at 7 p.m. UTSA will close out 2023 on Dec. 28 with Prairie View A&M visiting the Convo for the third time in the last five years.



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