SAN ANTONIO – Fresh off closing out non-conference play with a power-scoring victory over Prairie View A&M, the UTSA men’s basketball team (6-7) opens the New Year on Jan. 2 with the opener of its new league – the American Athletic Conference. However, the Roadrunners will be kicking off 2024 against a familiar foe on the opposite bench with the UAB Blazers (8-5) visiting San Antonio for the 10th time as these teams face off for the 17th time overall. With UTSA recognizing Healthcare Appreciation Night, tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. for the nationally-televised ESPNU contest, while the radio broadcast airing on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket.
On TV, on the Air and on the Web
Tuesday’s AAC opener will tip off at 8 p.m. at the UTSA Convocation Center and will air live on the Radio with Andy Everett (play-by-play) on the call alongside Tim Carter (analyst). The radio broadcast will appear on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket and, as always, will feature a 30-minute pregame and 15-minute postgame show – available online at Ticket760.com or via the free iHeartRadio app.
Appearing at home on a national TV network for the first of four times this season, Tuesday’s matchup will air live on ESPNU and subscribers can also watch live on their devices via ESPN+. David Saltzman and Sean Harrington will cover the broadcast call.
UTSA Athletics will also provide LIVE STATS from the Convo.
Healthcare Appreciation Night
Calling all healthcare heroes! UTSA is proud to honor and appreciate the incredible dedication and hard work of our healthcare professionals at this week’s UTSA Healthcare Appreciation Game. There is a promotional ticket price for this game with $8 general admission upper level seating available at: utsa.spinzo.com/healthmb24.
There will be in-game recognition and a raffle for great prizes for healthcare professionals who show their work ID.
Men's Basketball Tickets:
UTSA Men’s Basketball Home Schedule
Direct Link: https://bit.ly/UTSATix
Single Game Adult Reserved: $13
Single Game Military/Youth (ages 3-18)/Senior (ages 65+): $11
Students: Free Admission with UTSA ID, download tickets at goUTSA.com/studentlogin.
Coaches Show Starts Next Week
The maiden date for this year’s UTSA Basketball Coaches show is coming up on Jan. 8 at Chicken N Pickle, on the east side of I-10 off UTSA Blvd (5215 UTSA Boulevard, 78249) features men’s basketball head coach Steve Henson and women’s basketball head coach Karen Aston alongside host Andy Everett. In total, Everett will host 10 dates of the show this season.
Last Time Out
‣ Shaking off the any potential rust from the holidays and the dust of some tough low-scoring losses at Oregon State and against Army West Point, UTSA opened up the offensive stockpile against Prairie View A&M. The Roadrunners crested the century scoring mark for the first time in two seasons to claim a 103-89 victory over the visiting Panthers.
‣ Recently-activated junior guard Jordan Ivy-Curry was an offensive key for the Roadrunners, putting up a season-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 shooting at the line, while doling out a team-leading eight assists.
‣ In total, six UTSA players scored in double-figures for the first time this season, as Carlton Linguard Jr.logged his third double-double on 16 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocks, Christian Tucker came on strong in the second half for 16 points and Trey Edmonds (12), Isaiah Wyatt (11) and Dre Fuller Jr. (11) all hit double-digit scoring.
‣ The Roadrunners shot a season-high 55.4 percent and 42.9 percent from long range, collecting a season-best 29 free throws on 78.4-percent at the line. Topped by Linguard, UTSA recorded a season-best nine blocks.
‣ Massal Diouf went inside to cap off three straight scores early for the Roadrunners that provided the first 10-point lead at 16-6. The Roadrunners’ lead see-sawed around double-figures over the next six minutes before a second Edmonds three-point play initialized a six-minute stretch outscoring the Panthers 16-6 to reach a 40-23 lead on a Chandler Cuthrell putback with 3:29 remaining. The Roadrunners went into half leading 52-32.
‣ The new half opened with 13 combined free throws in the first four minutes, helping UTSA build out a game-high 28-point advantage. Although PVAMU sliced into the UTSA lead with a 13-0 run that trimmed the lead to 10, UTSA notched points on seven consecutive possessions and outscored the Panthers 20-16 in the final 5:44 for the 103-89 win to close out the non-conference slate.
‣ Ever since he opened the season with eight assists against Western Illinois, Tucker has sat atop the American Athletic Conference assist rankings. With the AAC opener on this week’s schedule, Tucker kicks off his ninth consecutive week leading the AAC in total assists (69) and assists per game (5.3), ranking nationally at 36th and 35th, respectively. With a 2.65 ratio, Tucker also lists at 65th in the NCAA and fourth in the AAC in assist-to-turnover ratio.
‣ Tucker also paces all Roadrunners in scoring at 13.3 ppg, ahead of Ivy-Curry (11.7), Wyatt (10.5) and Fuller (10.2). Wyatt tops UTSA and ranks third in the AAC with 30 three-pointers on the year, averaging a league fifth-best 2.31 per game.
‣ Boosted by Linguard’s tally of eight in the past two games, UTSA also sits in the AAC’s top spot for blocks per game with an average of 5.2, coming in at 28th in the NCAA. Linguard ties for second in the AAC and 30th nationally with 27 total blocks and ties for second in the AAC (32nd NCAA) with 2.08 bpg.
Series with UAB
Tuesday will mark the 17th series meeting between the Roadrunners and Blazers; the 10th in San Antonio. UTSA trails in the overall series 11-5 and has a 4-5 record against UAB at home. UAB has grabbed the win in each of the past four, capped off by a 78-83 UTSA home loss on Feb. 18, 2023. The teams first started playing in 2014 when UTSA joined Conference USA.
‣ Playing under fourth-year head coach Andy Kennedy, the UAB Blazers are 8-5 and riding a four-game win streak. Their last loss was Dec. 9 at Arkansas State, 68-87, following up losses to Southern Miss and McNeese.
‣ Kennedy took over the reins in Birmingham following 12 years at Ole Miss, guiding the 2022-23 Blazers to a 29-10 record and an NIT Championship runner-up finish in Las Vegas, only stopped by fellow CUSA and now AAC opponent North Texas.
‣ Former LSU guard now in his second year at UAB, junior Eric Gaines is the Blazers’ leading scorer at 13.2 ppg, also topping UAB with 2.77 steals per outing to lead the AAC and rank eighth nationally. He also ranks second behind Tucker in AAC assists with a third-ranked 5.1 apg and chips in 3.8 rpg.
‣ Junior college transfer forward Yaxel Lendeborg is putting up big numbers in the paint for UAB, notching a team-high 8.5 rpg and team-best 27 blocks (2.08 bpg) to tie Linguard for second in the conference. He’s also a capable scorer with a 10.6 ppg average.
‣ Another former SEC player in his second UAB season, senior forward Javian Davis provides a combo of 11.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg
‣ The Blazers average 77.5 ppg as a team on 44.1 percent shooting, and grab 38.2 rpg.
After closing out the three-game homestand against the Blazers, UTSA spends the next two dates away from San Antonio, traveling to Rice (Jan. 6) and then nationally-ranked Memphis (Jan. 10). UTSA’s next appearance at the Convo is a now-ESPNU-televised conference contest versus Charlotte on Jan. 13.
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