Men's Basketball

Roadrunners face Owls in inaugural road swing to Temple

PHILADELPHIA – Coming off a blow-for-blow battle at top-tier AAC foe Charlotte on Thursday, the UTSA Men’s Basketball team (8-17, 2-10 AAC) travels northeast to snowy Philadelphia for its inaugural meeting with the Temple Owls (8-17, 1-11 AAC), Sunday at the Liacouras Center. Both teams are looking to snap their current skid, with UTSA combating five straight setbacks and the Owls at 10 consecutive losses. The Roadrunners and Owls will tip off at 1 p.m. CST and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+, parallel to the radio broadcast on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket.

On the Air and on the Web
Set for a 2 p.m. EST (1 p.m. CST) tipoff, Sunday’s first meeting between the Roadrunners and Owls will stream live on ESPN+ for subscribers, with Harry Donahue (play-by-play) and Marc Jackson (analyst) holding down the broadcast call.

Andy Everett (play-by-play) will cover the game on the radio in Philadelphia via the broadcast on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket and, as always, will feature a 30-minute pregame and 15-minute postgame show – available online at or via the free iHeartRadio app.  

Temple Athletics will also provide LIVE STATS.

Last Time Out
PJ Carter led the Roadrunners in erasing a 13-point first-half deficit on Thursday at Halton Arena in the rematch with AAC No. 2 Charlotte. 
The Roadrunners pulled back to within two with 46 seconds left in the opening period on Dre Fuller Jr.’s free throws after Carter put up 19 points in the first half. 
Though Christian Tucker’s buzzer-beater rolled off the rim, UTSA trailed just 46-44 after a track meet of a first half.
UTSA shot 46.9 percent to Charlotte’s 51.9 percent in the first half, but the tides turned to defense quickly in the subsequent 20 minutes – with only 12 combined points in the first five minutes.

The 49ers created some space but never got more than single digits away from the Roadrunners. After Charlotte pushed out to an eight-point lead, a Chandler Cuthrell three and back-to-back Tucker second-chance scores trimmed the deficit to three with 9:03 to go. Then Jordan Ivy-Curry went coast-to-coast off an outlet pass to make it 63-60 with 5:49 left.
At 2:05 remaining, Tucker hit four unanswered free throws for a 71-67 difference, then stole the ensuing inbound pass. UTSA had the chance to make it a single pos-session game but both free throws were off the mark, leading to a 79-70 final in Char-lotte’s favor. 
Carter racked up a career-high 22 points on a career-best 5-for-9 from the perimeter, while dropping 7-for-14 overall. Meanwhile, Tucker had 13 points and Trey Edmonds had 10 rebounds with seven points.
Held to just five points for the second time in the past five games, Ivy-Curry tops all UTSA scorers at 16.7 ppg, logging 11 double-figure performances in 15 games, including six games of at least 20 points. He’s No. 2 on the Roadrunners’ assist chart this season at 3.4 apg and averages 5.4 rpg. Registering the league’s top single-game score with 38 against ranked Florida Atlantic, the junior is sixth in conference scoring with 17.92 ppg against AAC opponents.
Unseated from the top spot in The American for only the second time this season, Tucker ranks third in the conference (40th NCAA) with 5.2 assists per game. Now on his 15th consecutive week on top, Tucker has 131 assists to lead the AAC (35th NCAA).
Tucker’s assist count moves him into a tie with Lloyd Williams (1998-99) for the No. 7 spot on the UTSA single-season assists list.
Leading by nearly four percentage points and moving into the national top-15, Tucker is also in his fifth week topping the AAC in free throw percentage at 90.3 percent (102-113), having made 28 consecutive free throws back to Jan. 13.
When shots are dropping, they are raining – UTSA is fourth in the high-power AAC with a 78.9 ppg team average, helped along by a league-leading 9.8 threes per game (18th NCAA) on 29.0 perimeter attempts per game (11th NCAA). 
After a stalwart 43-36 rebound advantage at Charlotte, the Roadrunners have retaken the top spot in The American with a 39.96 rpg average, ranking 25th in the NCAA.
Despite the current record, UTSA has seen numerous tight contests – with nine setbacks by single digits, including six single-digit losses in league play and four outings decided by six points or less.

Series with Temple
This is the first meeting between these programs. Against Philadelphia schools, UTSA is 0-2 combined against Villanova and La Salle, playing both at neutral sites – making this the first UTSA men’s basketball trip to Philadelphia.

Scouting Temple
Temple was picked at 12th in the preseason AAC Coaches Poll but have had a challenging first season under the leadership of former Penn State Associate Head Coach Adam Fisher – sitting at 1-11 in league play and last in the AAC standings.
Though it’s never cut and dried in the AAC, the Owls are fighting through a 10-game league losing skid since topping Wichita State (68-61) on Jan. 7 in Philadelphia. However, Temple has experienced five conference losses by just a single possession.
Local junior guard Hysier Miller tops the scoring effort for the Owls, notching a 15.4 ppg average as the No. 2 three-point threat (46), clear assist leader (103/4.12 apg) and steals leader (40). He’s reached double-figures in seven consecutive games.
Junior guard Jordan Riley adds 12.5 ppg while also hitting the glass at a 6.0 rpg clip.
Shooting 45 percent, junior guard Jahlil White scores 12.0 ppg and hits the glass with 6.8 rpg to lead the Owls.
Temple is 11th in the conference in scoring at 70.7 ppg, while allowing an AAC ninth-ranked 74.0 ppg. Building around multiple guards on the glass, Temple grabs 36.8 rpg. The Owls also limit turnovers with an AAC fourth-best 10.6 turnovers per contest.

Local Ties
Though there’s not a lot of cross-over between the respective cities, UTSA’s second-ever draft pick, Derrick Gervin, was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth round of the 1985 draft.

Up Next
After two games out of the region, UTSA will return to the Lone Star State and back to action on Wednesday against AAC-leading South Florida, at the Convocation Center on Feb. 21 in the Roadrunners’ Black History Month Game. UTSA then travels to Denton for a Saturday, Feb. 24 matchup at North Texas.


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