Texas-Arlington (6-6) at Texas-San Antonio (4-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (2,650) -- San Antonio, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: UTA 2-4, UTSA 1-2. Away Record: UTA 4-2, UTSA 2-7. Neutral Record: UTA 0-0, UTSA 1-1. Conference Record: UTA 1-2, UTSA 0-4. Series Record: Texas-San Antonio leads, 35-28.
GAME NOTES: Still waiting to score their first win in Western Athletic Conference play, the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio give it another go on Thursday night as they tangle with a familiar foe in Texas-Arlington at the Convocation Center.
The Roadrunners have won a total of four games this season, three of them coming in the first two weeks of the campaign. Since then, the squad has dropped nine of the last 10 decisions, save for a 75-45 romp over Texas A&M- Corpus Christi a few days before Christmas.
Most recently, UTSA was crushed by Denver last Sunday in a 75-50 final, which means the team has lost four in a row, all in conference play.
As for the Mavericks, they won their league opener against New Mexico State on Dec. 29 by a score of 68-47, announcing their arrival in the WAC loud and clear. But since that event, the team's offense has been slow to warm up, producing 52 points or less in defeats versus Denver, Boise State and Louisiana Tech.
UTSA leads the all-time series between the Texas-based programs by a count of 35-28, thanks in part to a 97-88 victory in the most recent meeting in March of last year.
Against Louisiana Tech over the weekend, the Mavericks gave themselves a chance as they held the visiting starters to a mere 15 points, but at the same time UTA continually shot itself in the foot with an unsightly 23 turnovers. Jamel Outler emerged as the lone double-digit scorer for the hosts with 12 points, while Brandon Edwards tallied seven points and a game-high 15 rebounds, and Jordan Reves responded with more blocked shots (six) than he had points (five). Scoring a mere 58.2 ppg so far this season, it should not come as a surprise that the Mavericks don't have a single double-digit scorer on the roster as they enter play this week. Kevin Butler comes closest with 9.4 ppg, while Reves (8.3 ppg) is probably the most intimidating defender for the group with his 32 blocked shots, to go along with 9.3 rpg. The good news for UTA is that the defense has held the opposition to only 57.8 ppg, one of the top marks in the country.
After allowing New Mexico State to shoot an incredible 68.6 percent from the floor a week ago, the Roadrunners tightened up a bit versus Denver over the weekend in that department, but still the Pioneers knocked down 53.1 percent from the field, including 14-of-30 behind the 3-point line, which meant UTSA was again in over its head. Jeromie Hill emerged as the lone double-digit scorer for the visitors, as he tallied 13 points, adding nine rebounds, but the team as a whole still shot only 32.7 percent from the field and 2-of-13 out on the perimeter, not to mention a disappointing 16-of-26 at the free- throw line. Hill is currently one of three players scoring in double figures with his 13.9 ppg, trailing Kannon Burrage (16.6 ppg) and Michael Hale III (14.1 ppg), which means the rest of the roster is combining to produce about 20 ppg. UTSA isn't doing itself any favors by turning the ball over more than 15 times per game.
Former Southland Conference foes, these two teams know each other rather intimately which means the rivalry should take on a life of its own. As long as the defense again takes the lead for the Mavericks, expect to see the visitors put a tally in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-Arlington 61, Texas-San Antonio 57
01/10 10:33:30 ET