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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 28, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (2,650) -- San Antonio, Texas. Television: KCWX-2. Home Record: Idaho 5-8, UTSA 2-8. Away Record: Idaho 5-7, UTSA 4-10. Neutral Record: Idaho 0-1, UTSA 1-1. Conference Record: Idaho 5-10, UTSA 2-12. Series Record: Idaho leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Idaho Vandals close out the month of February with a trip to the Lone Star State to challenge the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio in Western Athletic Conference action at the Convocation Center.
The Vandals are hoping to log back-to-back wins for the first time in almost two months when they take the floor on Thursday night after having beaten in- state rival Idaho State over the weekend in a 75-69 final. The win snapped a four-game slide for Idaho, which has a record of 5-10 in league play, which has the group in the bottom half of the conference standings.
Even further down the WAC ladder with just two wins in 14 opportunities is UTSA, which is also one of the newest additions to the league for this season. Last weekend, the Roadrunners took a break from conference play and suited up against visiting Nicholls State, claiming a 76-58 win, just the second in 10 tries at home this season. The victory was also the second in a row for the team, the first time that has happened since stringing together three straight wins in the middle of November.
Idaho won the first meeting of the season, the first-ever in fact, at home last month with a 74-70 triumph over the Roadrunners.
Against a long-time rival which had already lost 20 games on the campaign, the Vandals should have had an easy time against Idaho State on the road at Reed Gym last weekend, but had to settle for the six-point win. Connor Hill led all scorers with 22 points, Stephen Madison came up with 17 and nine boards, while Kyle Barone logged a double-double for the Vandals with 14 points and a game- high 11 rebounds, adding three blocked shots as the team nearly doubled-up the Bengals on the glass, 45-23.
Now when it comes to conference games this season Barone is at his best, shooting not only 56.6 percent from the floor but also 83.1 percent at the free-throw line. He is averaging a double-double in those contests with 17.5 points and 10.4 points per outing, both of which lead the program, while Madison and Hill check in with 14.1 and 11.8 ppg, respectively, for a team that is generating a modest 67.5 ppg.
Outscoring Nicholls State at the free-throw line by a 17-4 margin certainly went a long way in putting the Roadrunners back in the win column the last time out. Michael Hale III made good on 8-of-9 at the charity stripe himself, finishing with 16 points, which matched Jeromie Hill who also happened to bring in 12 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season. The leading scorer overall was Kannon Burrage with 17 points, hitting 3-of-7 launches from behind the 3-point line.
Once more, referring to conference games specifically this season, Burrage leads the way in scoring with 17.4 ppg, although his 37.4 percent shooting from the field and mere 29.7 percent beyond the arc is something that be of concern. Hall accounted for not just 15.4 ppg, he is also credited with 59 of the team's 138 assists in those WAC outings, while Hill steps in with 11.9 ppg and a team-best 5.0 rpg, but still UTSA is being beaten on the glass by more than four rebounds per game, and is being outscored by 8.7 ppg as well.
For any other team, playing at home would be an advantage but that's not the case for the Roadrunners who just can seem to get it right against WAC opponents in their own building.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Idaho 67, Texas-San Antonio 59
02/28 10:33:35 ET
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