By Jerry Briggs
Special For The JB Replay
The UTSA women will play the FAU Owls and the UTSA men will take on the Rice Owls Wednesday on opening day of the Conference USA basketball tournaments, according to the brackets released Saturday night.
The tournaments will run concurrently at The Star in Frisco from Wednesday through Saturday.
Both the UTSA women and men will need to win four games in four days to claim an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The UTSA-FAU women’s game is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. Riding a four-game winning streak, UTSA is the No. 6 seed and FAU is No. 11. The teams split their regular-season series, with Florida-based FAU claiming an 81-66 victory over UTSA on Jan. 19. The Roadrunners turned the tables, downing the Owls 77-61 in San Antonio on Feb. 23.
UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins, in her first year in the program, has established herself as one of the top players in the conference. She’s leading the C-USA in scoring (21.1) and field goal percentage (49.4) and is second in rebounding (7.5).
UTSA 11-18, 9-11
FAU 12-17, 5-15
Last 10 games
If the Roadrunners win, they would play the third-seeded Rice Owls (22-7, 13-7) in the C-USA quarterfinals on Thursday at 2 p.m. It would be the first game of the tournament for Rice, which has a bye through the first round. The winner would advance to the semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m. The women’s title game is scheduled for Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
The UTSA-Rice men’s game is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. tipoff. UTSA comes in as the 11th seed in the tournament against Rice, at No. 6. UTSA is playing better than Rice of late, with the Roadrunners winning three of the last five and the Owls losing four straight.
During the regular season, the teams split two games, with the Roadrunners losing 88-81 in overtime in the first meeting in San Antonio, after leading by as many as 18 points in the first half.
Rice guard Quincy Olivari scored 30 points and center Max Fiedler posted a triple-double with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Japhet Medor scored 30 for the Roadrunners.
In the rematch between the teams on Feb. 16 in Houston, UTSA surprised Rice, winning 84-79. The Roadrunners shot 52.5 percent from the field, and John Buggs III led four UTSA players in double figures with 23 points.
Rice 17-14, 8-12
UTSA 10-21, 4-16
Last 10 games
If UTSA wins, the Roadrunners would advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday against the third-seeded UAB Blazers (23-8, 14-6). The winner on Thursday will be confronted with a quick turnaround, as it would move on to the semifinals on Friday at 2 p.m. The championship game is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m.