UTSA men to embark on a C-USA trip to Louisiana Tech, UAB

Japhet Medor. UTSA lost its Conference USA men's basketball opener to North Texas 78-54 on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA guard Japhet Medor returned to practice Wednesday after experience holiday travel delays in getting to San Antonio from his home in Florida. – File photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Forging through a few uncertainties coming out of the Christmas break, the UTSA Roadrunners are scheduled to take a bus ride to Louisiana today on their first Conference USA trip of the season.

The Roadrunners (6-6, 0-1) are scheduled to play the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-5, 0-1) on Thursday night in Ruston. Next up, UTSA will move on to Alabama to face the UAB Blazers on Saturday.

The most pressing issue for UTSA centers around starting point guard Japhet Medor.

Steve Henson. UTSA lost its Conference USA men's basketball opener to North Texas 78-54 on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Steve Henson’s UTSA Roadrunners hope to gain traction in the Conference USA race with a victory at Louisiana Tech. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Like most players on the team, Medor went home for the holidays. He was in Florida visiting family as the Roadrunners took three days off following a Dec. 22 home loss to North Texas.

When UTSA returned to on campus workouts Monday, Medor was not there.

Like a lot of people traveling this week, he had been unable to get from Point A to Point B on his itinerary. The last time I checked with Roadrunners coach Steve Henson on Tuesday afternoon, Medor was expected to arrive in San Antonio some time Tuesday night.

The team’s leading scorer was due to work out with the team Wednesday morning before everyone boarded a bus bound for Ruston. In a late-breaking development, the Medor travel issue has been resolved.

Henson just texted to say that Medor had arrived in San Antonio on Tuesday night, as scheduled, and practiced with the team on Wednesday.

Another issue of note was the ongoing question surrounding the status of 7-foot center Carlton Linguard, Jr. UTSA, as expected, has forwarded its request to the NCAA to clear a path for the former Stevens High School standout to gain immediate eligibility.

A transfer from Kansas State, Linguard has been ineligible since he arrived this summer. Henson said Linguard fared well academically in the fall semester, and so UTSA has made the request.

“We’ve submitted the paperwork and hopefully will get an answer from the NCAA soon,” Henson said.

Another unrelated complication in Linguard’s efforts to play this season started to unfold when the team took a mid-December trip to play at New Mexico and Utah. He apparently suffered a concussion on the trip and is now in protocol.

Linguard’s absence from practice was a factor Tuesday afternoon.

“That affected our workout quite a bit,” Henson said. “Our guys hit the wall today. We were without Isaiah (Addo-Ankrah), Carlton and Japhet. So that gives us 12 bodies and two point guards (Erik Czumbel and Christian Tucker).

“So they had to go every single rep. Every single rep they were on the court … There wasn’t much down time for anybody. There was just one sub on each team.”

Linguard’s situation could be vital to the long-term success of the team this year. Since he started to practice full speed following a months-long knee rehabilitation, he showed quickness, jumping ability and multiple skills.

Henson said he doesn’t know how long it will take the NCAA to sort out Linguard’s academic issue.

“My belief is that they move a little faster (on requests) during the season,” the coach said. “The NCAA knows people are sitting around waiting on that. But I think there’s a lot of stuff going on with the (football) bowl games, waivers and appeals and those kind of things.

“I would hope (in Linguard’s case) relatively soon. It’s possible they look at it and want to know more information. More clarification. Our compliance office does a great job handling those situations. We kind of lean on them for it.”

Henson said Linguard “did a very good job in the classroom, an excellent job” in the fall semester. That was part of the process, to show that since he has been in school at UTSA, that he was making progress, the coach said.

“He’s a good student,” Henson said. “He’s got a good (grade point average). We just got to show that we’ve got everything lined up for him. That he’s in good standing. That he’s in good hands. That the move here has been positive for him.”

As for Addo-Ankrah, one of UTSA’s top three-point shooters, it was announced prior to UTSA’s Dec. 22 game against North Texas that he would be out a month with a fracture in his left wrist. It’s his non-shooting hand.

If everything works out on his recovery timeline, fans might expect to see the Houston native back on the floor some time around the first of February.

Henson, talking after Tuesday afternoon’s workout, smiled when it was suggested that a healthy Addo-Ankrah and an eligible and healthy Linguard were two of his recent requests to Santa Claus.

“Those would have been pretty high on the Christmas list, for sure,” the coach said.

Coming up

UTSA at Louisiana Tech, Thursday, 6 p.m.


UTSA 6-6, 0-1
Louisiana Tech 7-5, 0-1

Wrist injury is expected to sideline UTSA’s Isaiah Addo-Ankrah for four weeks

Quietly, UTSA forward Isaiah Addo-Ankrah served as an inspiration to his teammates for all the extra time he spent working on his game in the offseason.

Isaiah Addo-Ankrah. A beat Bethune-Cookman 90-69 in men's basketball on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Isaiah Addo-Ankrah played in all 11 games this season and averaged 7.3 points before an X-ray revealed a wrist fracture that would keep him out four weeks. — File photo by Joe Alexander

In early September, for instance, the UTSA women’s basketball team usually worked out in the morning hours, followed by the women’s volleyball squad in the early afternoon, followed later in the day by Addo-Ankrah and his friends in men’s basketball.

Sometimes, a visitor would show up in the morning thinking that Coach Karen Aston’s women’s basketball squad would be on the floor, only to discover that it was a scheduled day off.

Instead, the visitor would walk in to a nearly empty gym to the sound of squeaking shoes, with a couple of Coach Steve Henson’s men’s team players taking advantage of the open court to get up extra shots.

One day, it was Addo-Ankrah, who explained later that he’d committed to complete a couple of challenges from coaches — to make 10,000 3-pointers, outside of scheduled practices — in two different segments of the offseason.

As a consequence, the Houston native was in the gym up to three times a day from June through September. It was disheartening, in that regard, for the Roadrunners to learn recently that a fractured wrist 11 games into the season will sideline Addo-Ankrah for four weeks.

“It’s really disturbing to hear that,” UTSA guard John Buggs III said on the eve of the team’s Conference USA opener against North Texas. “Isaiah’s probably one of the more hard-working players on our team.

“He doesn’t have as many (natural) gifts as other people athletically, but, man, his work ethic … It’s just so heartbreaking for him. We hate that for him. Hopefully he’ll get well as soon as possible.”

The renewal of the hotly-contested, in-state rivalry between the Roadrunners and the Mean Green will take place on Thursday night at UTSA. Fortunately for UTSA, center Jacob Germany is expected to play.

Germany suffered a nasty-looking ankle sprain on Sunday afternoon in the Roadrunners’ 90-69 victory over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. UTSA (6-5) had a day off on Monday and then practiced Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the defending C-USA regular-season champions.

Led by guards Tylor Perry and Kai Huntsberry, North Texas (9-2) has won four in a row on the season. In addition, the Grant McCasland-coached Mean Green have won six out of eight against the Roadrunners in the series over the past five seasons.

Henson discussed his team’s preparations and his personnel issues after a two-hour drill Wednesday afternoon.

“We didn’t do much, up and down, either day,” Henson said. “As much as we’d love for there to be some pace in the game tomorrow, we don’t anticipate there will be a lot of pace, so we did a lot of stuff on the halfcourt, offensively and defensively. Jacob was able to do most of it both days.

“He looked progressively better today than he did yesterday, so I don’t think he’ll be 100 percent, but he’ll play.”

Addo-Ankrah apparently had been playing with some discomfort in his left (non-shooting) wrist for some time. Because of lingering pain, a new X-ray was ordered. It revealed a fracture.

“He’s going to miss about four weeks,” the coach said.

The circumstances on how Addo-Ankrah suffered the injury weren’t immediately clear.

“He injured it a long time ago,” Henson said. “Initially, it didn’t show a fracture. He started feeling a little better. But he wasn’t quite getting over the hump there, so they re-X-rayed and they found a small fracture.”

For the season, Addo-Ankrah had played in all 11 games with eight starts. A three-point shooting specialist, he was fifth on the team, averaging 7.3 points.

Though Addo-Ankrah made a season-high four triples on Sunday afternoon against Bethune-Cookman, his shooting percentages were down from last season, as he was hitting .366 from the field and .313 from three.

Henson didn’t specify how he planned to fill the 23.5-minutes per game void. But, likely, players such as Aleu Aleu, Lamin Sabally and Lachlan Bofinger will need to step up.

“I think (Isaiah’s) presence will be missed as far as spacing the floor and creating driving lanes, that type of thing,” Buggs said. “But we have other guys that can get in the lane or attack the paint, affect the game with offensive rebounding, that type of stuff.

“I think we have guys that are ready to step up and take on a bigger role.”

Buggs said it’s a good sign for the team to see the efforts that Germany made to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

“It just sends a message that we’re all about being tough and trying to grind it out, and do whatever we need to do to win,” Buggs said. “I feel like, with Jacob playing, that puts us in the best position to win.”

Coming up

North Texas at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.


UTSA 6-5
North Texas 9-2


North Texas’ top players are guards Perry and Huntsberry, with 6-10 power forward Abou Ousmane playing inside. Buggs said he was Ousmane’s teammate years ago in Connecticut at the Putnam Science Academy.

“He was one of my best friends in prep school,” Buggs said.

Buggs said he talked to Ousmane recently, likely in the days before the Bethune-Cookman game. “He was calling, talking noise,” Buggs said. “He was throwing (verbal) shots. I said, ‘Hey, we ready.’ It’s going to be a good test for us tomorrow. Definitely.”

The Mean Green have won at least 20 games in four of the past five seasons under McCasland. They reached the NCAA tournament in 2021 and advanced to the round of 32.

Last year, they finished 25-7 and 16-2 in the C-USA. North Texas played in the NIT, defeated Texas State and then lost to Virginia in the second round.

UTSA’s Addo-Ankrah says scholarship won’t change his approach to basketball

Isaiah Addo-Ankrah. UTSA lost to Western Kentucky 71-65 in Conference USA men's basketball on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Former walk-on Isaiah Addo-Ankrah emerged as UTSA’s best 3-point shooter last season. He hit 42 percent from behind the arc and was later awarded a scholarship. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special report for The JB Replay

Tonight, for the first time, UTSA’s Isaiah Addo-Ankrah will take the court in front of fans as an NCAA Division I scholarship basketball player.

The landmark moment in the former walk-on’s career will arrive as the UTSA men’s and women’s teams host Rowdy Jam, a tip-off event to celebrate the start of the season. Rowdy Jam will run from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Rec Center.

Addo-Ankrah said in an interview last week that he is taking seriously his ascension in roster status, though not to the extent that he feels any sort of added pressure or responsibility.

“No,” he said. “I still feel like I’m that walk-on with that chip on my shoulder even though I got the scholarship. I don’t feel like I got to do more. I feel like I just need to keep working.”

With Rowdy Jam, the basketball programs will unveil their teams to the fans. Admission is free for all students who bring their student ID. Last season, the UTSA men (10-22) and women (7-23) suffered through some tough times.

Addo-Ankrah said he thinks the Roadrunners’ men will be “way better” than last year.

“I feel like we’re more connected,” he said. “Still got a long ways to go (in) being a little bit tougher. But, a way better team than last year. Team-wise, we have all the right pieces. Everyone gets together and there’s no, like, drama. Or anything like that.”

During last season’s drama, Addo-Ankrah emerged as one of the bright spots. He started to show during conference play that he could contribute in a meaningful way.

Down the stretch, the former standout at Houston Second Baptist High School became the Roadrunners’ most reliable threat from 3-point distance.

As a result, he was told during the offseason that he would be elevated to scholarship status. He said in an interview on Oct. 20 that it was an emotional moment for him.

He was home, in his apartment making breakfast with his mother, when his cell phone buzzed. Coach Steve Henson calling with news that he would no longer need to pay his own way to attend UTSA.

“It was a cool moment,” he said. “A lot of tears in my kitchen.”

Addo-Ankrah, a 2019 graduate of Houston Second Baptist High School, had spent the past three years wondering if the scholarship would ever come. Likely, he also had questions at times as to whether he could make it to the next practice.

In his first season out of high school, Addo-Ankrah attended the University of Houston. First, as a walk-on tryout for the men’s team. Later, as a practice player for the UH women’s squad.

“(When) I was at U of H, that’s when I really had the most doubt,” he said. “You’re not playing basketball. You’re playing with the girls and you’re guarding them and stuff. That’s when you had the most doubt.”

After enrolling at UTSA in 2020, he felt a sense of optimism in catching on with Henson’s Roadrunners. But at the same time, there were never any guarantees. Addo-Ankrah played only six games in mop-up duty as a freshman.

“My freshman year (at UTSA)?” he asked. “I’d say it was hard. Because I was away from home, and there was Covid and you’re isolated and you’re not really getting in (to the program), but you got to know what to do.

“You have to try to figure everything out. You’re living alone. Then you got to play basketball, and I was skinny.”

The Roadrunners weren’t a particularly physical team in the 2020-21 season. But they did have a couple of players who weighed more than 220 pounds, including one at 240. At the time, Addo-Ankrah tipped the scales at 180.

“I remember my first day at practice, (former UTSA forward) Luka Barisic hit me in the stomach,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Aw man, I don’t know if I’m built for this.’ ”

To his surprise, Addo-Ankrah was built to last. Though he played sparingly as a freshman and started his sophomore year in an equally limited role, things started to change after the Christmas break.

Unfortunately for the team, players started to come down with Covid on seemingly an every-other-week basis.

Later, Cedrick Alley was ruled academically ineligible. Dhieu Deing and Jordan Ivy-Curry left the team team, though Deing returned to finish out the year. Aleu Aleu injured a knee and was lost for the season.

It was a mess, and leading into a road trip at UTEP, the Roadrunners took the floor with only six scholarship players. Addo-Ankrah stepped into the fray and knocked down three, 3-point shots off the bench.

For the season, he knocked down 32 of 76 treys, leading the team with a 42.1 shooting percentage from behind the arc.

It was a bittersweet stretch for Addo-Ankrah, who was finally getting to play consistently at the same time that the program was crumbling toward a 10-22 finish. This season, Addo-Ankrah feels much better about the team’s prospects.

“I feel like we’re more connected,” he said. “Still got a long ways to go (in) being a little bit tougher. But, a way better team than last year. Team-wise, we have all the right pieces. Everyone gets together and there’s no, like, drama. Or anything like that.”

Asked what he meant by being “more connected,” Addo-Ankrah offered a revealing description of last year’s experience.

“I feel like I got brothers now,” he said. “Like, last year I’d be coming in and, like, I didn’t know who I could talk to. Anyone on the team (this season), I can have a conversation with. That I can hang out with. Things like that.

“Not even (just) on the court. Off the court. I know that they got my back, and they care for me.”

Last year, for the season, Addo-Ankrah played in 21 of 32 games. The 6-foot-7, 200-pounder averaged 5.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in a little more than 16 minutes. This season, the Roadrunners likely are looking to him for additional scoring punch.

During fall practices, he’s been part of an intriguing small-ball unit, with four perimeter players consisting of 5-foot-11 Japhet Medor, 6-2 John Buggs, 6-3 Erik Czumbel and himself, with 6-11 Jacob Germany in the post.

Coaches apparently like the floor spacing possibilities, with four three-point threats surrounding Germany, the returning scoring leader from last year.

Most often, Medor is the point guard in that lineup, with Buggs at shooting guard, Czumbel at wing forward and Addo-Ankrah at power forward.

“All three (of the guards) can play-make,” Addo-Ankrah said. “EZ can play the one and take Japhet off ball (at times). He’s calm. You know what he brings to the table. Like, he’s going to go hard every time.

“And you know Buggs can shoot it. If it gets down in the shot clock, he can get a bucket, and so can Japhet. So can Jacob. So, (coach) likes that lineup.”

If the Roadrunners play with that lineup to a great extent, Addo-Ankrah knows he will need to focus on rebounding a little more than usual.

“You got to be tough,” he said. “You got to box out. (Assistant) coach (Adam) Hood challenged me to get more rebounds. Because, normally, I’ve been playing guard, so I don’t crash as much. (He says) ‘every time you see a ball, go attack it.’ That’s the only thing I got to look at. I don’t mind it at all.”

At the same time, the Roadrunners will need to see Addo-Ankrah at his best on the offensive end, and he knows it.

In an effort to remedy offensive woes from last year, coaches have challenged each player on the roster to hit 10,000 three-point shots in two different segments of the offseason.

The first segment ran from June to August, Addo-Ankrah said. The next one started in September and is scheduled to run for the next few days, through the end of October.

Addo-Ankrah said he made 17,000 treys by the end of August. He said he’s knocked down another 13,000 this fall, and he said those were at different times outside of scheduled team practices.

“And that’s just threes,” he said. “I still shoot mid-range (shots). That’s another thing about this year, about the brotherhood. I got a lot more people to shoot with (this year). People to talk to. To work out with.

“Sometimes we’ll play (one on one). I think that’s going to help us out a lot. Coach putting that shooting challenge in, to get in the gym more. He wants us to have something to shoot for.”

Picked to finish last? Roadrunners irritated by C-USA poll results

The UTSA Roadrunners carried plenty of motivation into practices this fall. They didn’t have the success they wanted last year, and they wanted to make sure they did everything they could to make amends.

For sure, they didn’t need a preseason poll to get fired up to come to practice.

All that notwithstanding, waking up to news that they had been picked to finish last in the official Conference USA preseason poll gave at least a few of the players an extra something to think about.

“That was the first thing I saw on Twitter today,” Roadrunners forward Isaiah Addo-Ankrah said after Thursday’s practice. “I can’t lie to you. It (ticked) me off a little bit. I know it (ticked) some of the guys off because we were talking about it.

“You can’t worry about other people’s opinions. We know what we got. We just got to stay together and prove people wrong and prove ourselves right.”

For the second-straight season, UAB has been voted by the C-USA’s head coaches as the preseason favorite to win the regular-season championship.

Western Kentucky was pegged second and North Texas third. UTSA was picked 11th, or, last, in the poll. Questioned about the news, UTSA coach Steve Henson shrugged it off.

“I just told (players) to be smart at how they handled it,” Henson said. “But I’m sure they didn’t like the way it looked. It is what it is. Some of them will use it as extra motivation. I’m not the kind that’s going to print it out and stick it on the lockers.

“I got enough reasons to be motivated to play good basketball. My concern was to have a good practice today, not where we were picked in the league.”

One certainty is that nobody will remember the preseason poll five years from now.

“No, but some will use it as motivation,” Henson said. “It’s not the right way to get motivated to be a good team. There’s a lot of good reasons to compete and to line up and try to have a good practice and have a good first game.

“I’m (thinking) more about being a better team when we line up to play Schreiner in two weeks. That’s what I’m focused on.”

The Roadrunners play Schreiner in their one and only exhibition on Nov. 2. On Nov. 7, they open the regular season against at home against Trinity.

C-USA preseason poll

1. UAB
2. WKU
3. North Texas
4. Middle Tennessee
5. Florida Atlantic
6. Louisiana Tech
7. Rice
9. Charlotte
10. FIU
11. UTSA

Preseason player of the Year

Jordan Walker, UAB

All conference

Alijah Martin, Florida Atlantic – sophomore guard
Cobe Williams, Louisiana Tech – junior guard
Teafale Lenard Jr., Middle Tennessee – sophomore guard
Tylor Perry, North Texas – senior guard
Quincy Olivari, Rice – junior guard
Eric Gaines, UAB – sophomore guard
Jordan Walker, UAB – senior guard
Emmanuel Akot, WKU – graduate senior guard
Dayvion McKnight, WKU* – junior guard
Jamarion Sharp, WKU – senior center

UTSA’s Addo-Ankrah makes the most of an opportunity to play

Isaiah Addo-Ankrah celebrates after grabbing the final rebound of the game. UTSA beat Florida International 73-66 on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, at the Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Isaiah Addo-Ankrah celebrates after grabbing the final rebound of the game as UTSA beat Florida International on Jan. 27. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Sharp-shooting guard Isaiah Addo-Ankrah has mixed emotions about how his sophomore year with the UTSA Roadrunners has unfolded.

On one hand, the losing hurts. His Roadrunners have dropped four in a row and have registered a 2-13 record since the middle of December.

He doesn’t like that feeling at all.

Then again, Addo-Ankrah gets a measure of personal satisfaction from the way he has proven over the past three weeks that he can play at this level — as a walk-on, no less.

“It’s kind of weird,” Addo-Ankrah said Friday. “I’m happy because I’m playing now. (But) with the losing, I’m not as happy. You know, I’m scoring and helping the team, but we’re still losing.

“So it’s like a 50-50 type of mood.”

The 6-foot-6 Houston native spelled out his feelings Friday on the eve of a Saturday afternoon home game against the powerful Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

“I feel like we had a good week of practice,” Addo-Ankrah said. “I feel like the spirits are still up, which is a good thing. We still have the faith that we’re going to turn this around and start winning games.”

At the start of the season, UTSA players had high hopes for team success despite projections that had them pegged to finish below the middle of the pack in Conference USA.

By mid-December, the Roadrunners were 6-4 and were just starting to get some kinks ironed out with their offense when adversity struck.

A few players entered Covid-19 protocols and couldn’t make the trip to Illinois State. Since then, the problems have multiplied, seemingly on a weekly basis.

Everything from Covid protocols, to an academic casualty and to an incident in which one player just decided to leave the team for a few weeks — it’s all plagued a proud program that has posted winning records in three of the last four seasons.

In Addo-Ankrah’s case, he’s doing what he can to help right the ship.

Stepping into a role as a backup wing player in the wake of a season-ending injury to forward Aleu Aleu, the former standout at Houston Second Baptist High School has averaged nearly 10 points over his last three games.

For the season, Addo-Ankrah has played in 15 games, more than doubling the six he played last year as a freshman. Moreover, he’s also nailed 17 of 38 three-point shots for a team-leading 44.7 percent.

The first indication that Addo-Ankrah might be able to contribute more than just as a practice player came on Jan. 20 at UTEP when he knocked down three 3-pointers.

A few weeks later, on a trip to Houston to play at Rice, he broke out with his season-high of 15 points on five of six shooting from three. Perfect timing, considering his family and friends were in attendance.

“I was just happy to be out there,” he said.

The emergence of Addo-Ankrah is clearly one of the bright spots for UTSA coach Steve Henson in the past few months.

“It’s awesome to watch it happen right before our eyes,” Henson said. “He does everything right, every single day. Unbelievable teammate. Guys love him. Comes in here and just fights and competes.”

When Addo-Ankrah left high school in 2019, he attempted to walk on at the University of Houston, and after failing to make the squad, he elected to stay in school and help out as a practice player for the women’s team.

By the spring, he started looking around, sending out communications to see if UTSA coaches were interested. They were.

“You know, he’s been on the scout squad every day for two years now,” Henson said. “Never, ever flipped over to the main group. We threw him in a game. He made some shots, and he’s taken it and has run with it.”

Coming up

Saturday — Western Kentucky (13-11, 5-6) at UTSA (8-17, 1-11), 3 p.m.
Feb. 17 — UTSA at Southern Miss
Feb. 19 — UTSA at Louisiana Tech


Injured UTSA guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, the team’s leading scorer, will not play against the Hilltoppers. He rolled an ankle at the end of UTSA’s game at Middle Tennessee Statte on Monday night and hasn’t practiced at all in the wake of the mishap.

Rice shoots 62 percent and downs UTSA, 91-78

The Rice Owls gave up all of a 17-point lead before rolling in the second half to a 91-78 victory at home over the slumping UTSA Roadrunners.

UTSA has lost two straight and 11 of its last 13, with two more games looming on a Conference USA road trip.

“We were concerned about their outside shooting,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said on the team’s radio broadcast. “We knew their big guys were capable and they just dominated us.

“Those two guys (Max Fiedler and Mylyjael Poteat) had their way with us down in the paint.”

Utilizing an array of offensive talent, Rice hit 66.7 percent from the field in the second half and 62.3 percent for the game.

Fiedler led all scorers, pacing five Owls in double figures with 22 points. Poteat had 12 off the bench, including eight in the first half when he hit his first four shots from the field.

Center Jacob Germany scored 20 points for the Roadrunners, who had one of their best offensive showings of the season.

UTSA hit 50 percent from the field, with Darius McNeill, Isaiah Addo-Ankrah and Lachlan Bofinger all shooting the ball well. But on the other end, Rice just had too much talent to guard.

Leading 38-21 late in the first half, Rice struggled defensively and allowed UTSA to tie it 44-44 shortly after intermission. From there, the Owls started to pick up the intensity and gradually ran away with it.

Fiedler and guards Travis Evee and Quincy Olivari all scored 10 points apiece in the second half.

For UTSA, the next stop on the road trip is Denton, with a game set for 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon against the C-USA West Division-leading North Texas Mean Green.

“That’ll be an entirely different deal,” Henson said. “This game had a lot of possessions. Had a lot of flow to it. North Texas is going to cut it in half. Can’t turn the ball over against them. It’ll be tough. It’ll be a tough matchup.”


UTSA 8-15, 1-9
Rice 13-8, 6-4

Coming up

Saturday — UTSA at North Texas (15-4, 8-1)
Monday — UTSA at Middle Tennessee (14-6, 5-2)

First half

Even though the Owls held a 44-40 lead at the half, the Roadrunners felt good as they ducked into the dressing room at intermissiom.

Trailing by as many as 17 points, the Roadrunners rallied behind Addo-Ankrah on a 19-6 run in the last four minutes. Addo-Ankrah hit three 3-point shots in the spree.


The Roadrunners failed to get two of their top offensive players going against the Owls. Jordan Ivy-Curry was 3 for 17 from the field and Dheiu Deing 3 of 8. Ivy-Curry finished with 10 points and Deing, playing off the bench, had seven. As the game progressed, Ivy-Curry became more of a distributor. He passed for nine assists.

Ankrah, a walk-on, finished with a season-high 15 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting. Bofinger also had one of his better offensive games with 4-of-5 shooting and 10 points. Darius McNeill started and scored 12 points. He hit 6 of 11 field goal attempts. McNeill also had four assists and four rebounds.

Pera’s impact

Rice basketball is on the upswing under fifth-year coach Scott Pera. In 2017-18, Pera’s first season, the Owls scuffled to a 7-24 record. Last year, they finished 15-13 overall and 6-10 in conference. One of their 13 victories this year has come against the UAB Blazers, the best team in the C-USA East.

Rice hasn’t had back-to-back winning seasons since 2012 and hasn’t played in the NCAA tournament since 1970.