Men’s basketball drops two more games, bringing losing streak on the road up to nine


Dalton Hartmann

Christian Tucker knifes into the lane for a layup during a game against UTEP earlier this season. The freshman from Chandler, AZ, has appeared in 19 games for UTSA this season with five starts.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (8-16, 1-10 C-USA) dropped two more games on the road to Conference USA opposition this past week, sending the team into the basement of the conference standings. The ‘Runners first lost on Thursday night to the Rice University Owls (13-9, 6-5 C-USA) 78-91 before turning in perhaps one of their worst offensive performances of the season, getting blown out by the North Texas Mean Green (16-4, 9-1 C-USA) 45-69 on Saturday afternoon.

The action tipped off on Thursday night in Houston and it was a competitive game early on. The two teams traded baskets back and forth and Rice held a slim 13-16 advantage approaching the midway point of the first half. However, the Owls then unleashed a flurry of quick points, and thanks to a 7-0 run, Rice held a 10-point lead in the blink of an eye. Rice continued to build the lead as things grew quickly out of hand for the ‘Runners and with just over four minutes left in the first half, Rice led 21-38. A couple of quick baskets from UTSA got them back in it, though, and they went on a 10-1 run to cut the lead to eight. The ‘Runners continued to press their advantage and one final three-pointer by Isaiah Addo-Ankrah sent UTSA into halftime down 40-44. 

The second half started much like the first half ended for UTSA as they quickly tied things up at 44-44. Rice responded with a brief 6-0 run to establish some breathing room, but the ‘Runners continued to fight. The teams traded baskets for a stretch and another Addo-Ankrah three-pointer cut the Owls lead down to 61-63 with a little over half of the second half remaining. Rice did not buckle and went on a quick 7-0 run to push the lead back out again. UTSA tried to reel them back in but could never get it back to a one-possession game. Turnovers and cold shooting doomed the ‘Runners down the stretch and Rice picked up the win by a final score of 78-91. 

In the second game of the week, things started out well for the ‘Runners against North Texas. The Mean Green got out to an early lead, but the ‘Runners kept things close and only trailed 9-13 midway through the first half. From there things began to fall apart. The ‘Runners were outscored 21-8 for the rest of the half as North Texas jumped out to a huge lead off the back of UTSA shooting just 20% from the field. 

Things were not much better in the second half as even though the offense improved marginally, the defense could not get the stops required to start cutting into the Mean Green’s lead. UTSA got the lead back down to 13, approaching the midway point of the half, but from there North Texas reasserted its dominance and cruised their way to a 45-69 victory over the ‘Runners. The loss can simply be summed up by saying that the UTSA offense had a power outage. The team shot just 29.2% from the field in the game and Jordan Ivy-Curry was responsible for a third of the team’s points, putting up 15. He needed 17 shots to reach that point total, however, and also turned the ball over six times in the process. 

The ‘Runners remain winless on the road this season and with three of their final seven conference games happening on the road, it is going to be a long quest for the ‘Runners to climb out of the Conference USA cellar. The team will remain on the road for a game against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (14-7, 5-3 C-USA) on Monday, Feb. 7, before heading back home for a matchup against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (12-11, 4-6 C-USA) on Saturday, Feb. 12.