Texas-San Antonio (7-14) at East Carolina (12-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum (8,000) -- Greenville, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: UTSA 6-6, ECU 6-6. Away Record: UTSA 1-8, ECU 3-5. Neutral Record: UTSA 0-0, ECU 3-0. Conference Record: UTSA 3-5, ECU 1-7. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: For the first time ever, Texas-San Antonio and East Carolina meet on the hardwood, as the Roadrunners travel to Greenville to take on the Pirates in a Conference USA battle at William Arena on Saturday evening.
UTSA last played on Thursday night and fell at Old Dominion, 69-61. That was the Roadrunners second loss in a row and fifth in their last six games overall, although four of those came on the road. This is UTSA's first season as a member of C-USA.
ECU has been struggling of late as well, losing nine of its last 11. Last time out, the Pirates were downed at home by UTEP, 58-47.
Edrico McGregor paced the Roadrunners with 12 points and nine boards in the recent loss to ODU. Phillip Jones contributed 10 points and five steals. Devon Agusi also scored 10 points, which he accompanied with five assists and three steals. UTSA took a 25-24 lead into halftime but allowed ODU to hit 50 percent of its shots from the floor and 20-of-27 attempts at the free-throw line after the break.
UTSA's offense has been solid this season, shooting 43.7 percent from the field for 70.8 ppg, but it hasn't been enough when paired with its league- worst scoring and field goal defense (78.6 ppg and 48.1 percent, respectively). It's poor turnover margin (-4.3), also at the bottom of C-USA, has been an ongoing issue as well. Keon Lewis pours in a team-best 14.1 ppg and he has connected on 82 percent of his foul shots. Agusi nets 11.8 ppg on 44.6 percent from the field, while Jordan Sims (11.1 ppg, 62 3-pointers) and Hyjii Thomas (10.4 ppg) round out the unit's double-digit scorers.
Akeem Richmond led all scorers with 20 points for East Carolina, which also got 12 points from Paris Roberts-Campbell in the recent loss to UTEP. East Carolina hit just 31.8 percent of its tries from the floor in the first half and trailed 27-18 at the break. The Miners exploded in the second half, netting 56 percent of their total shots, as they put away the Pirates.
The Pirates are more of a perimeter-oriented team with their four-guard lineup. Richmond is three 3-pointers away from breaking his own school record for most threes in a season (107). He is shooting at a 39.5 percent clip from beyond the arc and leads the team with 18.3 ppg. Roberts-Campbell (13.4 ppg) and Caleb White (12.2 ppg) are also averaging double figures. The team as a whole is scoring 76.3 ppg while giving up 72.3 ppg.
The Roadrunners haven't won on the road in league play, while the Pirates are winless at home in C-USA action, so something has to give. Given the woeful defense of the Roadrunners, expect the Pirates to pull out the victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Carolina 76, Texas-San Antonio 70
02/08 10:37:47 ET