Nicholls State (7-17) at Texas-San Antonio (6-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (2,650) -- San Antonio, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Nicholls 4-4, UTSA 1-8. Away Record: Nicholls 3-11, UTSA 4-10. Neutral Record: Nicholls 0-2, UTSA 1-1. Conference Record: Nicholls 6-8, UTSA 2-12. Series Record: Texas-San Antonio leads, 26-18.
GAME NOTES: Former Southland Conference foes get together as part of the BracketBusters event on Saturday afternoon, as the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio host the Nicholls State Colonels at the Convocation Center.
Currently a member of the Western Athletic Conference, the Roadrunners have found the transition to a new set of opponents to be a difficult one. The squad is just 6-19 on the season overall and a disappointing 2-12 in league play, although the Roadrunners did take down Texas State on the road last weekend in a 73-62 final. The win snapped a six-game slide for a UTSA squad that enters the weekend with just one home win in nine chances.
As for the Colonels, they are only slightly better overall this season with seven wins in 24 opportunities. Earlier this week Nicholls took on Lamar and captured a 74-63 victory on the road in order to snap a five-game slide. However, while the team is 3-4 in conference road outings, it is still winless in seven non-conference road dates.
According to UTSA sources, the Roadrunners own a 26-18 advantage in the all- time series, thanks in part to a 91-50 thrashing of Nicholls in the most recent meeting last season. UTSA has won all but two of the last 17 matchups versus the Colonels.
Nicholls scored the first points of the night against Lamar and never looked back, shooting 9-of-16 behind the 3-point line and 49.1 percent from the floor overall in order to overcome just 13-of-25 at the charity stripe. T.J. Carpenter gave the team a lift off the bench with 17 points, six rebounds and three steals, while Fred Hunter and JaMarkus Horace responded with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Despite shooting only 27.3 percent from beyond the arc this season, Hunter is still converting an impressive 56.3 percent from the floor overall as he generates a team-best 19.4 ppg. Hunter is also first on the glass for the group with 7.5 rpg, but the team is still being beaten on the boards overall by almost five rebounds per game and that has allowed teams to also outscore the Colonels by 7.0 ppg at this stage.
The Roadrunners used a total of just eight players in the meeting with Texas State last weekend at Strahan Coliseum, but with five of them scoring in double figures it was easy to see how and why UTSA picked up the win. Kannon Burrage was responsible for 15 points and seven rebounds, followed by Michael Hale and Jeromie Hill with 13 points apiece. Jordan Sims tacked on 12 points and Edrico McGregor came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he dropped in 10 points before fouling out.
On a team that is now scoring just 64.7 ppg, Burrage is the top producer with his 17.6 ppg, although his 37.1 percent shooting from the floor is somewhat disappointing and has brought down the entire team to 39.8 percent. Hale (16.0 ppg) is the one UTSA counts on to make the offense operate, with his 87 assists, while Hill (12.5 ppg) has more than likely been the recipient of many a pass from Hale as he hangs out close to the rim so that he can capture 6.1 rpg.
The last meeting between these two teams was an epic pounding by the Roadrunners and while such a huge margin of victory is not expected this time around, UTSA should come out on top nonetheless.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-San Antonio 69, Nicholls State 58
02/23 10:33:49 ET