Texas Tech Men's Basketball faces UTSA on Wednesday

Texas Tech Men's Basketball faces UTSA on Wednesday

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

The Texas Tech men's basketball team will look to improve on its season-long winning streak and meets its fifth in-state opponent when UTSA visits the United Supermarkets Arena for a Wednesday evening matchup.

Tipoff is on-tap for 7 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by FOX Sports Southwest Plus along with the FOX Sports Go app. Robert Giovannetti and John Harris will serve as the announcing team with Adam Doyle as the sideline reporter.

The Texas Tech Sports Network will carry the game live on 97.3 FM, 100.7 FM and 950 AM in Lubbock. Geoff Haxton and Chris Level will have the call. The radio broadcast also will be available on the Texas Tech Sports Network radio affiliates, online at www.TexasTech.com and the TuneIn Radio app.

Texas Tech turned in an 85-84 comeback victory over Rice to push its overall winning streak to four games and its home nonconference winning streak to 25 games. The Red Raiders overcame a five-point deficit in the closing seconds and used three Anthony Livingston free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining to take the lead.

Texas Tech has posted wins in five of its previous six meetings versus the Roadrunners. The Red Raiders average margin of victory is 23 points in the series which includes a 94-64 triumph on Nov. 29, 2013. Four players collected double figures which included a 13-point from then freshman Aaron Ross.

UTSA is coached by Steven Henson who enters his first season after he served as a long-time assistant to Lon Kruger most recently at Oklahoma from 2011-16. The Roadrunners have held three opponents to under 60 points and have limited the opposition to a 39.6 field goal percentage.

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Henson," Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. "I remember him as a player, and he has had a great coaching career with Coach Kruger. I'm familiar with their success at UNLV and most recently at Oklahoma. I think Coach Kruger will be the first to tell you that Coach Henson had a lot to do with that. There's no doubt he's going to build a quality program in San Antonio. To me, their record is a little misleading. They've played a lot of road games and they've protected their home court. They're 2-0 at home, and they've been in a couple close games on the road. We have a lot of respect for them being a Texas school. We're familiar with several of the players on their roster. We know we'll have to play well tomorrow night."

Fans can purchase tickets to Wednesday's game for as low as $10 online at www.TexasTech.com or in person on gameday at the United Supermarkets Arena Ticket Office starting 90 minutes prior to tipoff.

The student lounge will feature a Winter Wonderland Theme and a baked potato bar with doors opening at 6 p.m. CT. Students also will receive exam survival kits while supplies last. Lorenzo High School will perform the national anthem, while the Texas Tech Spirit Squad will perform at halftime.

Fans are reminded to go clear at all Texas Tech basketball games. The new clear bag policy provides a safer atmosphere and speeds up the entry process into the United Supermarkets Arena.

Texas Tech is encouraging fans to arrive as early as possible to men's and women's basketball games due to the temporary closure to the entrance and exit of the Commuter West Lot at the Texas Tech Parkway and Knoxville Avenue. This entrance and exit will be closed from Dec. 5 to Jan. 13 for construction. Fans are asked to use the entrances and exits off Indiana Avenue when arriving from the north along with the entrances and exits at Indiana Avenue and 18th Street when arriving from 19th Street or the Marsha Sharp Freeway.

About Texas Tech
The Red Raiders have already connected for over a 50 percent field goal clip in five of its first eight games after shooting over 50 percent on 10 occasions during last season. Texas Tech's 52.3 field goal percentage tops the Big 12 and ranks fourth nationally.

Anthony Livingston, the reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, has notched 14.1 points per game which ranks tied for eighth in the conference. He exploded for 33 points against Rice on Dec. 3 and added 28 points versus Utah State on Nov. 23. The 33-point performance was the most for a Texas Tech player since Mike Singletary also racked up 33 points at Iowa State on Jan. 26, 2011.

"I expect consistency," Beard said. "Sometimes the difference between a good player and a great player, or even an average player and a good player, is consistency. You wouldn't be playing Division I college basketball if you weren't talented. Guys are going to have good games, but the guys who can do it every single night – and we're not expecting 30 points every night Anthony plays, but we are expecting great production and for him to be equally focused on offense, defense, and leadership. Some of the things that don't show up on a stats sheet are what Anthony does for our team."

Keenan Evans has pumped in 12.8 points and 3.5 assists per game. He has started 40 consecutive games at point guard since the 2015-16 season opener. He has come away with double figures in three straight games and six of his eight outings to start the season.

Zach Smith has added 11.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He'll look to return to double figures after being limited to eight points versus Rice. Smith enters Wednesday's game with a Big 12 leading 65.5 field goal clip. He also has registered 108 career blocks and is two shy from moving past Will Flemons (1990-93) for second place on Tech's all-time list.

Justin Gray and Devon Thomas have started the last four games for the Red Raiders. Gray has made 16 of his last 24 shots during the four-game run and his 59.3 field goal percentage is fourth on the Big 12 leaderboard whereas Thomas has dished out five assists in three games and has started the season with 26 assists against five turnovers.

Thomas Brandsma, Shadell Millinghaus and Niem Stevenson have led the Red Raiders off the bench over the last three games. Millinghaus has filled the box score with 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.3 assists per game, while Stevenson has garnered 8.3 points per game on 9-of-16 shooting. Brandsma has managed 4.3 points per game over the three-game stretch.

Texas Tech has played its last four games without its leading scorer Aaron Ross. The Red Raiders also have been without Norense Odiase who has started 47 of his 51 career appearances over his first two seasons for the first eight games of the 2016-17 season.

About UTSA
The Roadrunners will play its seventh road game during its opening nine games and have already logged over 10,000 travel miles to start the season. UTSA dropped a pair of road decisions to Cal Poly (59-47) and Utah Valley State (75-71) last weekend.

The Roadrunners have dialed up a Conference USA leading 43.2 rebounds per game which also ranks 15th in the nation. UTSA also has racked up 14.8 offensive rebounds per game.

Jeff Beverly has paced UTSA in points during five of the team's first eight games. He has notched double figures seven times en route to a team-high 15.8 points per game. Beverly amassed a season's best 22 points aided by a 10-for-10 effort at the free throw against Texas State on Nov. 25.

Nick Allen has chipped in 8.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game followed by Byron Frohnen's 7.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The duo has combined for three double-doubles on the season most recently an 11-point and 13-rebound performance from Allen at Lamar on Nov. 22.

UTSA' top bench player is Nick Billingsley who poured in a career-high 21 points at Utah Valley State last time out. He also posted 17 points at Illinois-Chicago on Nov. 16.

"The identity of UTSA's team is their rebounding," Beard said. "To give you an example, we might average 34 or 35 rebounds a game. They average in the mid-40s. It might be the best rebounding team that we've played to this point. They have several guys that already have double figure offensive rebounds. They rebound from four different positions. Sometimes even the point guard will rebound, so it's been a focal point this week in practice and in preparation. We're going to have to block out, we're going to have to team rebound and we're going to have to limit them to one shot per possession. The most successful basketball they've played this year is when they've had multiple chances at the basket, so rebounding is one of, if not the biggest key to the game."

Up Next
Texas Tech continues its stretch of four straight Wednesday home games against Nicholls State following final exams. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT, and the game will be carried by FOX Sports Southwest Plus along with the FOX Sports Go app.

Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/TexasTechMBB along with @TexasTechMBB on Twitter and Instagram.