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No. 16 Texas basketball to play Alabama State on Wednesday

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Chris Beard’s program was forced to schedule a new opponent because of COVID-19 issues within the Rice program.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 16 Texas Longhorns will host the Alabama State Hornets at the Erwin Center on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Central on Longhorn Network after the Rice Owls were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 issues within the program, Texas announced on Monday.

The contest will mark the first meeting between the two teams. Coached by Mo Williams, Alabama State is 2-9 this season and ranked No. 338 nationally in KenPom.com’s adjusted efficiency metric. Alabama State managed to stay within eight points of Iowa State in a recent meeting, but lost to Vanderbilt by 19 points and needed overtime to secure a win over North Carolina Central. The only other win came against Tuskegee.

The unexpected opponent will feature a familiar face — junior forward Gerald Liddell is the leading scorer for the Hornets at 10.5 points per game after leaving the Longhorns earlier this year. He’s currently the only player averaging double-digit scoring for Alabama State.

Any tickets held for the Rice game will be valid against Alabama State.