Jan. 8, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball opens Conference USA play on Wednesday as Southern Miss visits Tudor Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Owls (3-10) concluded a two-game road trip on Saturday with a 92-62 setback at Harvard.
Max Guercy shined in the outing, leading the team with 19 points and five assists, while sinking all four of his three-point attempts. The guard was recognized for his efforts by earning C-USA Freshman of the Week honors on Monday.
Rice shot a healthy 52 percent from the field after halftime to score a season-best 41 points in the second half, but Harvard countered with an incredible 64.6 percent mark for the game to keep the visitors at bay.
After more than two weeks on the road, the Owls play three of their next four games at home.
Scouting the Golden Eagles (11-4)
After its convincing 135-41 win against Dillard last week, Southern Miss enters league play having won five of its last six outings. The Golden Eagles rank second nationally with 12.3 steals per game, as 10 players each have at least 10 steals on the year.
Dwayne Davis leads the team with 13.3 points per game. He sinks 42.9 percent of his three-point attempts and adds 4.3 rebounds per contest. Neil Watson leads Conference USA with 5.21 assists per game.
Southern Miss is 4-4 on the road this season, and three of its four losses have come by single digits. USM's +15.1 scoring margin leads C-USA, as does its +3.53 turnover margin.
The Golden Eagles are a solid rebounding team as well, particularly on the offensive glass where the team hauls in 42.6 percent of its own misses.
Southern Miss holds a 6-4 lead in the all-time series, including a 58-56 win in Hattiesburg last season to give the Golden Eagles three-straight wins against the Owls.
In the lone meeting in 2010-11, USM pulled out an 81-78 overtime win at Tudor Fieldhouse despite 19 points from Jackson.
Jackson averages 11.3 points and 5.0 assists per game in three meetings with Southern Miss. He scored six points with five assists in last year's game.
Rice heads to Tulsa on Saturday for a televised 5:30 p.m. contest. The game will air on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.