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HOUSTON— Rice closes its three-game road trip this Saturday, Jan. 9, when it travels to Denton to take on North Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and will be televised by ASN.
Men's Basketball Dominates North Texas in C-USA Tourney Opener
Marcus Jackson scored 28 points to lead No. 9 Rice University men's basketball past eight-seed North Texas, 82-54, in the opening round of the Conference USA Championship at Legacy Arena on Wednesday evening. The Owls (12-19) advance to face top seed Louisiana Tech in Thursday's quarterfinal round. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. and the game will air on American Sports Network.
• Rice and North Texas will meet for the 15th time overall and just the sixth as members of Conference USA.
• North Texas holds an 11-4 advantage overall, including four of the last five.
• Rice is looking for it’s first-ever victory in Denton, as the Mean Green have won the previous five meetings.
• Rice enters today’s game with a 5-10 record and is 0-2 in Conference USA. The Owls are looking to snap a four-game losing streak after falling at UTSA, 85-80, last Sunday.
• Freshman Marcus Evans leads Conference USA in scoring, averaging 19.5 per game. He is also second in steals (1.8) and fifth in minutes played (32.7).
• Redshirt sophomore Egor Koulechov is third in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.1 points while leading the team with 6.9 rebounds. He leads the conference in minutes played (34.2) and is second in three-pointers made (2.9) and third in free throw percentage (.838).
• Freshman Marquez Letcher-Ellis is third on the team with 8.6 points and second with 4.9 rebounds. He is sixth in C-USA with 1.3 blocks.
• Senior Max Guercy is averaging 7.9 points. He leads the league in free throw percentage (.887) and is second in assists (5.6).
• Rice is averaging 74.1 points per game while allowing 79.1.
• The Owls are connecting on 43.0% from the field and 30.6% from the three-point line while allowing 47.8% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc.
• Rice is third in Conference USA in free throw percentage, connecting on 72.1%.
Scouting North Texas
• North Texas enters the game with a 6-9 record. The Mean Green is 1-1 in Conference USA after falling, 84-75, at UTEP on Sunday.
• Junior guard J-Mychal Reese leads UNT with 14.5 points per game. He is sixth in the league in assists (4.2), is eighth in minutes played (31.7) and 10th in steals (1.3).
• Junior guard Deckie Johnson is second on the team in both points (14.1) and rebounds (4.0.) He is sixth in C-USA in three-point field goals (2.2), ninth in minutes played (31.5) and 10th in free throw percentage (.755).
• Sophomore forward Jeremy Combs is averaging 13.3 points. He leads Conference USA in rebounding (9.7), is seventh in field goal percentage (.560) and ninth in blocked shots (1.1).
• North Texas is averaging 77.2 points per game while allowing 78.2.
• The Mean Green are connecting on 47.7% from the field and 33.7% from the three-point line while allowing 44.6% from the field and 35.6% from beyond the arc.
• Tony Benford is in his fourth season at the helm of the North Texas basketball program, where he has a 48-62 (.436) record.
• Rice begins its home conference slate next Thursday, Jan. 14, when it hosts Western Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT and will be televised by ASN.