Jan. 11, 2013
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TULSA, Okla. - Rice University men's basketball takes a short one-game road trip to Tulsa in the team's second Conference USA game of the season. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. and the contest will be televised on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Owls (3-11, 0-1) hosted Southern Miss in the league opener on Wednesday, falling victim to a Golden Eagle team that was seemingly unable to miss the basket in a 75-52 setback.
Rice improved in the second half from a 28.0 percent shooting mark to 47.8 after the intermission, but it was not enough to keep pace with USM's 69.6 percent clip in the game.
Austin Ramljak sank four three-pointers to lead Rice with 14 points off the bench. The junior has led Rice in scoring twice in the last three games as he tallied 14 points at Texas.
The Owls are seeking their first road win of the season on the team's fourth attempt. Rice has posted an even or positive turnover mark in 10 of its last 11 games, good for a +1.4 mark on the year.
Scouting the Golden Hurricane
Tulsa enters the weekend with a 1-1 record in Conference USA and 9-7 overall. First-year head coach Danny Manning's squad knocked off SMU, 48-47, on Sunday before falling at Marshall, 79-61, on Wednesday night.
James Woodard leads the team with 13.6 points per game after notching 12 against the Thundering Herd. The squad forced 20 turnovers in the game and converted 19 points from the Marshall miscues. On the season, TU forces 14.3 turnovers with 7.1 steals per game.
Tulsa's lone common opponent with Rice this season is TCU. The Hurricane won a home contest against the Horned Frogs, 50-49, in early December. Rice's comeback against TCU fell just two points short on Dec. 22.
The Hurricane is 5-1 at home on the season with a three-game winning streak at the Reynolds Center. Freshman Brandon Swannegan hails from Houston and attended Cy Ridge HS. In seven games, he averages 2.0 points and 2.9 rebounds.
Tulsa holds a commanding 25-6 lead in the all-time series, including a current 12-game winning streak. Rice's last win over the Golden Hurricane came on the road in overtime in 2005.
In seven career games against Tulsa, Tamir Jackson averages 10.9 points and nearly two assists per game.
Last season, Jackson scored eight points in a 69-50 setback on the road in the series after notching two assists and one point in a 70-46 home loss.
Julian DeBose and Seth Gearhart faced the Hurricane twice each last year, combining for five points and seven rebounds. Dan Peera saw action in one game against Tulsa last season.
In its last trip to Tulsa a season ago, Rice shot 33 percent from the field. Jordan Clarkson led Tulsa in the win with 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including five three-pointers.
Rice returns to Tudor Fieldhouse for two games, beginning with Wednesday's matchup against defending C-USA champion Memphis. The 6 p.m. contest will also be televised on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Owls then face their final non-conference opponent of the regular season as New Orleans visits on Saturday at 7 p.m.