Jan. 15, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men’s basketball opens a two-game homestand as it welcomes Memphis to Tudor Fieldhouse on Wednesday. The game tips off at 6 p.m. and will be televised on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The last time out, the Owls (3-12, 0-2 C-USA) sank eight of their first 10 three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes at Tulsa to stake out a 10-point lead. The hot shooting cooled after the intermission, helping the Golden Hurricane to mount a comeback and push past Rice in the game’s final minutes for a 64-51 win.
Tamir Jackson poured in 12 of his 14 points in the first half to lead the Owls. The senior guard added five rebounds and five assists to pace the team. Seth Gearhart scored 12 points with three treys in the game. He dished out two assists and swiped a pair of steals.
Jackson's 16.7 points per game rank him fifth in Conference USA, and his 1,386 points are just 27 shy of Rice's top-10 career scoring mark. The senior ranks 11th in C-USA with 6.7 rebounds per game.
Knodel To Be Honored At Game
After a career at Rice that spanned five decades as both the head coach of the Rice Men’s Basketball team and later as the Executive Director of the “R” Association, Don Knodel retired at the end of 2012 and will be honored at Wednesday night’s game.
Knodel came to Rice in March of 1966 when he replaced George Carlisle as head coach of the Rice men’s team. Known as “The Silent K,” Knodel took over a team that had won just three games in the previous two seasons. He led the Owls to a Southwest Conference title since 1954 and a berth in the 1970 NCAA Tournament.
During Knodel’s tenure, Rice had two players named All-Southwest Conference. Greg Williams was named the 1969 SWC Player of the Year while Gary Reist was named All-SWC in back-to-back seasons (1970 and 1971). Knodel’s 76 victories rank fifth all-time at Rice.
Knodel left Rice in 1974, but returned in 1999 as the Executive Director of the “R” Association and oversaw that organization’s grown and development over the next 12 years. He was inducted to the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Scouting the Tigers (12-3, 2-0 C-USA)
Memphis brings a six-game winning streak to Houston after topping UAB, 69-53, on Saturday evening behind 19 points and nine rebounds from Adonis Thomas.
The Tigers average 73.9 points per game on 48.0 percent shooting. The team also forces an average of 16.8 turnovers.
Joe Jackson leads Memphis with 14.0 points per game and a stellar 48.6 shooting percentage from downtown. The Tigers crash the boards well, averaging 4.7 more rebounds per game than their opponents, with five players averaging 4.0 rebounds or more per game.
Memphis is 2-0 in road games this season as it topped Tennessee, 85-80, before Saturday’s win at UAB.
Rice is 1-8 all-time against Memphis, but topped the Tigers in a memorable 67-52 win the last time the teams met in Houston, in 2010-11.
Tamir Jackson led Rice in the victory, with a 6-of-10 mark from the field and seven free throws. Rice forced 19 turnovers with 14 steals and staked an 11-point halftime lead.
The Owls led by as many as 20 points in the game and did not allow Memphis to climb any closer than seven points after the intermission.
In three games against the Tigers, Jackson averages 13.3 points and 2.0 assists per game. He shoots 47.8 percent from the field against Memphis and is 2-4 from downtown.
Memphis won last year’s contest, 73-51, with three players scoring in double figures. Rice also had three players with double figures, but none with more than 10 points.
Rice closes its two-game homestand on Saturday against New Orleans in the team’s final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Following the 7 p.m. contest, the Owls take to the road for a pair of games as league play resumes.
Rice plays at UCF on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. CT and then at Tulane three days later at 1 p.m. in New Orleans.