Men's Basketball Faces First C-USA Road Test on Thursday

Freshman Drew Bender scored eight points in two of his last three games.

Jan. 15, 2014

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Rice University men's basketball takes to the road for the first time in Conference USA action as the Owls face off against Southern Miss on Thursday evening in Hattiesburg. Rice then closes out the trip at Tulane in the final regular season meeting as league rivals. Thursday's tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum.

Austin Ramljak averaged 14.0 points in two games this past week to increase his team-leading scoring mark to 12.6 points per game. The senior ranks among C-USA and national leaders in both three-pointers made per game and three-point percentage.

Sean Obi leads all C-USA freshmen with five double-doubles following his 14-point, 10-rebound outing against Florida Atlantic at home on Saturday.

Rice (5-10, 0-2 C-USA) found itself involved in yet another tight game as Florida Atlantic snuck out of Tudor Fieldhouse with a 73-68 win last Saturday night.

Obi and Ramljak led the team in scoring with 14 points apiece. Obi notched his fifth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds while Ramljak sank 4-of-8 three-pointers on the night.

Max Guercy and Keith Washington passed around 11 of the Owls' 18 assists on the night, but 16 turnovers turned into 18 FAU points in the narrow setback. Rice owned a 35-33 edge in rebounds in the game and each team owned a double-figure lead at one point.


The Last Meeting
Southern Miss75
January 9, 2013
Tudor Fieldhouse
Rice Falls to Southern Miss in C-USA Opener
For a second-straight game, Rice University men's basketball faced an opponent that seemingly couldn't miss the basket in a 75-52 setback against Southern Miss in both teams' Conference USA opener on Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.

Series History (USM leads, 7-4)
• Southern Miss claimed a 75-52 win in last season's meeting, which was the Conference USA opener for both teams.
• The Golden Eagles have claimed four-straight games in the series and hold a 7-4 advantage overall.
• Ramljak led the Owls with 14 points off the bench in the last meeting, while Tamir Jackson added 13 points and six rebounds for Rice.
• USM shot 69.6 percent from the field in the last meeting and owned a 32-16 advantage in rebounds.
• Rice's lone road win in the series came on Jan. 25, 2006 by a 67-61 margin.


Scouting the Golden Eagles (14-3, 1-1 C-USA)
• USM's recent five-game winning streak was snapped at Tulsa in a 75-71 loss on Sunday, dropping the team to 1-1 in Conference USA. In the league opener, USM topped North Texas, 74-64, on the road.
• Neil Watson leads the team with 11.4 points and 3.7 assists per game. The team is shooting 46.8 percent from the field and ranks second in C-USA with a +6.5 rebound margin.
•Head coach Donnie Tyndall's team is a perfect 6-0 at home this season, but has played just one game at Reed Green Coliseum since mid-December.


Following Thursday's game, Rice closes out the road trip at Tulane on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Devlin Fieldhouse.





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