Jan. 18, 2013
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HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball briefly steps out of conference on Saturday as New Orleans visits Tudor Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The game is the team's final non-conference regular season game as the final 13 are against league foes.
Rice is 3-4 in home non-conference games this season, including wins over Chicago State, Houston Baptist and St. Edwards.
Saturday's contest marks the second in a two-game homestand for the Owls (3-13), as the team fought hard against Memphis on Wednesday in a 77-51 setback to the defending Conference USA champion.
Austin Ramljak sank four of Rice's eight three-pointers and led the team with 14 points on the night. Max Guercy also reached double figures with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
In Rice's 2010-11 win over Memphis, Tamir Jackson led the team with 20 points. The Tigers made a concerted effort to keep the senior from repeating the performance as he was held to eight points in the game. It marked only the second time all season that Jackson scored fewer than 10 points in a game.
Scouting the Privateers
New Orleans (4-11) snapped a six-game skid last Saturday with an 87-50 win over Champion Baptist.
Lovell Cook paced the Privateers with 19 points in the game and is the team's lone double-figure scorer with 14.0 points per game. He shoots 58.4 percent from the field as well.
UNO attempts more than 80 percent of its shots from inside the three-point arc and gets to the free throw line 22.3 times per contest.
New Orleans is 0-7 on the road this year and has already played four home-and-home series (San Jose St., Southern Illinois, Nicholls, Southeast Missouri).
Rarlensee Nelson adds 9.0 points per game for the Privateers while Cory Dixon chips in 8.1 points and a team-high 4.9 rebounds.
New Orleans forces 17.5 turnovers per game with 9.1 steals.
Last season's November meeting was the first between the teams. Rice won the season-opening game, 83-49, thanks in part to 12 points from Julian DeBose in his collegiate debut.
Then a freshman, DeBose was 3-of-6 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 at the free throw line.
Jackson added nine points and three assists, while Seth Gearhart and Dan Peera also saw action in their Rice debuts.
The Owls shot 54 percent from the field and held the Privateers to a 24.1 percent clip. Rice owned a 54-22 rebound advantage in the win.
In its last two games, Rice has put together strong starts against Tulsa and Memphis. Over the span, the team has converted 11-of-22 three-pointers with 12 assists on 17 baskets. Rice was also 11-of-12 at the free throw line.
Some of the shooting success during the stretch can be attributed to the addition of Austin Ramljak to the starting lineup after he came off the bench in the season's first 14 games. The junior has shot 3-of-6 from downtown in the last two games' first halves.
Rice resumes league play and sets out on a two-game road trip to UCF on Wednesday, Jan. 23 and Tulane three days later.
The Tulane game will be Rice's third televised game in a span of five contests as it will air on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Owls close out the month at home against Houston on Jan. 30.