Jan. 22, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - After a week away from home, Rice University men's basketball returns to Tudor Fieldhouse to host Marshall on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
It is the first of two home games as the Owls square off against Charlotte on Saturday and hosts the first Battle of the Badges. Members of Houston's police and firefighting unions will play a scrimmage at Tudor Fieldhouse in the afternoon before the game and will then compete in a chili cook-off outside the arena leading up to tipoff. For each ticket sold to the event, $5 is donated to the `100 Club,' which supports the dependents of Houston's fallen heroes.
Two of Rice's starters have injury concerns as Sean Obi injured his wrist in the Tulane game last Saturday, but has been able to practice this week and is expected to play on Thursday. Sophomore guard Keith Washington is not expected to play on Thursday as he recovers from a procedure to repair dental fractures.
Last Time Out
In the second game of a road trip, Rice fell, 58-41, at Tulane on Saturday night.
The Owls (5-12, 0-4 C-USA) shook off a rough first half to come out strong after halftime and cut a 14-point deficit to just three. Much as with Thursday's game at Southern Miss, the team came up just short of evening the score after falling in an early hole as the Green Wave pulled away late.
Rice set season lows for total points and points in a half (14 in the first) in the game, but had some positives as a group, including nine fast-break points and assists on 77 percent of the team's field goals.
Obi tallied his sixth double-double of the season with team highs in points (12) and rebounds (12).
Austin Ramljak matched the rookie with 12 points of his own, including a 4-of-5 mark at the foul line.
Huntington, W. Va.
Men's Basketball Drops Tight Road Contest To Marshall
Marshall sank its free throws when it counted to sink Rice University men's basketball, 71-70, on Wednesday night at the Cam Henderson Center. The Thundering Herd connected on 10 of its final 11 attempts to hold off a determined Owl squad.
Rice trails in the all-time series, 7-2. The Owls are 0-3 at home against the Thundering Herd, as one win came in Huntington (Feb. 8, 2006) and the other came in the 2009 Conference USA Championship in Memphis.
Last season's lone meeting came down to the wire as the Owls dropped a 71-70 decision on the road.
Five Owls scored in double figures in the game, including Ramljak's 15 points, Max Guercy's 12 and Washington's 10.
Scouting the Thundering Herd (6-13, 0-4 C-USA)
Marshall ranks third in C-USA with 78.1 points per game. The team shoots 44.3 percent from the field and makes an average of 17.3 free throws per contest.
Top returnee Elijah Pittman has missed the last 10 games due to suspension, but averaged 21.4 points in nine games on the season.
Kareem Canty notches 16.7 points per game and leads the squad with 6.6 assists, which is also good for second in the league.
Marshall is 2-11 in its last 13 games after opening the campaign with a 4-2 mark. The team is 0-8 on the road and making its second trip to Texas for league play as the Herd opened the C-USA slate at UTSA and UTEP earlier this month.