HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball closes out its brief two-game home stand and seeks a third-straight win as league-leading Louisiana Tech visits on Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest.
On Thursday night, Rice rallied back from a 10-point deficit with less than eight minutes to play to claim a 58-56 win over Southern Miss. Marcus Jackson sank the game-winning free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining in regulation, giving the sophomore 19 points in the game, including a 5-of-8 mark from downtown.
The Owls (6-11, 3-3 C-USA) made seven of their first nine three-point attempts to jump out to an early lead. The squad finished 11-of-26 from beyond the arc and dished out 17 assists on 20 field goals. Max Guercy passed around eight of the assists, while Seth Gearhart added 16 points and six rebounds.
Rice was dominant on the glass with a 32-23 rebounding advantage, including 24-of-29 possible defensive rebounds.
Scouting the Bulldogs (14-5, 5-1 C-USA)
Louisiana Tech suffered its first Conference USA setback of the season on Thursday night, a 73-66 road loss at North Texas.
The Bulldogs rallied back from a 21-point halftime hole to within one point of the Mean Green, but were unable to get over the hump.
Alex Hamilton scored 27 points in the contest to increase his scoring average to 16.8 points per game. Raheem Appleby leads the squad and ranks third in C-USA with 17.0 points per game.
Kenneth Smith paces the league and ranks third nationally with 7.42 assists per contest.
The Owls have plenty planned for fans in attendance on Saturday evening, including India Heritage Night, Rally Towels free to the first 1,500 fans from game sponsor AT&T and the much-anticipated halftime Baby Race.
Following the men's basketball alumni game in the afternoon, India Heritage Night will begin to take over the Tudor Fieldhouse lobby with booths that include photo opportunities, information about Indian culture as well as costumes and mehendi.
There will be dhol performances and on-court dance performances, including Rice Bhangra and NAACH, leading up to the 7 p.m. tip-off as well. Participants will have a meet and greet with current Rice students and professors of Indian Heritage.
Rice basketball alumni in attendance will also be recognized at the game.