Jan. 29, 2013
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HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball returns home for a two-game homestand beginning with local rival Houston on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse
The Owls (4-15, 0-5 C-USA) received several outstanding individual performances on their recent two-game conference road trip, highlighted by Seth Gearhart and Max Guercy.
Gearhart erupted for 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting at Tulane. Additionally, the sophomore notched seven rebounds and two assists while sinking 4-of-6 three-pointers.
Guercy earned his second Conference USA Freshman of the Week nod after averaging 6.0 assists per game to accompany 10.5 points on the road. In 39 minutes at Tulane, the guard passed out six assists without a single turnover.
Among the promotions for Wednesday's game are Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night and the Owl Club Garage Sale.
From 6-7 p.m. in The Roost, game-worn uniforms from all Rice Athletics teams will be on sale to support the Owl Club and future student-athletes.
Rice faculty and staff are also invited to enjoy two free tickets and a tailgate (with vouchers available at the Housing and Dining office) prior to the 7 p.m. tipoff. The tailgate opens at 5 p.m. near the Tudor Fieldhouse main entrance with food and drinks and will also feature a chance to win a $500 airline ticket.
Scouting the Cougars (13-6, 2-4)
Houston snapped a four-game Conference USA skid on Saturday with a 66-61 win over visiting UAB.
Three players average double-figure points for the Cougars, led by Joseph Young's 16.8 scoring average. TaShawn Thomas adds 15.8 points per game and Danuel House notches an average of 13.4.
Houston is 3-3 on the road with all three wins coming in non-conference play. The Cougars haul in a conference-leading 39.8 rebounds per game, led by Thomas' 9.9 per game, which ranks the sophomore second in C-USA.
Houston averages 6.3 three-pointers per game with 36.3 percent accuracy. Its 76.9 scoring average is the best in the league.
Houston holds a 58-17 advantage in the series, though Rice has won three of the last four meetings, including a sweep in 2010-11 and a road win last season.
Tamir Jackson has faced the Cougars six times in his career with a 12.3 scoring average and 4.7 assists per game. He has notched five or more assists in each of his last four games against Houston. In six games, he shoots 45.5 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from downtown.
Julian DeBose played in both meetings last season, sinking 6-of-8 shots for a 7.0 scoring average. He added 1.0 rebounds and an assist. Gearhart faced the Cougars once last year and tallied an assist.
With the exception of Rice's 72-57 win on March 5, 2011, four of the last five meetings have been decided by single digits.
Guercy earned Conference USA Freshman of the Week honors on Jan. 7 after scoring 19 points and dishing out five assists at Harvard two days earlier. He repeated the honor earlier this week on Jan. 28 after averaging 6.0 assists on the week at UCF and Tulane.
In those two road games, he averaged 10.5 points per game and dished out 6.0 assists with just two total turnovers for the Owls.
Looking ahead, Rice hosts East Carolina on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the teams' only regular season meeting.