By: Tim Andrzejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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HOUSTON -- Rice begins a three-game homestand this Saturday, January 30, when it hosts in-state rival North Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
Evans' 26 Points Not Enough as Rice Falls at North Texas
Marcus Evans scored a game-high 26 points, but it was not enough as Rice fell, 85-74, at North Texas, Saturday afternoon at the Super Pit.
Rice and North Texas will meet for the second time this year and the 16th time overall.
North Texas holds an 12-4 advantage overall, including five of the last six.
The Mean Green won the previous meeting, 85-74, on January 9 in Denton.
In games played in Houston, Rice is just 2-4.
Rice enters today's game with a 6-14 record and is 1-6 in Conference USA. The Owls dropped three straight games after falling at Middle Tennessee, 87-73, last Saturday.
Freshman Marcus Evans is second in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game. He also leads the league in steals (2.0) and is ninth in minutes played (32.7). Evans is also pulling down 4.1 rebounds per game.
Redshirt sophomore Egor Koulechov is eighth in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.6 points while leading the team with 7.1 rebounds, which is good for 10th in the conference. He is third in C-USA in free throw percentage (.860), third in minutes played (33.8) and fourth in three-pointers made (2.5).
Freshman Marquez Letcher-Ellis is third on the team with 10.3 points and second with 5.0 rebounds. He is sixth in C-USA with 1.2 blocks and is ninth in field goal percentage, connecting on 53.3% from the field.
Senior Max Guercy is averaging 8.3 points. He leads the league in free throw percentage (.895), is third in assists (5.4) and fifth in minutes played (33.3).
Rice is averaging 75.1 points per game while allowing 80.4.
The Owls are connecting on 43.2% from the field and just 30.0% from the three-point line while allowing 48.4% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the arc.
Rice leads Conference USA in free throw percentage, connecting on 72.9% and is third in steals (6.9).
Scouting North Texas
North Texas enters the game with a 7-13 record. The Mean Green are 2-5 in Conference USA and have lost their last four games after falling at UAB, 78-57, last Saturday.
Sophomore forward Jeremy Combs leads the team with 15.0 points. He is second in C-USA in rebounding (10.6) and sixth in field goal percentage (.564).
Junior guard J'Mychal Reese is second on the team with 14.6 points per game. He is sixth in the league in minutes played (33.2) and seventh in assists (4.1).
Junior guard Deckie Johnson is averaging 14.3 points. He is seventh in the conference in three-pointers made (2.2) and eighth in minutes played (32.7).
Freshman center Rickey Brice, Jr. is fourth in C-USA in blocks (1.4) and freshman guard Ja'Michael Brown is fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.412) and 10th in steals (1.3).
North Texas is averaging 75.9 points per game while allowing 79.4.
The Mean Green are connecting on 46.6% from the field and 33.0% from three while allowing 45.2% from the floor and 35.8% from three.
Tony Benford is in his fourth season at the helm of the North Texas basketball program, where he has a 49-66 (.426) record.
Rice to Honor the 1970 Southwest Conference Champions
At halftime of the North Texas game, Rice will honor the 1970 Southwest Conference Championship team.
The 1970 team finished 14-11 overall and 10-4 in the SWC and were the last Rice team to reach the NCAA Tournament.
The team earned victories over Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU and TCU before falling to New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament.
It was led by All-Southwest Conference selection Gary Reist and fellow 1,000-point scorer Tom Myer.
Rice continues its homestand next Thursday, Feb. 4, when it hosts Louisiana Tech. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.