Feb. 1, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men’s basketball closes out a two-game homestand as East Carolina visits Tudor Fieldhouse in the teams’ lone meeting of the regular season. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Owls (5-15, 1-5 C-USA) rallied back from 15 points down to defeat cross-town rival Houston on Wednesday night. Rice shot a stellar 65.2 percent in the second half behind 21 points from Max Guercy and 18 more from Tamir Jackson.
It was the team’s fourth win in the last five meetings with the Cougars, as Rice turned the ball over a season-low four times on the night.
The game is one of three February home games for the Owls, as they play four out of the seven contests on the road.
Rice is hosting a 2012 Camper Reunion. All 2012 campers can contact Steven in the Rice Ticket Office at 713-348-8252 to reserve a free ticket for the game.
Scouting the Pirates (12-8, 3-4)
East Carolina is coming off an 0-2 homestand as the team fell by single digits to both UTEP and Memphis.
The Pirates’ last three games have been decided by a combined 14 points, including a 91-85 win at UAB in the team’s lone C-USA road victory this season.
Maurice Kemp leads the team and ranks second in the league in scoring with 17.1 points per game on 48.4 percent shooting. He adds 7.8 rebounds and a block per game. Miguel Paul ranks second in C-USA with 6.0 assists per game in addition to 13.3 points. Robert Sampson’s 9.2 rebounds per game are good for fifth in the conference.
ECU features the league’s highest-powered offense at 77.2 points per game, but its defense ranks 11th in scoring with 70.9 points allowed.
East Carolina holds a narrow 7-5 advantage after topping Rice in last season’s Conference USA Tournament. It was the fourth win in a row for the Pirates, dating back to 2010.
Rice is 3-3 in home games against ECU, but has dropped two-straight at home in the series.
In five career games, Jackson averages 16.6 points on 49.1 percent shooting and 7-of-15 three-pointers. Julian DeBose faced the Pirates twice last year, tallying 4.0 points per game.
A Fresh Start
Since entering the starting lineup in the Jan.12 game at Tulsa, junior Austin Ramljak has seen an increase in production on the offensive end.
Ramljak scored 8.1 points per game in 14 games coming off the bench. He shot 38.3 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from downtown.
In six games as a starter, the junior tallies 10.3 points on 39.6 percent shooting and a 37.2 mark from deep.
|Rice's stats with Ramljak:||Starting||Off the Bench|
|Games with 7+ 3FG||6||7|
|Points per Game||68.2||57.8|
|3FG per Game||9.3||7.0|
Rice heads to UTEP on Wednesday for a quick one-game road trip. The Owls play three of their next four games away from Tudor Fieldhouse.