Feb. 7, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball seeks a third-straight home win on Saturday as it welcomes Tulsa to Tudor Fieldhouse for a 3 p.m. contest on CSS. The game will also air locally on CSN Houston.
Sean Obi took over the team scoring lead at 12.0 points per game following his stellar outing on Thursday against the Mean Green.
The freshman leads Conference USA in rebounding with 9.8 boards per game and ranks second with a 61.1 field goal percentage. His nine double-doubles are the third most in the league this season.
Saturday's game is the team's last at home for nearly three weeks as the squad embarks on a three-game road swing next weekend.
Last Time Out
Rice led North Texas from its first possession to the end of the game in a 75-70 victory.
The Owls shot out to a 19-3 lead early in the game and fended off a late rally with a 10-of-14 mark at the foul line down the stretch.
Obi paced the Owls with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting as well as 13 rebounds.
Three other Rice players tallied double-figure points, including Marcus Jackson's 13, 12 from Austin Ramljak and Keith Washington's 11. Jackson matched a season high with seven assists and Seth Gearhart swiped five steals.
Rice shot 46.7 percent from the field and 6-of-16 from downtown in the win.
Jackson Shines In Regular Season Finale
In his final home game, senior Tamir Jackson scored 24 second-half points and a career-high 30 in the game to rally Rice University men's basketball back from a 20-point deficit before an eventual 77-71 setback against Tulsa at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Series History (Tulsa leads, 27-6)
Tulsa took both games from the Owls last season, extending its run to 14-straight wins in the series.
Ramljak averages 10.5 points in two games against the Golden Hurricane, while Washington notches 4.0 assists per contest in a pair of meetings.
On Senior Day last season, Tamir Jackson notched 30 points in his final game at Tudor Fieldhouse, but the Owls fell short in a 77-71 setback on the last day of the regular season.
Ramljak knocked down five three-pointers for 15 points in the game as well, but Tulsa shot 52 percent from the floor to come away with a win.
Scouting the Golden Hurricane (10-12, 5-3 C-USA)
Tulsa had won six of its last eight games before a hard-fought 66-61 setback at Louisiana Tech on Thursday.
James Woodard leads the team with 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. As a team, Tulsa shoots 43.7 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Tulsa is just 1-7 in road games on the season, with the lone win coming at Marshall.
Head coach Danny Manning's team holds a +2.0 turnover margin on the season, but is out-rebounded by an average of 1.4 boards per contest.
Rashad Smith (12.4) and Shaquille Harrison (10.3) also score in double figures for Tulsa.
Rice By The Numbers
9 Obi notched his ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds in Thursday's win over North Texas. He ranks third in C-USA in the category.
20 Obi has led Rice in rebounding in 20 of the team's 22 games this season, including 12 of the last 13. His 9.8 rebounds per game lead C-USA. The freshman stands first in defensive rebounds and 11th on the offensive glass.
28 Ramljak has made at least one three-pointer in 28-straight games, dating back to last season. It is already the third-longest streak in program history, trailing only Adam Peakes' 39 (1993-94) and Shawn Tyndell's 29 (2000-01).
63.7 Rice tallies assists on 63.7 percent of its field goals made, the highest rate in Conference USA. UTEP ranks second at 58.5 percent.
68 Ramljak has made 68 three-pointers on the season, 3.09 per game. He ranks 23rd nationally in the stat and stands eighth on Rice's single-season list. Robert Johnson set the Rice record with 83 in 1998-99. Ramljak set Rice's junior class record with 72 treys a year ago.
75 Obi needs 75 rebounds in the final seven games (10.7 rpg) to match Quentin Richardson's C-USA freshman record of 170 rebounds in league play. Rice's rookie has pulled down 95 boards in nine league games (9.55 rpg) so far.
100 Rice plays its 100th season of basketball in 2013-14. The Owls first stepped on the court on January 16, 1915 for a 64-16 victory over the Galveston YMCA, the first of nine games that year.
615 Head coach Ben Braun has 615 career wins, ranking him 12th among active NCAA Division I coaches.