Men’s Hoops Heads East to Face League Leader Middle Tennessee

Feb. 7, 2018

By: Tim Andrzejewski (tim.andrzejewski@rice.edu)

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The Last Meeting
Middle Tennessee State80
Rice77
January 5, 2017
Tudor Fieldhouse
Rice Drops Heartbreaker to Middle Tennessee, 80-77
Rice battled back from a 13-point second half deficit to tie the game, but in the end it was not enough, as the Owls fell 80-77 to Middle Tennessee Thursday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.


HOUSTON — Rice continues its road swing this Thursday, Feb. 8, when it travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to face league-leader Middle Tennessee. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be livestreamed by Stadium on Facebook.

Scouting Rice
• Rice is 5-18 on the year and 2-8 in Conference USA. The Owls have dropped two straight games after falling at North Texas last Saturday, 74-70.
• Junior guard Connor Cashaw is 10th in Conference USA in scoring (16.0) and ninth in rebounding (6.8). He is also averaging 3.0 assists.
• Sophomore guard Ako Adams is second on the team with 10.0 points and 2.5 boards. He also leads the team with 3.3 assists.
• Freshman Malik Osborne is second on the team in rebounding with 6.1 boards while adding 7.8 points.
• The Owls are averaging 67.7 points per game while allowing 74.9.
• Rice is connecting on just 41.3% from the floor and 32.7% from three. Its opponents are shooting 43.7% from the field and are being held to just 33.9% from beyond the arc.
• The Owls are outrebounding their opponents, 36.9-to-36.8.
• Head coach Scott Pera is in his first season leading the Rice men’s basketball program after serving its last three years as its Associate Head Coach.

Scouting Middle Tennessee
• Middle Tennessee enters tonight’s game with an 18-5 record and are leading Conference USA with a 10-1 record. The Blue Raiders, who are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches polls, have won five straight after defeating Charlotte last Saturday, 78-73.
• Senior forward Nick King is third in the league in scoring with 21.2 points and sixth in rebounding (8.2). He is also second on the team in assists (2.1).
• Senior guard Giddy Potts is second on the team with 12.4 points per game. He is eighth in C-USA in free throw percentage (.831) and ninth in both steals (1.6) and three-pointers made per game (2.2) while pulling down 4.0 rebounds.
• Redshirt senior forward Brandon Walters is averaging 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while leading the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 62.9% from the floor.
• Middle Tennessee is scoring 73.6 points per game while allowing just 65.0 points, second in Conference USA.
• MT is connecting on 45.9% from the field and 34.2% from three. Its opponents are connecting on just 42.4% from the floor and 30.1% from beyond the arc, which leads C-USA.
• The Blue Raiders are outrebounding its opponents, 36.7-to-30.0.
• Head coach Kermit Davis is in his 16th season at the helm of the Middle Tennessee men’s basketball program where he owns a 325-185 (.637) record. In 23 years as a head coach, Davis is 462-260 (.640).

Series History
• Rice and Middle Tennessee will meet for the eighth time.
• MT holds a 5-2 record in the series. Rice is looking for its first victory in Murfreesboro as the Blue Raiders have won the first three meetings.
• Middle Tennessee has won the last two games.
• Last year, the Owls fell 80-77 in Houston.

Next Up
• Rice closes its road swing this Saturday, Feb. 10, when it travels to Birmingham, Ala., to face UAB. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and the game will be livestreamed at CUSA.tv.
 

 

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