Feb. 11, 2011
The last time Rice did not play a midweek game, the Owls turned the extra work on the practice court into a 57-50 road win at UCF. This week Rice enjoyed its second midweek open date complete with a day off on Wednesday.
Following the day off, the Owls were back on the court Thursday and Friday, preparing for Conference USA front-runner UAB. Rice takes on the Blazers Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in Bartow Arena.
Saturday's game will be broadcast locally in Houston by ESPN 97.5 as well as be available through RiceOwls.com. The game will be televised by CSS on Comcast Cable in Houston and throughout the South.
The Owls will be looking for their third straight road victory on Saturday. Following the UCF game, Rice beat Tulane in New Orleans last week, 71-61. Rice goes into the game with an 11-12 overall record and is 3-6 in Conference USA play.
UAB grabbed a 64-48 road win at Marshall earlier this week. The victory was the Blazers' second straight and fourth in their last five games. The Blazers have a 17-6 overall record and are tied for second in C-USA with a 7-3 league mark.
UAB is coming off back-to-back road games in which the team gave up 87 total points in victories at Tulane (47-39) and Marshall.
Averaging 15.8 points per game and 11.9 rebounds, Rice sophomore forward Arsalan Kazemi is the only player in Conference USA to average a double-double. However, he may soon have company. UAB junior center Cameron Moore, a native of San Antonio, is averaging 15.6 points and 9.8 rebounds. Moore heads into Saturday's game four total rebounds shy of averaging a double-double.
Blazer senior guard Jamarr Sanders is averaging 17.8 points per game to lead UAB in scoring. Sanders is shooting 44 percent from the field and has knocked down 61of-164 three-point attempts. By better than two assists per game, UAB senior guard Aaron Johnson leads C-USA in the statistical category. Johnson has 170 of the Blazers' 311 total assists. He is averaging 7.4 assists per game.
Kazemi has tallied 273 total rebounds this season and is on the brink of just the seventh, 300-rebound season in Rice program history. Kazemi has gone to the free throw line 200 times now, converting 74 percent of his shots at the charity stripe. He has attempted six more free throws than field goals this season.
Connor Frizzelle has raised his scoring average to 10.9 points per game in recent weeks. The junior guard leads the Owls in scoring in conference games, averaging 13.9 points in C-USA play. Sophomore guard Tamir Jackson is averaging 13 points per game and ranks among the Top 10 in the league in assists with 81 for the year (3.5 pg).
Following Saturday's game at UAB, the Owls continue the road stand next Wednesday at Marshall. The Thundering Herd, 15-9 and 3-6, play at East Carolina on Saturday.
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