Feb. 15, 2013
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Rice University men's basketball continues on the road with a Saturday contest at UAB. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bartow Arena.
The Owls (5-19, 1-9 C-USA) opened the two-game trip on Wednesday in a nail-biting 71-70 setback at Marshall. Five Rice players scored in double figures and the lead changed hands 21 times before the Thundering Herd found unlikely success at the foul line to secure the one-point win.
Tamir Jackson notched 16 points and five assists, while Austin Ramljak added seven rebounds and Keith Washington chipped in 10 points and five assists of his own off the bench.
Saturday's game concludes a stretch in which three of Rice's last four games have been on the road.
Scouting the Blazers (11-14, 3-7)
UAB is 9-3 at home on the season, but all three setbacks have come against Conference USA opposition.
Rod Rucker leads the team with 14.0 points per game on 49.3 percent shooting. He also leads the team and ranks among the league leaders with an 8.2 rebounding average. Jordan Swing also scores in double figures with 13.6 points and has made a team-leading 47 three-pointers.
The Blazers lost a 74-61 decision at East Carolina on Wednesday despite scoring 40 points in the paint and forcing 14 turnovers.
Preston Purifoy leads C-USA in free throw shooting at 91.5 percent and UAB ranks second in the league as a team at a 73.0 clip.
UAB is the lone Conference USA squad to hold a perfect record against Rice, at 8-0.
The Owls came extremely close to topping the Blazers last season in a 61-60 overtime setback at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Connor Frizzelle led the Owls with 17 points in last season's meeting while Jackson added four points and two boards.
In three career games, Jackson averages 8.7 points and 2.3 rebounds against UAB.
Rice is 0-4 on the road against UAB, with the last meeting in Birmingham being decided by a close 74-68 margin in 2011.
Rice has a one-week break before beginning the final stretch of the regular season on Feb. 23 against Tulane.
It will be the second meeting of the season with each of Rice's final five opponents before next month's Conference USA Championship.