IRVING, Texas - Senior Seth Gearhart earned Conference USA Player of the Week honors for leading Rice University men's basketball to a pair of double-overtime wins, the league office announced on Monday. The forward averaged 21.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in 41.5 minutes played on the week as the Owls extended their winning streak to three games. Gearhart shares the award with UTSA's Keon Lewis and UAB's William Lee claimed Freshman of the Week honors.
On Saturday, Gearhart scored a career-high 32 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 three-pointers. He added 12-of-13 free throws and hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds to record his second-career double-double. In 48 minutes of action, he added two steals, an assist and a blocked shot.
Gearhart scored 19 of the team's 35 first-half points and toppled his previous career scoring high of 31 points, which he set just one week earlier in the Owls' (9-15, 6-6 C-USA) road win at Western Kentucky.
In Thursday's 71-68 win over Middle Tennessee, Gearhart battled foul trouble to score 10 points in 35 minutes of action. He connected on 2-of-9 shots from the field, 1-of-4 three-pointers and 5-of-8 free throws. He added five rebounds and an assist. The Wilsonville, Ore. native scored Rice's go-ahead point at the foul line in the final minute of the second overtime period after tying the game and putting the Owls in front at the foul line with just 17 seconds to play in the first OT frame.
On the week, Gearhart shot 50.0 percent from the field, 55.6 percent from downtown and 17-of-21 at the free throw line. Gearhart was also named the CollegeSportsMadness.com league player of the week.
Gearhart leads the team with 15.3 points per game on the season, including a 40.6 three-point percentage. He adds 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 33.3 minutes of action. He ranks fifth in the league in free throw percentage (81.7), sixth in three-point percentage and three-pointers per game (2.17), 10th in C-USA in scoring and 12th in defensive rebounds per game (4.21). He is the only C-USA player to record two 30-point performances in league play this season.
Rice looks to extend its winning streak as the team heads out for a two-game road trip, beginning on Thursday at FIU. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and the contest will be televised on American Sports Network.