El Paso, Texas
Comeback Falls Short as Rice Drops C-USA Opener at UTEP
Rice came back from 13 points to take the lead in the second half, but in the end, their comeback attempt fell short, as it fell, 61-60, at UTEP Friday night in both team's Conference USA opener.
HOUSTON — Rice looks to keep its winning streak alive this Saturday, Feb. 18, when it hosts UTEP. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT and will be live-streamed at CUSA.tv.
• Rice enters Saturday night’s game with an 18-8 record, 8-5 in Conference USA. The Owls have won five straight games and six of their last seven after defeating UTSA Thursday night, 80-68.
• Sophomore guard Marcus Evans is third in the conference in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game. He is also third in three-point field goals made per game (2.5), sixth in assists (4.3) and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.391).
• Redshirt junior guard/forward Egor Koulechov is averaging 18.7 points, good for fifth-place in C-USA. He leads the league in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 49.6% from beyond the arc. The Volgograd, Russia native is also third in the league in free throw percentage (.821), fourth in rebounding (8.7), tied for sixth in three-point field goals made per game (2.3) and eighth in minutes played (33.5).
• Redshirt junior guard Marcus Jackson is averaging 12.5 points, 2.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds and sophomore guard Connor Cashaw is averaging 8.0 points and is second on the team with 5.5 rebounds.
• The Owls are second in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 82.1 points per game while allowing 74.2.
• Rice is second in C-USA in field goal percentage (47.5%) while leading the league in three-point field goal percentage (39.9%). It is allowing 43.0% from the floor and a conference-low 31.7% from three.
• Rice is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 4.5 boards per game, 38.4-to-33.8.
• The Owls are also second in the league with 9.3 three-pointers made per game.
• Head coach Mike Rhoades is in his third season at the helm of the Rice basketball program. He owns a 42-48 (.467) record on South Main and a 239-124 (.658) record in 12 years as a head coach.
• UTSA enters Saturday night’s contest with a 10-15 record, 8-5 in Conference USA. The Miners have won two straight and eight of their last 19 games after defeating North Texas in overtime on Thursday, 77-71.
• Junior guard Omega Harris is eighth in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game. He is also second in minutes played (36.2), eighth in free throw percentage (.785) and tied for 10th in steals (1.3).
• Senior guard Dominic Artis is second on the team in scoring with 15.1 points per game while leading the squad with 6.4 rebounds. He leads the league in minutes played (36.5) and is second in assists (5.9) and steals (2.0).
• Junior center Matt Willms is scoring 11.7 points and grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game. He leads the league in field goal percentage (.607) and is tied for 10th in blocked shots (1.0).
• UTEP is scoring 68.4 points per game while allowing 68.5.
• The Miners are connecting on 46.0% from the field and 33.0% from three while allowing 42.4% from the floor and 33.6% from three.
• UTEP is pulling down 34.7 rebounds per game and giving up 34.7.
• Head coach Tim Floyd is in his seventh season at the helm of the UTEP men’s basketball program where he owns a 132-92 (.589) record. In 23 years as a head coach, he is 460-272 (.628).
• Rice and UTEP will meet for the 32nd time with UTEP holding a 30-11 advantage.
• UTEP has won 16 of the last 20 meetings, including the last six.
• The series dates back to 1997 with all 30 meetings coming while the teams were members of the Western Athletic Conference and Conference USA.
• In games played in Houston, the Owls hold a 7-6 lead but have lost the last two and five of the last seven.
• Rice continues its homestand next Thursday, Feb. 23, when it hosts Southern Miss. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be live-streamed at CUSA.tv.