March 5, 2013
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HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men’s basketball enters the final week of the regular season with a pair of games in the Bayou City, beginning with Wednesday’s rivalry matchup at Houston. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Owls (5-23, 1-13) rallied to top the Cougars in the season’s first meeting behind 21 points from Max Guercy and 18 from Tamir Jackson.
Rice hosted UTEP on Saturday in a 67-56 setback. Jackson scored 20 points in the outing, which was his 125th game in the Blue and Gray. It moved him into sole possession of second place all-time in games played at Rice.
Wednesday is the team’s final road game of the season before the Owls host Tulsa on Saturday in the regular season finale. Rice will honor Jackson prior to his final home game, which is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Scouting the Cougars
Houston ran past Marshall, 103-76, on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak. Three players scored at least 20 points in the win, led by TaShawn Thomas’ 25 points and 14 rebounds.
The Cougars shot nearly 60 percent in the game and made 8-of-15 three-pointers, with 23 points coming off of 15 Thundering Herd turnovers.
On the season, Joseph Young leads the team with 18.0 points per game and a 43.8 percent three-point mark.
Thomas and Danuel House also score in double figures for Houston, which boasts the highest-scoring offense in Conference USA at 77.8 points per game.
Houston’s 38.7 rebounds per game are also the most in the league. The Cougars are 12-4 at home this season, including a 4-3 mark in C-USA action.
Houston holds a 58-18 advantage in the series, though Rice has won three of the last four meetings, including a sweep in 2010-11 and a road win last season.
Aside from a pair of recent Rice double-digit wins, four of the last six meetings have been decided by single digits.
Jackson averages 13.1 points and 4.4 assists in seven meetings with the Cougars.
Guercy chipped in 21 points in his first meeting with Houston, while Austin Ramljak, Keith Washington and Ross Wilson added eight points each in their initial game against the crosstown rival.
Five-Time Freshman of the Week
Guercy continued to add to his trophy case this week with his fifth Freshman of the Week award on Monday. He averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals in two games to earn the award for the fourth time in the last six weeks.
The guard notched 19 points, five steals and three rebounds against Tulane to earn the distinction for a fourth time in 16 weeks.
Guercy’s first award came on Jan. 7 after he scored 19 points and dished out five assists at Harvard two days earlier. He won the honor three weeks later on Jan. 28 after averaging 6.0 assists on the week at UCF and Tulane. In those two road games, he averaged 10.5 points per game and dished out 6.0 assists with just two total turnovers for the Owls.
Guercy earned his third weekly award after scoring 21 points in Rice’s win over Houston and then adding nine points and five assists against East Carolina.
Rice closes out the regular season at home on Saturday against Tulsa. The Owls will honor Jackson, the team’s lone senior, in his final home game in the Blue and Gray prior to the 7 p.m. tipoff.
The Owls then turn their attention to next week’s Conference USA Championship in Tulsa, beginning on Wednesday. The bracket and schedule will be released on Saturday evening.