March 5, 2014
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HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball plays its final home game to close out the regular season when it hosts Louisiana Tech on Thursday evening. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The contest marks the final home game for a pair of seniors: Bahrom Firozgary and Austin Ramljak. The pair missed last Saturday's game with injuries but both are both optimistic about their returns to action. They will be honored in a ceremony prior to tip-off.
Rice (7-21, 2-13 C-USA) looks for revenge on the Bulldogs, as it marks the first repeat opponent of the season. LT claimed an 85-46 win over the Owls in the first meeting last month in Ruston.
Following the game, the Owls travel west to the Conference USA Championship in El Paso. Rice's first round game is set for Tuesday afternoon, with the time and opponent to be announced late Thursday night.
Last Time Out
Rice dressed out just nine players at Middle Tennessee on Saturday in an eventual 65-41 setback.
The Blue Raiders flustered the Owls early and often, causing 11 first-half turnovers. Rice settled down to commit just two miscues after the intermission.
Despite facing constant double teams in the post, Rice out-scored MT in the paint, 16-14.
Max Guercy led the visitors with nine points while Ross Wilson chipped in seven rebounds.
Series History (Louisiana Tech leads, 8-5)
The Last Meeting
February 15, 2014
Rice had trouble finding an answer to Louisiana Tech's pressure defense earlier this season in an 85-46 setback.
The Owls suffered a season-high 23 turnovers in the game.
Rice shot 5-of-10 on three-pointers in the second half and improved its overall shooting to 40 percent in the frame, but it wasn't enough to keep up Louisiana Tech's 48.3 field goal clip in the game and 8-of-25 mark from downtown.
Guercy and Ramljak scored nine points apiece to lead the Owls in the contest.
The loss snapped Rice's two-game winning streak against LT in the 2004-05 season as WAC rivals.
Scouting the Bulldogs (24-6, 12-3 C-USA)
LA Tech has won three-straight games heading into the regular season finale and stands in a four-way tie for first place in the league.
A win on Thursday would give the Bulldogs at least a share of the regular season league title.
Alex Hamilton leads the squad with 14.6 points per game. The Bulldogs lead C-USA with an 81.7 scoring average.
In last Saturday's win over UAB, Chris Anderson led the team with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting while Kenyon McNeail came off the bench to add 14 points and four three-pointers. LT scored 16 points off of 16 Blazer turnovers but UAB held a 38-18 advantage on points in the paint.