Men’s Hoops Opens C-USA Tournament against Southern Miss

March 7, 2017

By: Tim Andrzejewski (

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The Last Meeting
Southern Miss71  
February 23, 2017
Tudor Fieldhouse
Evans’ Layup Gives Rice 72-71 Overtime Victory over Southern Miss
Marcus Evans’ layup with 1.9 seconds left gave Rice its first lead of overtime and the 72-71 victory over Southern Miss, Thursday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.

HOUSTON — No. 5 seed Rice will travel to Birmingham, Ala., for the MetroPCS Conference USA Tournament. The Owls begin play this Wednesday, Mar. 8, when they face 12th-seed Southern Miss. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be live-streamed at

Conference USA Tournament Notes
• Rice will play Southern Miss in the first round of the 2017 Conference USA Tournament. It will be the second meeting between the teams in tournament play. Rice fell to USM, 59-50, in the first round of the 20008 tournament.
• Rice owns an all-time record of 5-11 in in the C-USA Tournament since joining Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 season.
• The Owls made their only semifinals appearance in 2007.
• Rice will enter the tournament as the fifth-seed, its highest-ever seed in the tournament.

Scouting Rice
• Rice enters the MetroPCS Conference USA Tournament with a 21-10 record and finished 11-7 in Conference USA. The Owls have won eight of their last 10 games despite falling, 79-72, at WKU last Saturday in their regular season finale.
• Sophomore guard Marcus Evans is third in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game. He is also fifth in three-point field goals made per game (2.4) and seventh in assists (3.9).
• Redshirt junior guard/forward Egor Koulechov is averaging 18.5 points, good for fourth-place in C-USA. He leads the league in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 47.1% from beyond the arc. The Volgograd, Russia native is also third in the league in rebounding (8.9), sixth in three-point field goals made per game (2.3), seventh in minutes played (34.3) and eighth in free throw percentage (.796).
• Redshirt junior guard Marcus Jackson is averaging 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 rebounds and sophomore guard Connor Cashaw is averaging 7.8 points and is second on the team with 5.3 rebounds.
• The Owls are second in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 81.5 points per game while allowing 75.1.
• Rice is connecting on 46.4% from the floor while leading the league in three-point field goal percentage (38.8%). It is allowing 43.8% from the floor and 33.3% from three.
• Rice is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 3.7 boards per game, 38.2-to-34.5.
• 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 45-50 (.474) record on South Main and a 242-126 (.658) record in 12 years as a head coach.

Scouting Southern Miss
• Southern Miss enters the Conference USA Tournament with a 9-21 record, 6-12 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles dropped their season finale last Saturday, 93-65, to Louisiana Tech.
• Sophomore guard Cortez Edwards is second on the team with 10.7 points. He is fifth in the league in steals (1.4), ninth in assists (3.5) and 10th in minutes played (32.6).
• USM is last in the league in scoring at just 62.6 points per game while allowing 71.8.
• The Golden Eagles are connecting on just 39.8% from the floor and 30.6% from three while allowing 443.9% from the field and 36.6% from beyond the arc.
• Southern Miss is also being outrebounded, 36.5-to-34.5.
• Head coach Doc Sadler is in his first season at the helm of the Southern Miss men’s basketball program where he owns a 20-62 (.244) record. In 15 years as a head coach, he is 169-169 (.500).

Series History
• Rice and Southern Miss will meet for the third time this year and the 18th time overall.
• Rice holds has won five straight in the series and holds a 9-8 record in the series.
• The Owls swept the season series, winning 61-58 in Hattiesburg and taking a 72-71 overtime victory in Houston.
• This will be just the second time that the teams will face off in the Conference USA Tournament. Rice dropped a 59-50 decision in the first round of the 2008 tournament.
• Head coach Mike Rhoades is looking to stay perfect against the Golden Eagles, as he has won the previous five meetings.

Next Up
• With a victory, Rice will face fourth-seeded UTEP on Thursday, Mar. 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT and will be televised by ASN.




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