Rice Faces High-Octane Oakland in CIT Quarters
Owls to chase second, postseason road win Tuesday
March 19, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Rice will look to slow down the nation's leading scorer and one of Division I basketball's most proficient offenses when the Owls play Oakland Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Tip-off for Tuesday's game is set for 6 p.m. Central Time at Oakland's Athletics Center O'rena in suburban Detroit. The game can be heard locally on 1560 The Game in Houston and the audio broadcast will be streamed through RiceOwls.com. Fans can also watch the video feed of the game by going to the CIT's web site, 2012cit.com.
Oakland, 19-15, is led by senior guard Reggie Hamilton who leads the nation with a 26.1 scoring average. Hamilton has converted on 114-of-265 three-point attempts and his 3.3 three-pointers per game ranks fourth nationally. He has also sank 241-of-274 free throws (.880) and averages better than five assists per game.
Hamilton leads an Oakland offense which ranks seventh nationally in scoring (79.9 ppg) and third in three-point field goals made (9.4 pg).
Oakland teammate Travis Bader has also made better than 100 three-point field goals this season and his 3.47 treys per game ranks third nationally. Bader is 118-of-296 (39.9 percent) from behind the arc.
Hamilton and Bader have combined for more three-point field goals (232) than Rice has made as a team (188).
While Oakland has put up impressive offense numbers, the Grizzlies have also given up their share of offense.
Opponents are averaging 78.1 points and shooting 48.6 percent from the field against Oakland. In nonconference losses this season, opponents have outscored the Golden Grizzlies by better than an 11-point margin. And for the year, opponents have averaged 84 points in wins against Oakland.
With a 74-68 win over Drake on Saturday, Rice won two postseason tournament games in the same season for the first time in the history of the program. The Owls improved to 19-15 with the win and go for their first 20-win season on Tuesday.
Rice junior forward Arsalan Kazemi has registered double-figure points or rebounds in the last six games including both wins in the CIT.
He scored seven points and had 12 rebounds and according to Rice head coach Ben Braun, grabbed every significant rebound in the Owls' 68-63 win over Louisiana-Lafayette to begin the tournament. In addition to 11 points, he had 13 defensive boards in the win over a Drake team which did not score a second-chance point.
For the year, Kazemi is now averaging 12.2 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field. His 12.2 rebounding average ranks 12th nationally and his 18 double-doubles this season ranks 10th. He is also won of the nation's leaders with 68 steals this season.
Rice freshman point guard Dylan Ennis is averaging 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and four assists in two CIT games.
The Owls' freshmen class matched a season high playing a combined 98 minutes in the win over Drake. Ahmad Ibrahim scored 11 points while Jarelle Reischel finished with 10. Julian DeBose has made his first two starts since mid-December and has had four steals in each of the Owls' CIT wins, a career high.
The winner of Tuesday's game will advance to play in the CIT's semifinal round either Friday or Saturday against an opponent and at a site to be determined. The other three quarterfinal games will be played on Wednesday - Robert Morris (26-10) at Fairfield (21-14), Mercer (24-11) at Old Dominion (22-13) and Loyola Marymount (21-12) at Utah State (19-15).