Nov. 14, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Following a two-game homestand to start the season, Rice University men's basketball plays its first road game of the season when the Owls face off with Texas A&M on Friday night at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by FSN and carried online by ESPN3.com.
The Owls (1-1) split their first two games at home, including a one-point setback at the hands of Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday evening.
Neither team led by more than two points in the final seven minutes of regulation. Freshman Marcus Jackson sank a go-ahead three-pointer with 23 seconds on the clock, but SLU responded with the game-winner with just five ticks remaining for the 63-62 win.
Jackson led the Owls with 12 points and four assists in the game. Sean Obi added 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting with a team-high six rebounds.
Through just two games, Rice's freshman class is already making a statement with several standout performances among the group.
In two starts in the post, Obi averages 9.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game with an 80.0 percent shooting mark. The field goal percentage is tied for the fourth-best mark in Conference USA. Nationally, it is tied for the fifth-best mark among NCAA Division I freshmen.
Jackson has come off the bench in both games to score 12 points in each. He has led Rice in assists in each game and boasts a stellar 9.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. That mark is the 10th-best in the nation and second among all freshmen.
Rice is shooting 70.4 percent at the foul line this season, led by Max Guercy's 21-for-26 mark through two games. As a freshman, the guard shot 80.5 percent from the line and is well on his way to duplicating that success.
Last season, Guercy scored 21 percent of his points at the line, but 80 percent of his scoring has come from free throws so far in 2013-14. As a team, the Owls get 29 percent of their points at the charity stripe, compared to 24.4 percent for opponents.
Scouting the Aggies (2-0)
Texas A&M is in the midst of a six-game homestand to open the season. The Aggies defeated Buffalo and Mississippi Valley State by 24 points each in their first two games.
Five players average double-figure points for Texas A&M, led by Kourtney Roberson's 19.5 scoring average to accompany 10.5 rebounds per game.
The Aggies shoot 53.6 percent from the field and rank among the Southeastern Conference leaders with 86.5 points per game.
College Station, Texas
Rice Grabs Road Win From Aggies
With a 65-58 win over Texas A&M on Thursday in Reed Arena, Rice University halted a pair of lengthy winning streaks the Aggies enjoyed.
Series History (Texas A&M leads, 106-82)
Rice claimed the last meeting, 65-58, in College Station on Dec. 22, 2011.
2013 Rice graduate Tamir Jackson led the Owls with 13 points in the game with three assists and a pair of three-pointers.
Rice shot 47.7 percent in the game while holding Texas A&M to a 39.0 percent clip. Rice also owned a 37-28 advantage on the glass.
Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy served as an assistant on head coach Ben Braun's staff at Cal in 1996-97. That team posted a 23-9 record and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
The game is the first of two-straight on the road for Rice, as the Owls take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi next Wednesday.
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