Nov. 19, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Rice University men’s basketball closes out its two-game road swing as it visits Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the first-ever road game against the Islanders. Rice won two home games against TAMU-CC in the 1970s and again two seasons ago. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Rice (1-2) is coming off of a pair of nail-biters as the Owls fell by one point to Southeastern Louisiana last Tuesday and then by three points at Texas A&M on Friday. In both games, the winning basket came with less than seven seconds remaining in regulation.
Rice nearly knocked off Texas A&M on the road for the second time in three seasons in a 68-65 setback at Reed Arena on Saturday. Max Guercy led the Owls with 17 points and a career-high nine assists and three other starters scored in double figures, but the Aggies broke a tie with the game-winning three-pointer with just six seconds remaining in regulation.
Sean Obi paced Rice with nine rebounds to accompany eight points on 4-of-5 shooting as the Owls dropped their second-straight one-possession game. Obi’s 80.0 percent field goal percentage and 7.7 rebounds per game lead the Owls.
Marcus Jackson has scored in double figures in all three games this season and ranks second on the team with 11.3 points per game. The freshman guard is shooting 43.8 percent from downtown and dishes out 3.3 assists per game.
Scouting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-2)
The Islanders topped UTPA in their last outing, 72-61, on Sunday. It was the team’s third game in as many days during a home tournament.
John Jordan leads the team with 17.0 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting. He also gets to the foul line 9.2 times per game, where he is a 70-percent shooter.
The squad shoots a solid 42.7 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from downtown. Behind 10.4 rebounds per game from Zane Knowles, TAMU-CC holds a +4.4 rebound advantage over its opposition.
Head coach Willis Wilson’s team is 3-1 at home on the season. The Islanders’ opponents average 21.8 three-point attempts per game.
Series History (Rice leads, 3-0)
• Rice has won all three meetings between the teams, with two meetings coming in the early 1970s at Autry Court and one more two seasons ago.
• The Owls took a 108-84 decision in January 1971 and a 101-82 win in December 1974. Rice won the late 2011 meeting, 78-66. Seth Gearhart played six minutes in the contemporary meeting, tallying one assist and one rebound. No other player on the current roster has faced the Islanders.
• Former Rice coach and player Willis Wilson is in his third season as the Islanders’ head coach.
• Along with Wilson on the TAMU-CC bench are former Rice assistant coach Marty Gross and scholastic coordinator Arte Culver, who played three seasons at Rice and served as a graduate assistant on the staff for two additional seasons.
Rice returns home to host Princeton on Saturday at 2 p.m.