Nov. 27, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Rice University men's basketball joins North Dakota State, Rider and host Santa Clara in the 47th annual Cable Car Classic on Nov. 29-30. The Owls face the Rider Broncs in the opening round on Friday at 8 p.m. CT in the Leavey Center.
Saturday's consolation game is set for 8 p.m. CT, with the championship following shortly after. All four tournament games will be streamed live on SantaClaraBroncos.com and live audio for both Rice games can be heard on the Rice IMG Sports Network.
It will be the Owls' third trip to California in four seasons, as Rice played at Santa Clara in November 2010 and then competed in the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim one year ago. It is Rice's seventh regular season tournament in the state and first in Santa Clara.
Santa Clara has won the tournament in two of the last three years, while Wagner claimed the 2011 title. A cast of basketball stars have played in the historic event, including Kurt Rambis, Bill Cartwright, Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson and Stephon Marbury.
In its last action before the tournament, the Owls (2-3) fell to a tough Princeton squad at home, 70-56. No Owls scored in double figures in the game for the first time this season, though Max Guercy, Sean Obi and Austin Ramljak tallied nine points apiece.
It was the first time the Owls allowed an opponent to score as many as 70 points in a game on the season and also marked the first time Rice trailed by more than six points in a game.
Obi earned Conference USA Freshman of the Week honors for averaging 12.5 points and 10.0 rebounds on the week, including 16 points and 11 boards in last Wednesday's win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The freshman leads the league in shooting at 71.0 percent and ranks eighth with 8.6 rebounds per game.
Guercy's 3.8 assists per game and 2.11 assist-to-turnover ratio rank him among the league's leaders while Ramljak's 2.8 three-pointers per game are the fourth-most in C-USA.
The trip also marks a homecoming for several Owls, as Guercy (Arleta), Marcus Jackson (Acton), Dan Peera (San Ramon) and Ramljak (Thousand Oaks) call California home. Additionally, Seth Gearhart (Wilsonville, Ore.) and Drew Bender (Phoenix Ariz.) hail from the western United States.
Scouting the Cable Car Classic Field
• Rider fell on Tuesday night to Albany, 70-59, in its home opener. The Broncs are 1-2 on the road this season.
• Daniel Stewart leads the team with 16.3 points per game, just ahead of Anthony Myles' 15.5.
• North Dakota State brings a 2-3 record to the tournament, following a setback at North Dakota on Sunday, 95-77. The Bison fell against C-USA's Southern Miss in its last home game.
• Taylor Braun leads the team with 19.6 points per game. As a team, the Bison shoot 48.8 percent from the field.
• Santa Clara won its first two games of the season at home before dropping two on the road, including last weekend's 84-69 loss at Notre Dame.
• Jared Brownridge paces the Broncos with 19.3 points per game and 48.4 percent of three-pointers.
• Santa Clara is the only team in the field that Rice has faced. Rice won the first meeting, 74-56, in 1981. The Broncos won the past two meetings, in 2009 and `10.
• Rice is 1-1 in Santa Clara, with a loss in its only home game in the series.
Rice closes out the road trip on Dec. 4 at Houston Baptist before returning home to host South Alabama on Dec. 7 at Tudor Fieldhouse.