Owls Face St. Thomas Before Finals

Freshman Ahmad Ibrahim is coming off a 19-point performance at HBU earlier in the week.

Dec. 2, 2011

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Before turning their attention to final exams, Rice University's basketball team will play the first of what will be a four-game home stand Saturday afternoon when the Owls play host to St. Thomas in Tudor Fieldhouse. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast by 1560 The Game (KGOW) while video will be streamed through RiceOwls.com and Rice All-Access.

Following Saturday's game against the Celts, Rice will not compete again until playing host to Louisiana College on Dec. 14th to start a three-game home stretch over six days.

Rice, 5-2, is coming off a 78-66 road win at Houston Baptist on Wednesday. Tamir Jackson scored a game-high 20 points and Ahmad Ibrahim added a career-high 19 in the win.

Rice junior forward Arsalan Kazemi, who is averaging a double-double at 11.7 points and 11.5 rebounds, did not play in Wednesday's game after suffering a mild strain of his lower back the previous weekend at the South Padre Invitational.

Despite Kazemi's absence, Rice outrebounded HBU 48-35.

In his first career start while replacing Kazemi, sophomore Omar Oraby scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds en route to his first career double-double. He also had three blocks.

For the year, Oraby is averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds. He has blocked 11 shots through seven games.

Jackson leads the Owls with a 13.6 scoring average this year and also leads the team with 22 assists.

Senior Connor Frizzelle has scored in double figures in the Owls' last five games and heads into the weekend just 21 points shy of becoming the 29th player in Rice history to score 1,000 career points.

St. Thomas, 4-3, has won its last two games including a 78-65 win over Huston-Tillotson on Thursday.

St. Thomas junior guard Travis Lampley is averaging 14.3 points and the Celts' guard also leads the team with a 6.7 rebounding average. He has 22 assists this season.

Senior forward Anthony Medina is averaging 14.2 points per game and is shooting 50 percent from the field.

St. Thomas head coach Todd Smith was a member of the Rice coaching staff from 1989-2007. He is in his third year building the St. Thomas program which was resurrected after not fielding a team since 1985. The Celts were 13-14 last year after going 9-15 in their inaugural season back.





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