Dec. 10, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men's basketball returns to action after an 11-day break for final exams to host LIU Brooklyn at Tudor Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Owls are 2-1 at home this season following a 61-53 win against Houston Baptist on Dec. 1.
Against HBU, Rice jumped out to an early 27-8 lead and pestered the Huskies throughout the game. The Owls swiped 14 steals and forced a season-high 22 total turnovers, which they converted into 24 points.
Tamir Jackson led the charge to notch his third double-double of the season, with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The senior also set a career high with six steals to accompany four assists.
Austin Ramljak led Rice in scoring with 12 points, including a pair of three-pointers, off the bench. Freshman Max Guercy also reached double figures for the Owls with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. The guard hauled in five rebounds as well.
Scouting the Blackbirds (3-4)
LIU Brooklyn defeated Hofstra, 88-84, on Saturday to improve to 3-4 on the season and 3-1 at home. Led by 20 points from Julian Boyd, five players scored at least 12 points in the win.
After dropping each of its first four games of the season, the Blackbirds travel to Houston with a three-game winning streak.
Boyd leads the team with 19.3 points per game to accompany 6.0 rebounds and more than a block per contest. Jamal Olasewere follows right behind with 18.0 points and a 6.3 rebounding average.
LIU scores 78.0 total points per game, with 23.6 percent of its points coming from downtown and 26.1 percent from the foul line. Opponents are averaging more than 80 points per game, with a stellar 51.5 field goal percentage. The Blackbirds allow a 44.0 percent success rate from beyond the arc as well.
The game is a homecoming for six Texans on the LIU roster. Kenny Onyechi attended Kempner HS in nearby Sugar Land, while D.J. Griggs hails from Lake Jackson's Brazosport HS. Three Blackbirds are from San Antonio and one more is from Mesquite.
LIU Brooklyn holds a 3-0 lead in the series, though the programs have not squared off in more than 60 years. The Blackbirds won the first meeting, 45-29, on Feb. 19, 1936.
LIU Brooklyn claimed the next two meetings by a total of seven points, including the 1940 meeting, 61-57, and the 1948 contest, 69-66. All three games were played in New York City's Madison Square Garden.
In Good Company
Jackson is one of only four players in Rice history to rank in the program's career top 10 in assists and steals, and in the top 20 in scoring.
He joins Jason McKrieth (2001-05), Adam Peakes (1991-95) and Mike Wilks (1997-2001) on the exclusive list. McKrieth is currently the only player to stand in the top 10 in all three categories, but Jackson could join him with 171 more points this season.
Rice's homestand rolls on as Hartford visits on Saturday, Dec. 15. The Owls then host Chicago State and TCU before the holiday break.
Rice returns to the road at the end of the month with a Dec. 29 trip to Texas.