HOUSTON— After a 12-day layoff for exams, Rice returns to the hardwood on Thursday against St. Thomas. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
The game marks the third annual School House Mania, in which more than 4,000 Houston-area students from local schools will be on hand to cheer on the Owls. The Owls are 2-0 in School House Mania games, defeating Northwood, 69-56, in 2013 and St. Thomas, 72-61, last year.
Men's Basketball Rocks School House Mania with Win
Rice University men's basketball put together a team effort in its returns from final exams for a 72-61 victory over St. Thomas on Thursday at Tudor Fieldhouse. A raucous crowd of 4,502 packed the arena for the second-annual School House Mania, including more than 3,800 students from local schools.
• Rice and St. Thomas will meet for the sixth straight year and the sixth time overall.
• The Owls have won four of the previous five meetings, including the last two.
• Rice enters today’s game with a 3-6 record. The Owls are looking for their second straight victory after defeating St. Edward’s, 93-72.
• Redshirt sophomore Egor Koulechov is second in Conference USA in scoring, averaging 18.8 points while leading the team with 6.7 rebounds. He leads the league lead in free throw percentage (.875), is second in three-pointers per game (3.0), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.443) and eighth in minutes played (32.4).
• Freshman Marcus Evans is third in Conference USA in points, averaging 18.2 per game. He is also second in steals (2.0) and third in minutes played (33.2).
• Freshman Marquez Letcher-Ellis is third on the team with 9.2 points and second with 4.2 rebounds. He is connecting on 50.0% from the field and is tied for sixth in C-USA with 1.3 blocks.
• Senior Max Guercy is averaging 7.4 points while leading the league with 6.4 assists per game.
• Rice is averaging 74.7 points per game while allowing 82.4.
• The Owls are connecting on 44.1% from the field and 31.8% from the three-point line while allowing 48.0% from the field and 41.8% from beyond the arc.
• Rice is also third in the conference in free throw percentage, connecting on 72.8% from the charity stripe.
Scouting St. Thomas
• St. Thomas enters the game with a 5-3 record, including a 2-0 mark in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Celts have won four straight games after defeating Paul Quinn College, 87-66.
• The Celts are led by junior guard Craig Grigsby with 17.3 points, which is fourth in the Red River Conference. He also leads the league in steals (2.1), is eighth in free throw percentage (.750) and 10th in the league in field goal percentage (.446).
• Sophomore guard Bryon Makel is second on the team with 9.6 points.
• Junior forward Jason Brancato is scoring 9.3 points per game and leads the conference in free throw percentage (.885).
• St. Thomas is averaging 75.6 points per game while allowing 73.0.
• UST is connecting on 43.4% from the floor and 29.1% from three and league the league in both field goal percentage defense (40.0%) and three-point field goal percentage defense (27.1%).
• Anthony Medina is in his first season at the helm of the St. Thomas basketball program, where he has a 5-3 (.625) record.
• Rice begins a stretch of five out of six road games this Saturday, Dec. 19, when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M., to face New Mexico. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be televised by ROOT Sports Southwest.