Dec. 21, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University men’s basketball closes out its five-game homestand as former conference rival TCU visits Tudor Fieldhouse on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Owls (3-7) enter the contest looking for a second-straight win after knocking off Chicago State in overtime on Wednesday, 63-60. After being held scoreless in the first half, senior Tamir Jackson took over the game after the intermission, scoring 20 of Rice’s 29 second-half points to force overtime.
Trailing by eight points with under five minutes to play, Jackson scored the game’s next nine points to give the Owls a lead. Rice then sank 6-of-8 free throws in the extra period to claim victory in the first-ever meeting between the programs.
Jackson’s scoring performance propelled him to second place in the conference with 17.3 points per game. The last Owl to finish in the league’s top five in scoring was Morris Almond, who led C-USA with 26.4 points per game in 2006-07.
Scouting the Horned Frogs
TCU bounced back from a two-game skid to beat Southern, 68-57, on Tuesday night.
The Horned Frogs are 1-3 against C-USA teams this season with a win over UAB (76-73) and setbacks against SMU, Houston and Tulsa. TCU’s only other loss of the season was a 55-31 decision to Northwestern at the South Padre Island Invitational last month.
Kyan Anderson leads the team with 13.1 points per game, including a season-high 35 in the win against UAB on Nov. 24. TCU averages just 55.7 points per game, but has allowed just one opponent to score more than 64 points in a game.
First-year head coach Trent Johnson served as an assistant coach at Rice from 1992-96. The former Nevada, Stanford and LSU coach holds a 7-5 mark in 12 games against the Owls.
TCU assistant coach Brent Scott scored 1,906 points and hauled in 1,049 rebounds from 1989-93 at Rice, and coached one year for the Owls in 2007-08. At the conclusion of his playing career, he was the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Michael Harris then topped both marks in 2005.
The former Southwest Conference and WAC rivals have faced off 176 times dating back to 1917. Rice has won three-straight home games against the Horned Frogs dating back to 2001.
Jackson averages 9.7 points in three games against TCU. He also averages 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
Last season, the Frogs broke a late tie with seven-straight points to secure a 78-74 win. Amric Fields led the home team with 18 points off the bench. For Rice, Jackson scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Julian DeBose is the only other Owl to have played against TCU. Then a freshman, DeBose played five minutes in last season’s game, but did not register any points or rebounds.
Rice takes a week to celebrate the holiday season before returning to action on Dec. 29 at Texas. The 1 p.m. contest will be televised nationally on the Longhorn Network.
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