Tulsa (10-12) at Rice (7-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) -- Houston, Texas.
Television: CSS, CSN-HOU. Home Record: Tulsa 8-3, Rice 5-6. Away Record: Tulsa
1-7, Rice 2-7. Neutral Record: Tulsa 1-2, Rice 0-2. Conference Record: Tulsa
5-3, Rice 2-7. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 27-6.
GAME NOTES: The Rice Owls will try to put consecutive wins together for the
first time since mid-December when they go up against the Tulsa Golden
Hurricane in a Conference USA battle at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice claimed a 75-70 victory over North Texas on Thursday. Such results have
been hard to come by for the Owls, who are just 6-15 overall, with Thursday's
win ending a stretch of 10 losses in 11 games. They will begin a three-game
road trip next time out against Louisiana Tech.
It was that same Louisiana Tech team that handed Tulsa a 66-61 defeat on
Thursday. The Golden Hurricane have had trouble picking up traction in either
direction of late, alternating wins and losses in their last four bouts. They
are hovering around .500 overall (10-12), although they have had more success
in conference play (5-3). A battle with East Carolina is next on the docket.
This is the only scheduled meeting between Tulsa and Rice this season. Last
year, the Golden Hurricane swept the season series, extending their win streak
against the Owls to 14 straight. Tulsa's dominance is well documented across
the all-time series, which it leads by a 27-6 margin.
Tulsa fell flat in the second half to succumb to Louisiana Tech. The Golden
Hurricane squandered a 30-25 lead at halftime by recording only 10 field goals
over the final 20 minutes. Shaquille Harrison netted 14 points to pace the
Leading scorer James Woodard (14.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) only managed to score 10
points on Thursday night. Although it was below his season average, the effort
did extend Woodard's streak of consecutive games in double figures to 15.
Rashad Smith (12.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Harrison (10.3 ppg, 3.3 apg) provide
added scoring depth for the Golden Hurricane, who are not particularly
impressive on offense, ranking eighth in C-USA in scoring (73.4 ppg) and ninth
in field goal percentage (.437). Smith had nine points off the bench in
Thursday's loss, despite turning in a better shooting effort (4-of-9) than
Sean Obi registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds to lift
Rice over North Texas. The Owls biggest advantage came at the free-throw line,
where they outscored the Mean Green, 27-12. They also limited their foe to
38.2 percent shooting in the contest to make up for a 17-6 deficit on the
While Tulsa has been inconsistent offensively, Rice has simply been terrible.
The Owls are next-to-last in the league in scoring (65.2 ppg), while shooting
the worst percentage from the floor (.411) among league teams. Rice is also
near the bottom in the league on the boards (32.9 rpg). Obi (12 ppg, 9.8 rpg)
is a solid performer on the interior, nearly averaging a double-double for the
season, while leading the league in rebounds. However, he has not received
much support, with Austin Ramljak (11.9 ppg) the only other double-digit
scorer on the roster.
At no point this season has Rice really been able to put together consistent
offensive efforts from game to game. Expecting them to do so on Saturday is
not a safe bet, even against a struggling Tulsa squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 67, Rice 63
02/08 10:35:51 ET
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