Rice (2-4) at Santa Clara (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,500) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: None. Home Record: Rice 1-2, Santa Clara 2-1. Away Record: Rice 1-1, Santa Clara 0-2. Neutral Record: Rice 0-1, Santa Clara 0-0. Conference Record: Rice 0-0, Santa Clara 0-0. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Rice Owls and Santa Clara Broncos meet in the consolation game of the Cable Car Classic on Saturday evening.
The Owls found themselves in a shootout with the Rider Broncs in Friday's semifinal round, but came up short in a 97-93 overtime decision. The loss was the second straight for Rice and the fourth setback in the last five games.
Host Santa Clara will not get an opportunity to defend its tournament title, as the Broncos fell to the hot-shooting North Dakota State Bison on Friday's action, 91-85. Santa Clara have now dropped three straight games since opening the season with back-to-back victories.
These two teams are meeting for the fourth time in history. Rice claimed the first matchup in 1981, but Santa Clara has won the last two meetings.
There isn't much more the Owls can do on the offensive end of the floor then they did in a losing effort on Friday night. Rice set a school record with 18 3-pointers and shot .542 from the floor, but it wasn't enough in overtime loss to Rider. Austin Ramljak led five Owls in double figures with 25 points, thanks in large part to his seven 3-pointers. Seth Gearhart knocked down six from behind the arc and finished the game with 20 points. Max Guercy, Marcus Jackson and Keith Washington all chipped in 10, but the offensive fireworks went to waste in the end.
The offensive eruption was certainly out of the ordinary for the Owls, who are averaging a modest 68.0 ppg on the year. Ramljak has shot the ball well though, especially from long range (.457, 21-of-46), en route to a team-high 13.3 ppg. Guercy adds 12.2 ppg and Jackson rounds out the top scorers with 10.2 ppg. Sean Obi is just under double-digits at 9.7 ppg, but leads the team in rebounding (8.2 rpg).
Santa Clara spoiled an opportunity as well, as Brandon Clark's career-high 32 points went to waste in the team's six-point shootout loss to North Dakota State. The Broncos got 16 points from Jared Brownridge and another 1ll from Evan Roquemore, but it wasn't enough, as the Bison shot a ridiculous .587 from the floor to upend the hometown team. Roquemore did dole out seven assists in the game, reaching the 500 mark for his career.
Scoring hasn't been a problem for Santa Clara this season, as the team nets 80.0 ppg through five games. The real problems have come at the defensive end, where the team gives up 75.4 ppg, leaving little room for error. Clark has been a force offensively. He has gone over 20 points in four straight games and leads the team with 19.8 ppg. Brownridge is a potent scorer as well at 18.6 ppg, while Roquemore adds 10.0 ppg.
The Broncos aren't going to get shutout on their own floor. Santa Clara should be able to end its slide on Saturday, although nothing has come easy this year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 81, Rice 75
11/30 10:37:03 ET