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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tudor Fieldhouse (5,208) -- Houston, Texas. Television: N/A. Home Record: Houston 10-3, Rice 4-6. Away Record: Houston 3-3, Rice 0-6. Neutral Record: Houston 0-0, Rice 0-3. Conference Record: Houston 2-4, Rice 0-5. Series Record: Houston leads 58-17.
GAME NOTES: The Rice Owls will continue the search for their first league win as they host their crosstown rival Houston Cougars in a Conference USA showdown at the Tudor Fieldhouse.
Houston is coming off a 66-61 win over UAB which halted a four-game losing streak. This is the first of a two-game road trip for the Cougars, who have lost their last two away from home. The Cougars are now 13-6 overall, but just 2-4 in league play.
The Owls are have lost their last two games and eight of their last nine. Their most recent defeat was a 73-66 loss at Tulane. Rice's last game at home was an impressive 95-71 win over New Orleans. On their home court is the only place the Owls have been able to find success with all four of their wins on the season coming in the Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Cougars lead the all-time series 58-17 and won the last matchup 76-75. Prior to that win the Owls had beaten Houston three straight times.
TaShawn Thomas was the key scorer for the Cougars in the win over UAB as he finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Joseph Young managed 14 points while Jherrod Stiggers came off the bench and knocked down three 3-pointers, adding 11 points.
Young leads Houston in scoring this year posting 16.8 ppg on 40.4 percent shooting from 3-point range. Thomas is close to a double-double average with 15.8 ppg and 9.9 rpg, while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor. Danuel House also scores in double figures with 13.4 ppg. All three Cougars are shooting over 45.5 percent from the field. The squad is averaging 76.9 ppg and is the 27th highest scoring team in the nation.
In the loss to Tulane the Owls had four players in double-figure scoring, led by Seth Gearhart, who scored 23 points with seven rebounds. Aside from the four players in double figures, the rest of the team contributed just 10 points combined and Rice was outrebounded 38-21.
It was a big game for Gearhart who has only averaged 7.0 ppg. Tamir Jackson leads the Owls in scoring with 16.2 ppg and 6.1 rpg, while Julian Debose adds 10.2 ppg. With only two players averaging in double figures, the team manages just 59.9 ppg, ranking 319th in the country in scoring. Shooting just 40.6 percent from the field, the squad allows opponents to shoot 47.8 percent from the floor.
Rice does not have the offense to keep up with the high-scoring Cougars who will continue to put up big numbers. The Owls will come up short once again in Conference USA play.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: Houston 84, Rice 65
01/30 10:35:00 ET