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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tudor Fieldhouse (5,208) -- Houston, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Princeton 2-0, Rice 1-1. Away Record: Princeton 0-1, Rice 1-1. Neutral Record: Princeton 0-0, Rice 0-0. Conference Record: Princeton 0-0, Rice 0-0. Series Record: Princeton leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Princeton Tigers aim for their first road win of the season this afternoon as they tangle with the Rice Owls at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Winners of two of their first three outings, the Tigers are coming off a thrilling 81-80 overtime triumph versus Lafayette at home on Wednesday night. The one setback for the squad was a narrow 70-67 final against Butler in Indianapolis a week ago.
The Owls have been consistent if nothing else thus far, scoring between 62 and 69 points in all four games. The squad is coming off a 63-61 victory at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi three nights ago, snapping a two-game slide. The last three games for Rice have been decided by a total of just six points, and all have come down to the final possession.
The Tigers lead the all-time series with Rice by a count of 2-1, the lone victory for the Owls coming in 2006 in a 52-41 final at home. The most recent win for Princeton was a dominant defensive effort at home in 2007, 51-28.
A pair of free throws by Will Barrett with 11 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Tigers just enough of a cushion to come away with the one-point win versus Lafayette a few nights back. Barrett made good on all four of his free- throw chances and finished with a team-best 22 points as he also converted 4- of-5 behind the 3-point line. Spencer Weisz and Ben Hazel both tacked in 14 points and Hans Brase 10, to go along with seven rebounds before fouling out.
Coming off the bench in all three games, Denton Koon has been a reliable spark for the Tigers with his team-leading 15.7 ppg, although he has shot just 38.6 percent from the field and 25.0 percent out on the perimeter. Barrett (14.0 ppg) and Brase (10.3 ppg) also supply key efforts at the offensive end of the floor for a squad that has knocked down 41.6 percent beyond the arc in the early going.
Like the Tigers, Rice was also in for a close call in the most recent outing, leading by as many as 11 in the second half before having to hold on for the two-point victory versus the Islanders. Sean Obi registered a double-double consisting of 16 points and 11 rebounds, both of which were game highs, while Austin Ramljak chipped in 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting behind the 3-point line. Max Guercy accounted for 11 points and five assists and Marcus Jackson 10 points, although he shot only 1-of-7 from the field and missed all five attempts from long range.
Guercy is not only the team's leading scorer overall with his 13.5 ppg, he is also tops with 18 assists and eight steals in four starts, which somewhat makes up for the fact that he has converted only 35.3 percent of his field goal tries and 3-of-15 on the outside. Ramljak checks in with 11.5 ppg, Jackson 11.0 ppg and Obi 10.8 ppg to go along with his 8.5 rpg. Obi's efforts on the glass are more than twice what any of his teammates have managed to accomplish.
By no means will the Princeton defense dominate as much as it did in the most recent meeting with the Owls, but you can still count on the Tigers to tighten up enough to capture the win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 67, Rice 61
11/23 10:33:02 ET