Rice will look to shoot past UCF Saturday.

Men's Basketball

Rice Back on Road at UCF

Jan. 21, 2011

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Rice University will be on the road for a third straight weekend as the Owls take on UCF Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. Central. The game will be broadcast locally in Houston by ESPN 97.5 and will also be available through RiceOwls.com.

Saturday's game is also being broadcast by Bright House Sports Network in Florida. CSS, which is available throughout the South and in the Houston cable market, will join the broadcast in progress at 7 p.m. Central

Both Rice and UCF have struggled as of late.

Rice (8-10, 0-4) has lost six games by four points or less this season including both of its conference home games. The Owls are coming off a 66-43 loss at UTEP last week.

UCF rolled off 14 straight wins to open the season, including a 57-54 win over Florida and an 84-78 victory against Miami in a pair of contests played on neutral courts. But since a 65-58 win over Marshall to open conference play, the Knights have lost three straight including its last two by double figures.

East Carolina handed UCF its first home-court loss of the season earlier this week, posting a74-62 win at UCF Arena on Wednesday.

Still, UCF leads Conference USA in both scoring defense (60.6 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.380). Offensively, the Knights are shooting a conference-leading .482 percentage and also lead the league with a +14.0 scoring margin.

UCF sophomore Marcus Jordan is averaging 16.2 points to lead the Knights in scoring.

Keith Clanton, another sophomore for the Knights, is averaging 15.4 points. The 6-8 Orlando native also ranks second in Conference USA, averaging 2.3 blocks for the season (39 total blocks).

Tom Herzog, a 7-0 senior, is averaging 2.5 blocks (38 in 15 games) to lead C-USA in individual block average. As a team, the Knights are averaging 6.8 rejections an outing.

One of the Owls' strengths this season has been on the boards. Rice ranks second in Conference USA with a +4.6 rebounding margin and has outrebounded 10 of its last 11 opponents.

Arsalan Kazemi is averaging 16.6 points and 11.2 rebounds. He is the only player in Conference USA averaging a double-double. His 11.2 rebounding average ranks seventh nationally.

Despite shooting 61 percent from the field, Kazemi is absent from the NCAA field goal percentage statistical category. He has made 121 free throws and converted for 89 field goals this season but he does not meet the NCAA minimum of five field goals made per game. He is one field goal shy of being nationally ranked this week. His current percentage would be ranked seventh nationally.

Tamir Jackson is the only other Rice player currently averaging double figures scoring at 12.9 points per game.

Freshman forward David Chadwick came off the bench at UTEP to post his first career double-figure scoring game. The rookie was 5-for-6 from the field and finished with 10 points, three rebounds and an assist.

UCF enters Saturday's game with an 8-3 lead in its series with Rice. The Owls beat UCF on the road in 2009, 69-66, but lost both games played in the series in 2010.

Following Saturday's game in Orlando, Rice plays two home games next week. The Owls will play host to Houston Wednesday in a regional-televised game on CSS before playing host to SMU Feb. 29.

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