Jan. 4, 2011
Rice Game Notes
Tulane Game Notes
Rice will look to continue the momentum built by a two-game win streak on Wednesday when the Owls open Conference USA play against Tulane. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in Tudor Fieldhouse and the game will be broadcast locally by ESPN 97.5 as well via Rice All-Access.
Rice defeated LSU 74-68 last week before starting off the New Year with a 70-61 victory against TCU on Sunday. The two wins ran the Owls' record to 8-6.
Under first-year coach Ed Conroy, Tulane is off to a 10-3 start and riding a four-game winning streak. The Green Wave has won seven of its last eight games dating back to late November.
The league opener will feature a head-to-head battle of Conference USA's Co-Players of the Week.
After winning the award outright last week, the league office announced on Monday that Rice sophomore Arsalan Kazemi and Tulane sophomore Kendall Timmons were shared this week's award.
Last week, Timmons averaged 24.5 points and 14 rebounds. He scored a career-high 33 points and had 19 boards in a 93-77 victory over Lamar.
For the season, Timmons is averaging 16.9 points and 9.3 rebounds to lead the Wave. The Fort Worth native also has a team-high 28 steals from his forward position.
Kazemi helped Rice to a 2-0 week by averaging 19.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. For the year, he is averaging 17.5 points per game and entered the week ranked sixth nationally with an 11.1 rebounding average.
Timmons' 9.3 rebounding average is tied for second in C-USA.
With the league's top two rebounders on the teams' rosters, it is little wonder both Rice and Tulane are among the conference leaders in rebounding margin. Rice, which has outrebounded its last seven opponents, has a +4.9 rebounding margin to rank fourth in C-USA. Tulane's +4.5 margin ranks fifth.
Rice also began the week ranked 38th nationally in turnovers allowed. The Owls turn the ball over just 11.9 times per game.
Behind Timmons, Tulane has three other players scoring in double figures. Sophomore guard Jordan Callahan is averaging 12.9 points and leads the Green Wave with 56 assists. Senior guard Kris Richard is averaging 12.8 points an outing while senior guard Aaron Holmes averages 11.1 points.
In a 79-74 overtime win at Rice last year, Callahan made a key three-pointer early in the overtime period as the Green Wave scored the first six points following regulation. Callahan had 18 points in the last meeting.
Tulane comes to Houston having won the last seven meetings in the series with Rice. The Owls' last win against the Green Wave came in the 2007 Conference USA opener. Rice posted a 75-70 victory in overtime.
Besides Kazemi, Tamir Jackson is the only other Rice player to be scoring in double figures, averaging 13.5 points per game. Jackson knocked down six free throws is the final 1:16 of the TCU game to help secure the Rice victory.
Rice junior guard Connor Frizzelle, who is shooting better than 90 percent at the free throw line, has raised his scoring average to 9.0 points per game. Frizzelle came off the bench to score 14 points in the Owls' win over TCU on Sunday.
Following Wednesday's conference opener, the Owls are on the road Saturday at Tulsa. Rice is back at home next Wednesday when it plays host to Southern Miss.