Jan. 22, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Rice University men's basketball returns to the road on Wednesday as the team faces UCF. The Owls then close out the two-game swing at Tulane on Saturday. Wednesday's game tips off at 6 p.m. CT from the UCF Arena.
Rice looks to use its momentum from Saturday's 95-71 victory over New Orleans as the team returns to conference play. Tamir Jackson led the Owls (4-13, 0-3 C-USA) in the effort with 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting and took over 10th place on the program's career scoring list.
Four other players scored in double figures in the win, including Julian DeBose with 20 points, Max Guercy with 18, Seth Gearhart with 15 points and Austin Ramljak's 12.
The Owls shot 50 percent from downtown in the game with a season-high 12 three-pointers. On the night, Rice shot 61.3 percent from the field in the team's final non-conference game of the regular season.
Scouting the Knights (12-5, 2-1 C-USA)
UCF enters Wednesday's game having played a pair of overtime games in its last two outings.
After dropping an 88-85 contest at East Carolina, the Knights bounced back for a 79-75 road win at Houston on Saturday behind a combined 41 points from Isaiah Sykes and Keith Clanton.
Clanton leads the team and Conference USA with 17.9 points per game. His 9.6 rebounding average is the third best in the league. Sykes adds 14.9 points per game as well as 6.5 rebounds.
UCF is 2-1 in C-USA as it opened league play with a 64-48 win over UAB on Jan. 9. The Knights are 9-3 at home on the season.
Rice holds a two-game winning streak over UCF with wins each of the past two seasons.
Last season, the Owls overcame a double-figure halftime deficit to top the Knights at Tudor Fieldhouse, 83-74. The win was the 600th of head coach Ben Braun's career.
Jackson scored 11 points and dished out two assists in the win, as he averages 10.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in four career meetings with UCF.
DeBose and Gearhart also saw action in last season's win. DeBose tallied five points and two rebounds.
UCF holds an 8-5 lead in the all-tie series. The teams first met in 1977 but the latter 12 meetings have taken place since 2006.
Beyond the Arc
Rice converts an average of 7.59 three-pointers per game after draining 12 against New Orleans on Saturday, moving the team into first in Conference USA.
Two Owls rank in the league's top 12 in threes made per game, including Ramljak's 2.29 (fourth) and Jackson's 1.59 (12th).
Ramljak came within two treys of the program record when he sank 6-of-12 attempts against Georgia Tech on Nov. 22.
Both DeBose and Guercy are shooting over 42 percent from downtown on the season to rank in C-USA's top 10. Guercy has moved into fifth in the league in with 46.0 percent accuracy from the arc. DeBose ranks eighth in the league at 42.5 percent and Ramljak is 15th at 38.6 percent.
Rice closes out the week-long road trip at Tulane on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff. It will be the team's third televised game in a span of five contests as it will air on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Owls close out the month at Tudor Fieldhouse against Houston on Jan. 30 in the first of two home games.