Men's Basketball Plays Host to Rice on Wednesday

Redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young

Feb. 6, 2012

RICE OWLS (13-11 • 4-5 C-USA)
at HOUSTON COUGARS (11-11 • 3-6 C-USA)
 Tickets  Ticket Information
 Time  7 p.m. • Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
 Location  Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas
 Radio  Live Streaming
 SportsTalk 790 • Houston IMG Sports Network
 Tom Franklin, PxP; Elvin Hayes, analyst
 Broadcast begins at 6:45 p.m.
 Television  No Live Streaming
 Due to FSN broadcast, All-Access video
 will NOT be available

 FOX Sports Net
 Check local listings for broadcasts in your area
 Ron Thulin, PxP; Mike Gminski, analyst
 Jenn Hildreth, sideline
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Series History  Houston leads 57-16
 Rice won last two
 Last Meeting  Rice won 72-57 • March 5, 2011
 Hofheinz Pavilion • Houston
 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Rice Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   FacebookTwitter

HOUSTON - With less than a month remaining in the regular season, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 7 p.m., Wednesday, when it plays host to crosstown- and Conference USA-rival Rice inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Houston looks to snap a two-game losing skid when it faces one of its oldest rivals. In their most recent action, the Cougars dropped a 74-57 decision at Tulane on Saturday night.

Against the Green Wave, redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young came off the bench to lead the Cougars with 17 points. Freshman forward TaShawn Thomas added 11 points and eight rebounds but saw his double-doubles streak end at three consecutive games. Junior guard Jonathon Simmons added 10 points.

This season, Simmons leads the Cougars and ranks ninth in the league with 14.7 points per game. Thomas tops the Coogs and ranks seventh in the league with 8.1 rebounds per contest, while Young and freshman point guard J.J. Thompson are tied for the team lead and rank 15th in the league with 2.6 assists per game.

University of Houston students who join us for Wednesday's game will receive FREE pizza while supplies last.
Fans won't want to leave the court at halftime as Mad Chad, the Evil Knievel of Comedy performs his chainsaw-juggling act. This Guinness World Record holder has entertained hundreds of thousands of fans at sporting events around the world and is sure to blow Cougar fans' minds with his eye-popping act.
Fans also will have a chance to meet the coaches and student-athletes from the 2012 Cougar Softball team as they pass out schedule cards around the arena.
Fans can hear the game live on SportsTalk 790 AM with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin at 6:45 p.m., Wednesday.

Fans also can watch the game live on FOX Sports Net with Ron Thulin calling the play-by-play action, Mike Gminski providing analysis and Jenn Hildreth reporting from the sidelines. Fans should check their local listings for broadcasts in their areas.

Fans can hear the audio stream live at UHCougars.com by clicking the All-Access tab and following the appropriate links to sign up for Cougar All-Access or by clicking here . A charge is required to hear games via Cougar All-Access.

Due to the FOX Sports Net broadcast. Cougar All-Access video will NOT be available.

Fans can follow live stats by clicking the GameTracker link or by clicking here.

Single-game tickets are now on sale at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. Fans can purchase their tickets by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking the Tickets tab and following the appropriate links or by clicking the Tickets link here.
Rice owns a 13-11 overall record and stands in a tie for sixth place with UAB with a 4-5 mark in C-USA games. The Owls are 4-4 on the road this season.

In its most recent action, Rice dropped an 82-68 decision at East Carolina. That loss snapped the Owls' two-game winning streak.

Against the Pirates, guard Dylan Ennis led the Owls with 21 points and five 3-pointers and added four rebounds and four assists. Tamir Jackson came off the bench to score 17 points with a pair of treys. Forward Arsalan Kazemi added a team-high eight rebounds.

This season, Kazemi leads the team with 12.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game but has been hampered by a knee injury in recent weeks. Jackson ranks second among the Owls with 11.1 points per contest, while Ennis leads the team with 4.0 assists per game.

Head coach Ben Braun, a 1975 graduate of Wisconsin, is in his fourth season at Rice and his 35th season overall. He has posted a 597-463 career record and a 45-74 mark at Rice.

Braun is 4-5 against the Cougars. He is 2-4 against Houston as Rice's head coach. He previously served as the head coach at California (1996-08), Eastern Michigan (1986-96) and Siena Heights (1977-85).

Wednesday's game marks the 17th straight season and the 39th time in the last 41 years that the two teams will meet on the hardwood.

It will be the first of two meetings during the regular season. The Cougars play at Tudor Fieldhouse during the regular-season finale for both teams on March 3.

The Cougars own a 57-16 lead in the all-time series, which began in 1971-72 and has been played at least once every year since the 1998-99 campaign. With 73 games entering Wednesday, this is the second-most played series in Houston history. It trails only the 83 games played against Texas A&M from 1996 to 2004.

With the exceptions of the 1996-97 and the 1997-98 seasons, the Cougars have played Rice at least once every year since 1971-72.

Rice has won the last two games, the first time since 2004-06 that that has happened. The Owls claimed a 72-57 decision on March 5, 2011, in Hofheinz Pavilion in the most recent action. However, the Cougars have won eight of the last 10 games.

The Cougars have posted a 29-6 all-time record against the Owls in Hofheinz Pavilion with wins in five of their last six home games.

The Cougars hit the road to face Tulsa at 7 p.m., Saturday. Houston enjoyed a 70-69 win in overtime inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 4 to open the C-USA season.

The Cougars return to Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Southern Miss at 8 p.m., Feb. 18. That game will be televised live on CSS.



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