Dec. 20, 2013
HOUSTON COUGARS (7-5 0-0 The American)
vs. RICE OWLS (5-5 0-0 C-USA)
|Location||Toyota Center (18,043) Houston, Texas|
Dave Raymond, PxP
Damon Jones, analyst
|Radio||950 AM KPRC Listen Live
Matt Thomas, PxP
Elvin Hayes, analyst
|Series History|| Houston leads 60-18|
Houston won last two
Houston won last 75-72
(March 13, 2013 BOK Center)
Tulsa, Okla. C-USA Championship)
Houston leads 6-0 at neutral site
|Game Notes|| Houston Notes
The American Notes
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Men's Basketball team closes out its non-conference schedule when it squares off against crosstown-rival Rice at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, in the first game of the Dickies Shootout inside Toyota Center.
The Cougars (7-5) enter this weekend's game on the heels of a tough 79-76 overtime loss at Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend. Against the Cajuns, junior forward TaShawn Thomas posted team highs of 27 points, six rebounds and seven blocked shots, while redshirt freshman forward Danrad Knowles added 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.
For their impressive efforts in two games last week, both Thomas and Knowles were named The American award winners by the league office earlier this week. Thomas was honored as The American Player of the Week for the second time this season, while Knowles was named to The American Honor Roll for the first time in his career.
This season, Thomas leads the Cougars and ranks among The American's top-three leaders with 17.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. Competing in his first season with the Cougars, Knowles is averaging 7.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.
Saturday's game will be the first game in a college basketball doubleheader inside the Toyota Center. Texas A&M faces Oklahoma at 6 p.m., Saturday, in the nightcap.
This marks the 19th straight season and the 41st time in the last 43 years that the Cougars will face the Owls on the hardwood. Houston owns a 60-18 lead in the all-time series and has won each of the last two meetings, including a 72-67 victory during the Conference USA Championship First Round on March 13.
This is the second-most played series for the Cougars in their history. It trails only the 85 games played against Texas A&M.
ON THE AIR
Fans can see Saturday's game live on CSN Houston with Dave Raymond calling the play-by-play action and Houston great Damon Jones providing analysis.
Saturday's game also will be shown on CSN Northwest, CSN Bay Area, CSN Chicago and TCN.
Fans can hear Saturday's game live on 950 AM KPRC with Matt Thomas calling the play-by-play action and Basketball Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. Fans also can hear the game with a paid subscription to Cougar All-Access by clicking here.
Due to the television broadcasts, Cougar All-Access will not provide video streams for televised games for the entire season.
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars will take a 10-day break from their schedule for the holidays. Houston returns to action at 8 p.m., Dec. 31, inside Hofheinz Pavilion when it plays host to No. 10/10 UConn in the inaugural American Athletic Conference game for both programs.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $195, while Reserved season tickets start at only $280. Families can purchase the Memorial Hermann Family Fun Plan of two adult and two youth General Admission tickets for only $399.
Fans who purchase season tickets will receive a free Guy V. Lewis bobblehead later this season. Lewis was a legendary coach for the Cougars from 1956-86, compiling nearly 600 wins with five NCAA Final Four appearances, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September.
Three-, six- and nine-game mini-plans also are on sale now. In the Conference Mini-Plan, fans can buy tickets to all nine American Athletic Conference home games, including defending national champion Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis and UConn, with General Admission seating starting at $120 and Reserved Seating selling for $165.
With the 6-Pack, fans receive tickets for all four weekend home conference games against Rutgers, SMU, Temple and UCF, the Feb. 5 showdown against Louisville and a choice of the UConn, Cincinnati or Memphis games with General Admission seating for only $80 and Reserved Seating for $110.
Fans can purchase season tickets or mini-plans by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or by clicking here.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.
Rice enters Saturday's game with a 5-5 overall record, including a 69-56 win against Northwood on Thursday morning in Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls have won their last two games and three of their last four.
Against Northwood, Rice overcame a 32-31 halftime deficit to take a 69-56 victory. Guards Keith Washington and Austin Ramljak led the Owls with 14 points apiece. Forward Sean Obi posted 11 points with a game-high 11 rebounds, while Andrew Drone came off the bench to post 10 points with three boards.
This season, Ramljak leads the Owls with 13.5 points per game and a .452 percentage from the 3-point line. Obi stands second with 12.4 points per game but leads the team with 9.4 rebounds per contest. Guercy ranks third among the Owls with 11.8 points per game but leads the team with 4.2 assists per game. Washington is the fourth Owl in double digits, posting 10.3 points per game.
Head coach Ben Braun is in his sixth year at Rice, assembling a 71-109 record during that time. In more than 36 seasons as a head coach, he has posted a career mark of 613-499.