Rice is off to a 9-9 start but it has won just once in five league contests. The Owls have dropped five of six coming into this game and they are just 2-6 in their last eight games against Division-I opponents. Southern Mississippi hasn’t been much better, winning just four of their first 18 games while starting out the conference season with an 0-5 record. The Golden Eagles have beaten just one Division-I opponent this year. Can Rice bounce back against a futile Southern Miss basketball team on Saturday afternoon?
Owls fall to 1-4 in C-USA playRice came up short 72-56 against Louisiana Tech on Thursday night to fall to 1-4 in conference play. Trey Murphy came off of the bench to score a team-high 20 points while Chris Mullins chipped in 10 points for the Owls, who never led and shot just 9-for-31 from deep on the night.
ICYMI | Ako Adams (@smellyahk202) keeps climbing the leaderboard with his 187th made 3 pointer of his career.— Rice Basketball (@RiceBasketball) January 13, 2020
He passed Robert Johnson with this shot and is just 14 shy of becoming the all-time program record holder.#GoOwls👐 x #TheRiceWay pic.twitter.com/II6ofkMhrB
Scott Pera’s squad enters the weekend ranked No. 202 in the latest KenPom rankings after dropping five of their previous six games. Rice has scored only 100.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (181st in the NCAA), and the Owls have been even worse during conference play, averaging just 97.2 points per 100 possessions through five league contests (8th in C-USA). Pera has given his team the green-light from long-range and they’ve responded by shooting 49.3 percent of their total field goal attempts from 3-point range (5th in the NCAA) for the season. However, they’ve connected at a rate of just 33.2 percent (165th in the NCAA). The Owls have also turned the ball over on 19.9 percent of their offensive possessions on the year (220th in the NCAA) while sporting an offensive rebounding rate of 22.4 percent (321st in the NCAA).
On defense, Rice has given up 104.0 points per 100 possessions for the season (242nd in the NCAA) but that number has jumped to 106.6 points per 100 possessions during conference play (13th in C-USA). Through five C-USA games, Rice has allowed opponents to sport an effective field goal percentage of 53.5 percent (13th in C-USA) and shoot a red-hot 59.5 percent from inside the arc (14th in C-USA).
Southern Miss remains winless vs. C-USA opponentsSouthern Mississippi remained winless in conference play with a 72-52 loss at home against North Texas on Thursday night. Boban Jacdonmi scored 3 points off of the bench while Gabe Watson and Tyler Stevenson chipped in 10 points apiece for the Golden Eagles, who were outscored 33 to 3 from beyond the arc in the loss.
Jim Ladner’s squad comes into the weekend slotted at No. 286 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 0-5 start to the Conference USA season. The Golden Eagles have scored 93.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (295th in the NCAA) while turning the ball over on 22.2 percent of their offensive possessions (316th in the NCAA). They have also shot just 27.1 percent from 3-point range with an offensive rebounding rate of only 20.4 percent (349th in the NCAA) on the year. Somehow, they’ve been even worse on offense during league play, scoring just 83.6 points per 100 possessions (14th in C-USA) with an effective field goal percentage of just 41.5 percent (14th in C-USA).
On defense, Southern Miss has given up 104.1 points per 100 possessions and an effective field goal percentage of 55.3 percent (334th in the NCAA). They’ve been even worse during conference play though, as those marks have jumped to 113.2 points per 100 possessions (14th in C-USA) and 55.6 percent (14th in C-USA) against Conference USA opponents.