This Saturday, there is an NCAAB matchup between the Rice Owls and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. This will be the first meeting between these teams this season and it will take place at The Thunderdome.
Rice Looks To Perform Better Away From HomeThe Rice Owls have looked pretty good so far this season through four games. The Owls have won three of their first four games of the season including a six-point win against Northwestern State on the road in their last game. In that game, Rice's offense was solid as it scored 80 points while shooting 40.0% from the three-point line. However, it still trailed by eight points entering halftime and it was also embarrassed in the first road game of the season as it lost to Arkansas by 48 points. Now, Rice will look for a statement win on the road as it will need to play a lot better away from home moving forward if Rice plans on actually being competitive during conference play.
Leading the Owls offensively is sophomore guard Trey Murphy III who has been pretty good so far this season. He is averaging a team-high 14.5 points per game along with 5.5 rebounds. In addition, he has also been amazing defensively as he is averaging 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Murphy III has the ability to impact a game in a variety of ways and he will look to showcase his skills in this one.
Monday comin at ya like 👀 pic.twitter.com/1DSnafRZSU— Rice Basketball (@RiceBasketball) November 11, 2019
Rice's most underrated player is sophomore guard Payton Moore who has been decent this season. He is averaging 6.0 points per game along with 2.3 rebounds. In addition, he is also shooting a team-high 37.5% from the three-point line as he has become a marksman on this team. As a team, Rice is shooting just 29.5% from downtown so Moore looks like its only real threat to stretch the floor.
UCSB Looks To Get Back Over .500The UCSB Gauchos have looked okay so far this season through two games. The Gauchos split those first two games including a 16 point loss to UCLA on the road in their last game. In that game, UCSB's offense was terrible as it only scored 61 points while shooting 31.8% from the three-point line. However, UCSB is still undefeated at home this season as it was able to beat Jackson State by 21 points in the season opener. Now, UCSB has a .500 record but it gets to return home to face a decent Rice team. If UCSB plans on getting back over .500, its offense will need to play a lot better on Saturday with all the home fans providing support.
Leading the Gauchos offensively is senior guard Max Heidegger who has been amazing so far this season. He is averaging a team-high 20.0 points per game along with 3.5 assists. In addition, he has also been extremely efficient from the floor as he is shooting an impressive 60.9% from the floor and 100.0% from the free throw line. Heidegger has the ability to lead his team to a victory almost single-handedly and he will look to help his team get another home victory in this game.
UCSB's most underrated player is junior guardJaQuori McLaughlin who has been solid so far this season. He is averaging 11.0 points per game along with 3.0 assists on an efficient 53.3% shooting from the floor. McLaughlin has the potential to be the key to Santa Barbara's NCAA Tournament hopes as he provides experience with elite shooting. Look for him to continue making an impact in this game.
Trends found on Covers.com, are:
- Owls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Owls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Gauchos are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games.
- Gauchos are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Gauchos are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 Saturday games.