Rice heads to Texas Tech on Saturday to take on the Red Raiders. The Owls have been pedestrian at best, coming into Saturday’s contest at 3-7 overall and 1-2 on the road. The Red Raiders have been one of the more impressive teams in the country and I think they should be ranked a lot higher than 24th. They have good wins over several teams and their lone loss on the year was to a very good Seton Hall team.
The point differential helps tell the story with these two teams. Rice is in the negative, getting outscored 75.1 to 68.2 per game on average, almost seven points per game. The Red Raiders are one of the better teams in point differential across the nation, scoring 82.6 while giving up only 61.1 per game. That’s am impressive +21.5 points per game.
Rice breaks losing streak
Rice will be coming into Saturday’s game off of a win, as they broke a three game losing streak in a win over St. Edward’s on Thursday. Sure, St. Edward’s is a Division II team who played the Owls pretty close before losing 91-86, but it’s a win and the Owls will take it. They raced out to a 50-36 halftime lead, but St. Edward’s got close in the second half before the Owls pulled it out down the stretch.
Rice has been led this year by Connor Cashaw, and he’s only of only two Owls to be averaging in double digits. He’s putting up 16.1 points per game and also contributes 6.7 boards and 1.4 steals. The problem is his field goal percentage, as he’s shooting only 36% from the field and only 30% from beyond the arc. And he’s their leading scorer, showing how much the Owl offense struggles.
Texas Tech keeps winning
Texas Tech beat Kennesaw State on Wednesday night 82-53 and it was their first win as a ranked team in eight years. As I’ve said, I think they deserve to be ranked higher with good wins littered across the year and with their lone loss to a good Seton Hall team. If they keep winning, that will take care of itself. In the win over Kennesaw State, they raced out to a 42-19 halftime lead and coasted from there.
They are a good offense team who has been carried by their defense, allowing an impressive 61.1 points per game. When they need points, they turn to Keenan Evans who is averaging 17 points per game. The Red Raiders spread the ball out and only two players average in double digits. I can’t remember the last time I saw that from a ranked team, but it’s working for them.
The Rice Owls are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Conference USA.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
This is one of the easier games on the card for me. I think Texas Tech is really good this year and I think they could make a run in the NCAA tourney. This Owl team stinks and I think they get beat by 30 plus.