Jan. 8, 2008
Marshall at Rice Game Notes
HOUSTON - Conference USA play is on tap for the Marshall University men's basketball team when it visits Reliant Arena to face the Rice Owls on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
Marshall (8-4) has won consecutive games for the first time since opening the season 3-0 thanks to its thrilling 67-62 overtime win versus Winthrop on Saturday. The Herd trailed the Eagles by five points with under a minute remaining, but senior Mark Dorris (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored the last five points of regulation, including a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, to send the game into overtime. The Herd scored on every possession in the extra session en route to its eighth home win of the season (8-1).
The Thundering Herd is looking to snap a five-game road losing streak and, in its third year in C-USA, will open league play on the road for the third straight season. First-year head coach Donnie Jones has the Herd at 8-4 for the first time since 2002-03. The former Florida assistant will play his first conference game as a head coach, but will be without the services of senior Taurean Marshall (Fort Washington, Md.). The guard is out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury on Saturday versus Winthrop in the game's opening minute.
Junior guard/forward Markel Humphrey (Atlanta, Ga.) is scoring a team-high 15.2 points per game (8th in C-USA) with 6.3 rebounds per outing. Freshman Tirrell Baines (Laurens, S.C.) paces the Herd in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game and is eighth in C-USA with a 53.3 field goal percentage.
Rice (3-10) is 1-3 at home, playing its home games away from campus due to renovations at Autry Court. The Owls are 0-2 this season at Reliant Arena, site of Wednesday night's contest. The Owls are riding a three-game losing streak and have lost five of its past six games. The past three games, however, were all road contests at Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma.
Six-foot-nine Lithuanian forward Paulius Packevicius leads Conference USA with six double-doubles and has been the Owls' leading rebounder in 11 of their 13 games. The senior is averaging 10.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game while blocking 23 shots on the year. On Saturday at Oklahoma, Packevicius scored 16 points with 10 rebounds and a block. Junior guard Rodney Foster scores 9.5 points per game and owns a team-high 20 steals. He is the Owls' leading 3-point shooter and netted 14 points against Oklahoma on Saturday with three assists and three steals.
The all-time series between the teams, which began when both schools joined C-USA in 2005, is tied at 1-1. Marshall scored a 69-64 win over Rice last season at the Cam Henderson Center. The Herd is 1-2 in the state of Texas since joining the league and 4-11 overall on the road within conference play.
The game will be video streamed live on Herd All-Access, via HerdZone.com, and can be heard on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network with Steve Cotton (PxP) and Woody Woodrum (color).