March 1, 2017
GAME 30: RICE (20-9, 10-6 C-USA) AT MARSHALL (16-13, 9-7 C-USA)
Thursday, March 2| 7 p.m. ET
Huntington, W.Va. | Cam Henderson Center (9,048)
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall men’s basketball team will return home to take on the Rice Owls on Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. This will be the first game of the Herd’s final series of the regular season.
In addition to coverage from @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram, the game can be found on the Thundering Herd IMG Sports Network with Steve Cotton on the call and Woody Woodrum handling the analysis. Live stats will be available through HerdZone.com.
HAVE YOU HERD
Marshall came back from a 13-point deficit and defeated Charlotte, 93-89, to give the Herd its second regular season sweep over an opponent (WKU). After missing the previous game, Stevie Browning came back to score a game-high 27 points. Jon Elmore added 26 points and seven assists. Ryan Taylor collected a double-double from 15 points and 13 rebounds and Ajdin Penava collected one from 14 points and 10 rebounds. That was Taylor’s 37th career double-double and 10th of the season. They became the second Herd duo to have two double-doubles in the same game since Ryan Taylor and Jon Elmore did so when Marshall hosted Charlotte on Jan. 7. Austin Loop made his 275th career 3-pointer.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
Marshall will welcome the No. 2 scoring offense in C-USA when it hosts Rice. Rice is second in C-USA in field goal percentage (47.0%) while leading the league in three-point field goal percentage (39.3%). It is allowing 43.4% from the floor and 32.6% from three. The Owls are also second in the league with 9.3 three-pointers made per game. Head coach Mike Rhoades is in his third season at the helm of the Rice basketball program. He owns a 44-49 (.467) record on South Main and a 241-125 (.658) record in 12 years as a head coach.
WHO TO KNOW
Rice is led by the duo of Marcus Evans and Egor Koulechov, the top scoring duo in the league. Both have received player of the week honors from the league office. Evans has earned the honor twice, while Koulechov has received the honor once.
Evans is third in the conference in scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game. He is also fourth in three-point field goals made per game (2.5) and sixth in assists (4.2).
Koulechov is averaging 18.4 points, good for fifth-place in C-USA. He leads the league in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 48.4% from beyond the arc. The Volgograd, Russia native is also fourth in the league in rebounding (8.7), sixth in free throw percentage (.807) and three-point field goals made per game (2.3) and eighth in minutes played (33.7).
Marshall will meet Rice for a series that is 11 years old. The two sides met for the first time in 2006, with the Owls taking the first contest. Since then, Marshall has won 10 games, while Rice has won once.
Senior forward James Kelly (Ann Arbor, Mich.) posted his third game of 30 points or more in a 94-90 road win for Marshall men’s basketball at Rice on Jan. 16, 2016 at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Marshall moved to 9-9, and remains atop the Conference USA standings at 5-0 (with UAB). Rice fell to 6-12, 1-4 in the league. The Herd is 5-0 in conference play for the first time since going 7-0 to start the 1996-97 Southern Conference season. Additionally, Marshall posted its school-record fifth consecutive conference game scoring 90 points or more. The last time the Herd scored 90 points or more in five consecutive games was during in the 1971-72 season, when Marshall won the first seven games of the year.
For all the latest information about Marshall men's basketball, follow @HerdMBB on Twitter and Instagram.
Marshall will play its final game of the regular season when it hosts the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. The group of Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis), Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) and Stevie Browning (Logan, W.Va.) will be honored for their senior night.