Tigers Cruise to Victory Over Rice, 73-51
Memphis built a 12-point half-time advantage and pushed its lead out to as many as 27 points in the second half before dispatching of Rice, 73-51. Three Tigers finished in double-figures, paced by Chris Crawford's 15 points and seven rebounds. Antonio Barton added 11 points and Tarik Black chipped in 10.
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web Television: Comcast Sports Southeast/Comcast digital channel 22 (Dave Raymond, play-by-play; Tom Penders, color analyst)
Radio: WREC 600 AM (Dave Woloshin, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web:Fans in certain states can watch the Memphis vs. Rice game streamed live on the Memphis Tiger Network via the Memphis athletics website All-Access (must register to view game) at gotigersgo.com. Please note that video is not available for streaming in the CSS broadcast territory states (AR, KY, WV, NC, VA, TN, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA and TX) due to television broadcast restrictions.
Additional Comcast Sports Net Stations Televising Memphis-Rice Game
CSN Bay Area
Comcast Philadelphia & D.C.
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (12-3, 2-0 C-USA) closes out its short two-game road trip Wednesday, Jan. 16 when it travels to Houston, Texas, to meet Rice (3-12, 0-2 C-USA) in a Conference USA match-up. The game, to be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast, is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (CT) start.
The Tigers did not appear in either national poll this week.
The Tigers bounced back after their Dec. 15 setback to No. 6/6 Louisville with six-consecutive wins over Lipscomb 62-56 Dec. 20, Oral Roberts 72-57 Dec. 28, Loyola, Md., 78-64 Dec. 30, Tennessee 85-80 Jan. 4, East Carolina 67-54 Jan. 9 and UAB 69-53 Jan. 12.
Prior to the Dec. 15 loss, Memphis had won four straight with victories over Northern Iowa 52-47 Nov. 24, UT Martin 93-65 Nov. 29, Ohio 84-58 Dec. 5 and Austin Peay 83-65 Dec. 8.
Rice has lost five straight with setbacks to TCU, Texas, Harvard, Southern Miss and Tulsa.
The Owls' last win was a 63-60 overtime victory over Chicago State Dec. 19.
Rice returns only one starter and four letterwinners from last year's 19-16 squad.
WHAT'S UP NEXT
The Tigers return home to FedExForum Saturday, Jan. 19 to open a three-game homestand versus Harvard. The game, slated for a Fox Sports Net telecast, is set for an 11:30 a.m. (CT) start.
The Owls also step out of Conference USA play Saturday, Jan. 19 with a 7 p.m. (CT) game against New Orleans at Tudor Fieldhouse. The contest is Rice's final non-league encounter of the season.
WHAT THE OWLS DID A YEAR AGO
Rice posted a 19-16 overall record and an 8-8 Conference USA mark.
The Owls finished in seventh place in the C-USA regular-season standings.
Rice dropped a narrow 68-66 decision to East Carolina in the C-USA Tournament opening round.
The Owls received a CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) bid and advanced to the quarterfinal round. Rice defeated Louisiana-Lafayette and Drake, before falling to Oakland.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
Rice enters Wednesday's encounter with a 3-12 overall record and a 0-2 Conference USA mark.
The Owls have dropped their last five games with setbacks to TCU, Texas, Harvard, Southern Miss and Tulsa.
Rice's last victory was a Dec. 19 overtime win over Chicago State (63-60).
All three of the Owls' wins have come at Tudor Fieldhouse this season.
Tamir Jackson is the team's only double-figure scorer at 16.7 ppg. Julian DeBose is the squad's second-leading scorer at 9.3 ppg.
Jackson (6.7 rpg) and DeBose (4.7 rpg) also lead the Owls on the glass.
Jackson is the team's top playmaker with 35 total assists (2.3 apg).
DeBose (42.9 percent) and Max Guercy (41.9 percent) are Rice's top three-point threats.
The Owls are shooting 38.6 percent from the floor, 32.9 percent from the three-point line and 70.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Opponents are out-rebounding Rice by an average margin of +12.6 boards per game (38.3-25.7).
Rice is last in Conference USA in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage defense, rebound margin and blocked shots.
PASTNER VS. HOMETOWN SCHOOL
When Memphis plays at Rice Wednesday, Tigers head coach Josh Pastner faces a school from his hometown area.
Pastner grew up outside Houston -- where Rice is located -- in Kingwood, Texas. In fact, Pastner grew up fewer than 25 miles from the Rice University campus.
Pastner, who attended Kingwood High School, coached the Houston Hoops summer ball team during his high school and collegiate (Arizona) days.
In his four seasons, Pastner has a 6-3 record against Houston-area NCAA Division I programs (Houston, Houston Baptist, Rice).
When playing Houston-area NCAA Division I programs in Houston, Pastner is 2-2 coaching in those contests.
PASTNER VS. BRAUN
Wednesday's game is the only the fourth meeting between Josh Pastner and Ben Braun (Pastner leads 2-1 in their C-USA match-ups) as head coaches, but the two have a history in their days in the Pac-10 Conference (now Pac-12).
Braun served as the California Bears' head coach from 1996-2008, and during that same time, Pastner was an Arizona Wildcat (first as a player, then staff member and assistant coach).
In those 12 years in Pac-10 play, Braun's Bears and Pastner's Wildcats met a total of 26 times, and Arizona won 22 of those encounters (22-4 record).
In Pastner's time as an assistant coach at Arizona (2002-03 to 2007-08), the Wildcats were 11-2 against Braun and his California squads.
Ironically, Braun's first victory over Arizona in the 1996-97 season (79-77) was the Wildcats' final setback of that campaign. After that loss to California, the Wildcats won six-straight NCAA Tournament games to claim the national title.
A HOMECOMING FOR STOUDAMIRE
When Memphis travels to Rice for Wednesday's match-up, it will be a homecoming -- of sorts -- for Tigers assistant coach Damon Stoudamire.
Stoudamire, who is a Portland, Ore., native, started his professional career in college basketball on Ben Braun's Rice staff in 2008-09.
That season, Stoudamire served as the Owls' Director of Player Development.
Near the end of the 2008-09 season, Stoudamire left Rice to join the NBA Memphis Grizzlies staff as an assistant.
HOUSTON MEMORIES/PART I
No matter the outcome of Wednesday's game or future encounters Memphis plays in Space City USA, the city of Houston will always hold a special place in the hearts of Tiger Nation.
That fondness for Houston comes from the 2008 NCAA Tournament when the Tigers won the South Region at Reliant Stadium.
Memphis started its run to the 2008 NCAA title game in Little Rock, Ark., with the tournament's first two rounds. Then, the Tigers moved on to Houston, where they defeated Michigan State and Texas en route to the Final Four.
HOUSTON MEMORIES/PART II
Memphis' 2009-10 trip to Rice provided more great memories for Tigers fans, as the 80-68 win over the Owls put Memphis in the NCAA record books.
The victory gave the Tigers the NCAA Division I record for the most-consecutive regular season wins in league play at 52 straight. The victory also tied the NCAA Division I mark for most-consecutive overall league wins (including postseason tournament) at 64 straight. Memphis shares that record with Kentucky.
FEAR THE OWLS AT TUDOR (FORMERLY AUTRY COURT)
Although the renovations took the famed curtain away (Owls' student section used to have "Fear The Curtain" t-shirts), Autry Court at Tudor Fieldhouse has been a tough place for the Tigers.
Since Conference USA realigned in 2005-06, Memphis has made three trips to the Owls' on-campus facility and won two of the three meetings by an average margin of 8.5 points (84-79 in 2005-06; 80-68 in 2009-10).
Memphis dropped a 67-52 decision to the Owls in its last trip to Tudor Fieldhouse in 2010-11.
OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM
Memphis and Rice enter Wednesday's game on the opposite ends of several statistical categories in Conference USA, and the following shows that:
FG Pct. Defense
TIGERS ON THE ROAD IN C-USA SINCE 2005-06
Everyone knows how tough the Tigers are at home in Conference USA play since the league realigned in 2005-06.
Memphis is 64-3 in C-USA games at FedExForum since 2005-06, and the record includes both regular season and tournament games.
Well, the Tigers aren't too bad in their C-USA road games over that same period of time.
Memphis has a 50-11 C-USA road record (.820 winning percentage; includes regular season and tournament games) since 2005-06.
Of the 11 league road losses since 2005-06, four were single-digit setbacks.
TIGERS TURNING UP THE "D"
Since their return from The Bahamas in late November, the Tigers' defense has turned up the pressure on its opposition, and that can be seen in Memphis' first two C-USA games.
The following shows how the Tigers put the clamps on the opposition in early C-USA play:
PPG/C-USA Rank Entering Game
Pts vs. Tigers
IT'S A BLOCK PARTY
It took a few games into the season, but the Tigers are getting back to their "blocking" ways.
After leading C-USA in blocks a year ago at 5.6 bpg, Memphis began 2012-13 averaging only 3.9 blocks per contest in the first seven games (27 total blocks).
Well, the Tigers have picked up their intensity on the defensive end in the last eight games with 59 total blocks (7.4 bpg).
In each of the last eight games, Memphis had no fewer than four blocks, including a season-high 11 swats in the Jan. 4 win at Tennessee. The Tigers added 10 swats in their Jan. 12 victory at UAB.