Rice basketball has hit a rough patch. If the Owls want to get back on track they must take down Charlotte away from home.
With both programs sitting at 1-4 over their last five games, something’s got to give. Either the Charlotte 49ers three-game skid will snap or Rice will earn their first road victory in conference play. Both programs are teetering on the edge of the bottom spot in the conference standings, making a win on Thursday all the more important.
The game is not scheduled for TV broadcast but will be available on CUSA TV. Radio is available via the Stretch Internet Portal.
Charlotte 5-15 (2-7), Last 5 (1-4)
- L, 57-53 @ UTEP
- L, 88-43 @ UTSA
- L, 76-70 vs Old Dominion
- W, 55-40 vs Louisiana Tech
- L, 64-60 vs Southern Miss
Rice 8-13 (3-5), Last 5 (1-4)
- L, 89-86 vs UAB
- W, 79-68 vs MTSU
- L, 76-75 @ North Texas
- L, 65-64 @ UTEP
- L, 95-79 @ UTSA
Charlotte players to watch
It’s all senior Jon Davis or bust for the 49ers. His 21 points per game rank second in CUSA. He’s a talented player, but history says Charlotte can’t win very often on his hand alone. Freshman Malik Martin and Brandon Younger have had their moments, but outside of Martin’s 1.4 steals per game and Younger’s 35.6 clip from three, there hasn’t been much assistance for the 49ers’ veteran star.
Rice keys to victory
Making the extra pass has been a philosophy preached by head coach Scott Pera over the past several weeks. Getting his players to pass up the open shot for a more open look has paid dividends, with his team scoring 75 or more points in three straight games including 86 points in their loss to UAB, the second-most points they’ve scored in a conference game this season.
Charlotte owns the worst scoring offense in the conference. At 59.2 points per game the 49ers aren’t likely to outshoot the Owls — they’ve never scored more than 66 points in a victory this season. Continuing to ride the hot hand, whether it be Trey Murphy, Chris Mullins, Jack Williams or someone else should be enough to power Rice past Charlotte.