Rice Basketball is on the final leg of a three-game road trip, in need of a win when they visit North Texas for a Monday night contest.
North Texas 11-8 (5-1), Last 5 (5-0)
- 67-64 (W) at Marshall
- 74-56 (W) vs FIU
- 81-58 (W) vs FAU
- 72-52 (W) at Southern Miss
- 51-50 (W) at Louisiana Tech
Rice 9-10 (1-5), Last 5 (1-4)
- 66-61 (L) at WKU
- 81-76 (L) vs FAU
- 92-78 (W) vs FIU
- 72-56 (L) at LA Tech
- 81-68 (L) at Southern Miss
North Texas statistical leaders
- Scoring | Umoja Gibson – 14.2 per game
- Rebounds | Deng Geu – 6.3 per game
- Assists | Javion Hamlet – 4.7 per game
- Steals | Umoja Gibson – 1.82per game
- Blocks | Deng Geu – 0.9 per game
Rice keys to victory
Rice needs to play defense. The Owls haven’t held a D1 opponent below 40 percent from the field since they topped East Carolina in the Bahamas Showcase during Thanksgiving week. Sporadic shooting performances of their own have been enough to get a few wins here and there, but the vast majority of the outcomes have been determined by the Owls’ lack of focus on the defensive end of the court.
Once they’ve sorted that out, they’ll need to find consistency from scorers not named Trey Murphy. Drew Peterson and Josh Parrish have had their moments, but getting a trio of players rolling at the same time has been a challenge. North Texas has a middle of the pack scoring offense, but a stingy defense.
Rice has the firepower to win a slugfest, but they’re going to have to put all the pieces together. Doing that at home has been tough, making for a potential statement opportunity on the road against a surging North Texas squad.
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