Texas Tech Men's Basketball gears up for Rice in Saturday Matinee

Texas Tech Men's Basketball gears up for Rice in Saturday Matinee

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech men's basketball team moves into the December portion of its schedule and takes on Rice for a Saturday afternoon matchup at the United Supermarkets Arena.

Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by FOX Sports Southwest along with the FOX Sports Go app. Robert Giovannetti and John Harris will serve as the announcing team with Adam Doyle as the sideline reporter.

The Texas Tech Sports Network will carry the game live on 97.3 FM, 100.7 FM and 950 AM in Lubbock. Geoff Haxton and Chris Level will have the call. The radio broadcast also will be available on the Texas Tech Sports Network radio affiliates, online at www.TexasTech.com and the TuneIn Radio app.

Last time out, Texas Tech (6-1) secured its fifth victory of 20-plus points on the season with a 69-48 win over Incarnate Word on Wednesday. The Owls (6-1), winners of five straight, tucked away a 90-77 decision versus Houston Baptist also on Wednesday.

"There have been a lot of great games between Texas Tech and Rice over the years," Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. "They have a great coaching staff and a very talented team. There are lot of similarities between Rice and Incarnate Word in terms of how fast they like to play. Rice averages over 80 points per game, and their only loss came when they were held in the 60's.

The Red Raiders have amassed a 65-28 series advantage sparked by a 35-8 record in Lubbock in a series which dates back to the 1941-42 season. The last time the two teams met was a 68-53 Texas Tech victory in the semifinal round of the 1996 Southwest Conference Tournament. The Red Raiders have won seven straight over Rice.

Fans can purchase tickets to Saturday's game for as low as $10 online on at www.TexasTech.com or in person on gameday at the United Supermarkets Arena Ticket Office starting 90 minutes prior to tipoff.

Children age 13 and under are encouraged to arrive early for a free pregame youth clinic featuring members of the coaching staff. Participants should arrive by 10:45 a.m. at the North Event Entrance.

Students in attendance will receive a Texas Tech basketball tacky holiday t-shirt. The student lounge will feature a nacho and quesadilla bar with doors opening at 12 p.m. CT.

Fans are reminded to go clear at all Texas Tech basketball games. The new clear bag policy provides a safer atmosphere and speeds up the entry process into the United Supermarkets Arena.

About Texas Tech
The Red Raiders not only lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage (52.2) and opponent points per game (57.9). Both marks are ranked fourth and fifth in the nation, respectively.

Texas Tech has done its damage with a balanced scoring attack and had at least four players reach double figures in five of seven games.

Zach Smith has upped his average to 14.3 points per game on the strength on four consecutive games in double figures, the second-longest streak of his career. He has piled up 11.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. His 64.8 field goal percentage and three double-doubles pace the Big 12. Smith has rejected 14 shots and has 106 blocks for his career which is tied for fourth in program history

"Zach deserves a lot of credit," Beard said. "He was a good freshman and took the next step in his game as a sophomore last season. Zach has put in the time, and I think he's taken the next step between his sophomore and junior year. He leads our fastbreak a lot and can bring the ball up the floor. On defense, he's able to guard multiple people with different skill sets."

Keenan Evans has provided 12.6 points and 3.7 assists per game from the point guard position. He has reached double figures in five of seven games and his 3.7 assists per game are 12th on the Big 12 leaderboard.

Anthony Livingston has garnered 12.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has drained a team-leading 13 three-pointers. Livingston's 2.2 treys are tied for fourth whereas his 44.8 three-point percentage is ninth in the Big 12 rankings.

Justin Gray and Devon Thomas has moved into the starting five during Texas Tech's last three games. Thomas has compiled 21 assists versus four turnovers and his 5.3 assist-to-turnover ratio on the young season is second in the Big 12 rankings. Gray has improved his scoring mark to 10.3 points per game on 13-of-17 shooting over the three starts. His 61.7 field goal percentage trails only Smith on the Big 12 list.

Texas Tech has played its last three games without its leading scorer Aaron Ross. The Red Raiders also have been without Norense Odiase who has started 47 of his 51 career appearances over his first two seasons for the first seven games of the 2016-17 season.

Shadell Millinghaus and Niem Stevenson have done the heavy lifting off the Texas Tech bench. Millinghaus tallied 14 points versus Incarnate Word whereas Stevenson chipped in 12 points during the Idaho State game.

About Rice
The Owls top the Conference USA leaderboard with 86.0 points per game. Rice has hit 48.6 of its field goals and 38.7 percent of its three-point attempts, both marks are second in the C-USA rankings.

Marcus Evans, a preseason All-Conference USA performer, has lived up to the billing during the early portion of the season. He has poured in a league-leading 22.6 points per game coupled with 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. The sophomore guard is coming off a season's best 31 points and eight assists versus Houston Baptist.

Rice has knocked down nine three-pointers per game. Connor Cashew, Egor Koulechov and Marcus Jackson along with Evans have combined for 60 of 63 treys.

Koulechov is the most potent of the quartet and has buried 52.9 of his triples. He has garnered 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Like Evans, the Arizona State transfer has reached double figures in all seven games. Koulechov racked up 35 points and 13 rebounds at Incarnate Word on Nov. 26.

Jackson has garnered 14.0 points and 3.7 assists per game whereas Cashew has chipped in 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Jackson has registered 10-plus points on six occasions highlighted by a pair of 19-point efforts in road games versus James Madison and Omaha.

"Rice is a team that we have a lot of respect for, and they pass the eye test when you watch them on film," Beard said. "They've already won three road games. They can shoot the three-ball and have four guys shooting close to 40 percent. This is the type of game that will help both teams down the road. There's no doubt they have our full attention, and I think our guys understand how well we're going to have to play."

Up Next
Texas Tech continues its run of four consecutive Wednesday home games versus UTSA. Tipoff is on-tap for 7 p.m., and the game will be carried by FOX Sports Southwest Plus along with the FOX Sports Go app.