TU has plenty of motivation for Rice game
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Saturday, March 09, 2013
3/09/13 at 7:20 AM
The Rice Owls have an overall record of 5-24. In Conference USA, they are 1-14. During the month of February, they were winless in eight contests.
In advance of Saturday's 7 p.m. meeting with the University of Tulsa, Rice ranks last in C-USA in scoring, in field goal percentage and in rebounding margin. In the final game of the regular season, the Golden Hurricane and Owls clash at Rice's Tudor Fieldhouse.
The levels of motivation are drastically different.
While Rice staggers toward the finish line of a miserable season, Tulsa is playing for a prize.
If the Hurricane wins at last-place Rice and UAB loses at first-place Memphis, Tulsa would emerge with the No. 5 seed and a first-round bye in next week's Conference USA Tournament at the BOK Center.
"We want to finish the season with a win and move into the tournament with some momentum," Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "It will also give us a chance to finish .500 in conference play. We wanted a much better record than that, but we can only control our next game."
Said Hurricane freshman guard Shaq Harrison: "It's the last game of the season. That's the most motivation you can get, right there. It's the last chance to really show who you are before the conference tournament."
TU and UAB each has a league mark of 7-8. Because of a Feb. 6 victory at TU, UAB owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hurricane. If the Hurricane stumbles at Rice, UAB would get the No. 5 seed, regardless of the outcome of its Saturday test at Memphis.
Conference USA Tournament first-round games are set for Wednesday at the BOK Center. Because Central Florida is ineligible for postseason tournaments, the C-USA tourney is an 11-team event. On Wednesday, while the top five seeds are idle, the other six teams are involved in first-round assignments.
TU concluded its 14-game Reynolds Center schedule with a 71-65 loss to SMU. The injury-riddled Golden Hurricane has been beaten in six of its last nine games.
"We're all about the next game. We've got to dial in," Tulsa senior guard Scottie Haralson said. "Even though (the Owls) are at the bottom of the conference, they're still going to play their hardest."
TU up next
At Rice 7 p.m. Saturday
Radio: KRMG am740, fm102.3
Original Print Headline: Hurricane has plenty of motivation for Rice
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397