Tuesday, Nov. 21 • Huntsville, Texas • 6:30 p.m. • Johnson Coliseum (6,100)
Sam Houston State (1-1) vs. Rice (3-0) • Purchase Tickets
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HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State continues its homestand on Tuesday, with another quality opponent heading to Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
The Bearkats face Rice at 6:30 p.m. in the 26th all-time matchup between the two squads. The Bearkats are seeking their first back-to-back victories in non-conference play since 2015 and looking to snap a two-game losing streak to the Owls.
Sam Houston thumped Wiley College, 80-41, last time out. The 39-point win was the biggest for the Bearkats since 2001 when Sam Houston defeated Nicholls by as many. The victory came one game after holding a five-point halftime lead at Arkansas.
The Kats opening three opponents (Arkansas, Wiley and Rice) were also featured on Sam Houston’s November schedule a season ago. Against Arkansas and Wiley a season ago, the Kats combined to average 45 points, 30 percent shooting along with 44 total turnovers. This go-around, Sam Houston has averaged 67 points and 40 percent shooting with 35 turnovers.
The Bearkats return leading scorer Jenniffer Oramas (9.1 points per game), leading rebounder Lydia Baxter (6.6), leading three-point shooter Rachel Harrell (38) and leading blocker Kiera McKinney (38) among eight total letterwinners to this year’s squad.
Sam Houston is set to play its most home games in program history during 2017-18 with 15 total. The Kats will play four more games at Johnson Coliseum than a season ago.
TUESDAY’S GAME BASICS
Sam Houston is seeking its first back-to-back wins in non-conference play since Nov. 20 and Nov. 23, 2015, when the Kats downed Our Lady of the Lake and LSU Alexandria.
The matchup will be the 26th all-time between Sam Houston and Rice with the Owls holding an 18-7 advantage including winning the last two.
The Kats are 4-3 all-time against Rice at Johnson Coliseum but fell 58-46 in the last meeting against the Owls in Huntsville (12/17/15).
Jenniffer Oramas led Sam Houston in scoring in each of its first two games. The sophomore has shot 45 percent from the field (10 of 22), producing 13 points per game. She is also the team leader in total assists (9).
Rice is off their most successful season in 11 years, capturing the WBI postseason championship after running off four-straight wins at Tudor Fieldhouse for the title.
The Owls return eight letterwinners from last year’s squad and two starting guards in senior Wendy Knight and junior Nicole Iademarco.
Rice was picked to place fifth in the 2017-18 Preseason C-USA Women’s Basketball Poll. The squad lost 58 percent of their total minutes played from last year’s team including 1,000-point scorers Jasmine Goodwine and Maya Hawkins. Goodwine was a C-USA Second Team pick while Hawkins was named the WBI MVP. Tuesday’s matchup will be the second-straight vs. a Southland Conference opponent after facing Houston Baptist on Saturday.