Rice (12-9, 6-7) vs. Western Kentucky (14-4, 7-2)
E.A. Diddle Arena, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Saturday, 6 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Western Kentucky looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over Rice. In its last five wins against the Owls, Western Kentucky has won by an average of 9 points. Rice’s last win in the series came on Jan. 14, 2016, an 83-73 victory.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: The versatile Charles Bassey has averaged a double-double with 16.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks to lead the way for the Hilltoppers. Taveion Hollingsworth has paired with Bassey and is putting up 13.8 points per game. The Owls are led by Max Fiedler, who is averaging 11.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and four assists.BRILLIANT BASSEY: Bassey has connected on 29 percent of the 31 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 4 for 11 over the last five games. He’s also made 75.4 percent of his free throws this season.
COLD SPELL: Rice has lost its last four road games, scoring 66.5 points, while allowing 80 per game.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Owls have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky has an assist on 44 of 77 field goals (57.1 percent) across its past three outings while Rice has assists on 53 of 82 field goals (64.6 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Rice as a team has made 10.7 3-pointers per game this season, which is fifth-most among Division I teams. The Owls have averaged 13.3 3-pointers per game over their last three games.
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