The FIU Panthers (11-5, 2-1 CUSA) travel to Rice to play the Owls (8-8, 0-3 CUSA) in a game that will likely be up-tempo. Action gets underway at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 11, 2020.
FIU Panthers at Rice Owls Free Preview
The last time the Panthers played, they got blown out by the North Texas Mean Green, 74-56. Osasumwen Osaghae had a good performance for FIU, contributing 11 points and six rebounds. North Texas had an offensive rebounding percentage of 42.4 (above their season average of 32.9). FIU, on the other hand, had a better free throw rate (0.176 vs. 0.172).
The Owls are trying to rebound after their 81-76 loss to the Florida Atlantic Owls in their last game. Drew Peterson led Rice in scoring with 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting. Florida Atlantic had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (30.0 vs. 21.6). Rice, on the other hand, did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (24-27; 88.9 percent).
There could be plenty of transition offense in this matchup that features two of the NCAA’s more fast-paced teams. Rice currently ranks 44th in possessions per game (73.5) and FIU is 10th (77.1).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Panthers won the sole game played against each other last season, 86-65. The Panthers dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a turnover percentage of 16.3 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.500. The Owls recorded marks of 34.8 and 0.472, respectively, for those same stats.
FIU Panthers at Rice Owls Prediction
Basketball Pick: SU Winner – FIU, ATS Winner – FIU, O/U – Over
FIU ranks third in blocks per game (6.9) while Rice ranks 147th (2.6).
The Owls’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.6, up from 1.1 for the season.
During their last five games, the Panthers have scored an average of 72.0 points per game (8.4 below their season average) and allowed an average of 76.0 points per game (3.6 above their season average).