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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
Rice Owls announce 2011-2012 basketball schedule
Posted: September 1, 2011 - 3:36pm CDT.
Ben Braun, head coach of the Rice Owls men's basketball team, announced the Owls' 2011-2012 basketball schedule Thursday afternoon.
"We are pleased to be able to give our fans a number of opportunities to see us at home," Braun said. "Our road schedule in Texas will also give our fans great accessibility to see us in action against some of the state's top programs."
Nine non-conference home games including a December date against Temple, an appearance in the 2011 South Padre Invitational and a league schedule in which the Owls close out the regular season by hosting cross-town rival Houston highlight the 2011-12 basketball schedule released by Rice University on Thursday.
Rice begins the season with four straight games in Tudor Fieldhouse including two, early-round games as part of the South Padre Invitational. Rice plays host to the University of New Orleans in the season opener on November 12th; and, after playing host to Southern (November 17), the Owls will take on Maryland-Eastern Shore (November 20) and Florida A&M (November 22) as part of the South Padre Invitational.
The Owls will head to South Padre Island for games against Northern Iowa (November 25) and Iowa State (November 26) to wrap up play in the early-season, round-robin tournament.
Rice does not play a game on an opponent's court until December; and, the team will stay within Texas prior to the start of conference play.
The Owls take on Houston Baptist on the HBU campus in the team's first true road game on December 1. The Owls' road schedule also includes games at Big 12 powers Texas A&M (December 22) and Texas (December 31) as well as Mountain West Conference member TCU (January 4).
Rounding out the non-conference home schedule are games against former Owls' assistant head coach Todd Smith and his St. Thomas Celts' squad (December 3), the University of Louisiana (December 14), Lamar (December 17), Temple (December 19) and former Owls' head coach Willis Wilson and his Texas A&M-Corpus Christi team (December 28).
Rice opens Conference USA action on January 7 by playing host to Marshall. The Owls' C-USA home schedule includes defending regular-season champion UAB (January 18). Rice closes out league play at home against Houston on March 3.
The Conference USA Championship returns to Memphis for the first time in three years. The FedEx Forum will host the league's post-season tournament March 7-10.
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