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Marshall, Rice look for 1st win in C-USA

Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Two struggling men's basketball teams meet Thursday at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.

Marshall University, 6-13, has a four-game losing streak. Rice, 5-12, lost its last seven in a row. Both teams are 0-4 and share last place in Conference USA.

Following is a look at the matchup:

Scoring: Marshall averages 78.1, good for third in C-USA. Rice scores 64.2 per game, which is last in the conference.

Defense: Rice is sixth in the conference statistics giving up 69.5 a game. Marshall is next-to-last allowing 75.6.

Shooting: Marshall is a 44.3 field goal accuracy team. Rice at 40.5 percent is last in the league.

Foul shooting: Marshall's 60.6 percent is last in C-USA while Rice is one of the best at 69.1.

Rebounding: Both teams have been outrebounded for the season.

Which team wants it more?: We'll find out Thursday.

GETTING SOME LOVE: Marshall point guard Kareem Canty was singled out by Jay Bilas of ESPN as one of the nation's freshmen who have excelled, but are not getting the attention they deserve.

Bilas also mentioned Fordham guard Jon Severe, Indiana Hoosiers forward Noah Vonleh, Kansas center Joel Embiid and Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis.

He said Canty is putting up perhaps the best numbers of any freshman across the board.

Canty is scoring 16.7 per game and is tied for eighth in the nation with 6.6 assists.

FILL 'ER UP: Louisiana Tech's home attendance average is 3,448 in the 8,000-capacity Thomas Assembly Center, but they're shooting for a sellout Saturday night for Marshall's visit. The game is being televised on the CBS Sports Network.

"Operation Sellout -- Mission Possible" is being promoted on the website latechsports.com. A countdown on the website Tuesday evening showed only 1,948 remaining tickets.

The Bulldogs's largest crowd of the season was 4,236 for FIU.

RECRUITING WATCH: Henry Uwadiae, a 6-foot-11 center from Nigeria who signed with Marshall, is taking some small steps at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Uwadiae is a project who doesn't get to play much for the Eagles, but he had a big moment in a Jan. 4 victory against Des Moines Area C.C. Kirkwood's big men got in foul trouble and Uwadiae came off the bench to play for six minutes.

He had a dunk, blocked two shots and clogged the middle in a zone defense.

"When Henry does something like that, it sparks our team," Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen said. "I was proud of Henry's effort."

Uwadiae has appeared in 12 games for Kirkwood (12-5). He averages 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds with seven bocks.

He originally committed to Wichita State before signing with Marshall.

A Kirkwood news release said although Uwadiae is still raw, he's made big strides and realizes he needs to keep improving.

Herd recruit Jay Johnson, a 6-7 forward at John A. Logan College in Cartervile, Ill,, is averaging 6.9 points and 6.2 rebounds.

Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, Ky., is led by 6-8 Marshall recruit Shane Hall putting up 18.1 points and 11.7 rebounds a game.

TWEETEST FANS: The grand prize package in the Conference USA "Tweetest Fan" contest includes tickets, air fare and hotel accommodations for the conference basketball tournament March 11-15 in El Paso, Texas.

C-USA is seeking its "Tweetest Fans" using Twitter (@Conference_USA), Facebook (ConferenceUSA) and Instagram(ConferenceUSA).

Sports editor Rick McCann covers the Marshall men's basketball team for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or hedge@herald-dispatch.com.

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