North Texas guard Kai Huntsberry drives into the paint for duing the Mean Green's game against Louisiana Tech earlier this season at the Super Pit. UNT will host Rice tonight.

Rice at North Texas

When: 7 p.m. tonight

Where: Super Pit, Denton

Records: UNT 15-4, 6-2 Conference USA; Rice 13-5, 4-3 Conference USA

Last game: UNT 64, Florida International 57; Rice 88, UTSA 81 (OT)


Radio: Mean Green Learfield IMG College

Projected UNT starting lineup

PG: Kai Huntsberry, 6-3, Sr. — Huntsberry scored 13 points after hitting all four of his free throws in UNT’s win over FIU. The senior made just one of his six attempts from 3-point range. He had gone 5-for-8 in his previous two games. Huntsberry is averaging 11.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

G: Tylor Perry, 5-11, Sr. — Perry scored 17 points and matched his season high with seven rebounds in UNT’s win over FIU. The senior has scored in double figures in all but one of the Mean Green’s games this season and is averaging 17.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

G: Tyree Eady, 6-5, Sr. — Eady took just one shot from the field in UNT’s win over FIU and missed it. The senior handed out three assists while playing 12 minutes against the Panthers. He is averaging 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

F: Aaron Scott, 6-7, So. — Scott saw his string of four straight games scoring in double figures come to a close in UNT’s win over FIU. He took just three shots from the field against the Panthers and finished with two points. The sophomore is averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

F: Abou Ousmane, 6-10, Jr. — UNT got the ball inside to Ousmane early and often in its win over FIU. The junior took 15 shots and finished just short of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Ousmane is averaging 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Scouting Rice

Rice enters tonight’s game having won two straight and ranks second in Conference USA with an average of 82.1 points per game.

The Owls lead the league with a 48.7 field goal percentage. Rice has a terrific backcourt with Quincy Olivari and Travis Evee, who are averaging 19.1 and 16.6 points per game, respectively. Forward Max Fielder is adding 10.9 points and is also averaging 8.5 rebounds per game.

What you need to know

UNT returns to the Super Pit tonight to face Rice after splitting two games in Florida last week. The Mean Green lost a showdown for first place in C-USA with Florida Atlantic before bouncing back to beat FIU.

UNT has won five straight games over Rice and will look to extend that streak heading into a game at UAB.

The Mean Green are two games back of FAU in the C-USA standings and can’t afford to drop winnable games if they want to run down the Owls.

UAB was the prohibitive favorite in the C-USA race heading into the season and will certainly be ready for the Mean Green. Picking up momentum heading into that game is key for UNT.

The Mean Green have been terrific all season defensively and enter tonight’s game allowing 54.4 points per game, a total that ranks third nationally.

UNT has been able to hold some of the top scoring teams in C-USA in check this season. The Mean Green will face another challenge tonight in an offensively potent Rice team.

For more on UNT’s standout defense and how the Mean Green have reloaded after losing a few key players to graduation, be sure to check out this week’s feature story from our Mean Green Spotlight newsletter.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

Originally published on dentonrc.com, part of the BLOX Digital Content Exchange.