Conference Play Opens for C-USA MBK on Saturday

Conference USA
Conference USA
 
IRVING, Texas -- Conference USA tips off its 22nd season on New Year’s Eve with eight teams in action, while six more teams get their C-USA start in 2017 with a Sunday debut.
 
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Charlotte hosts North Texas to get things started Saturday with a noon ET tip. Both teams picked up six wins during the non-conference schedule and they split their games last season, with each winning at home. In Charlotte, the 49ers won 103-79 as one of five games they hit the century mark - a feat they have accomplished three times in just 11 games so far this season.
 
Rice visits Old Dominion for a 1 p.m. ET contest, before making the trip to play Charlotte on Monday (ODU will host North Texas Monday). Rice sophomore G Marcus Evans, a 2015-16 All-Conference USA first-team selection, hails from nearby Chesapeake, Virginia. Evans is averaging 17.9 ppg, while teammate Egor Koulechov tosses in 18.5 ppg and leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.600). The duo will face an Old Dominion team that has been holding opponents to just 57.1 points to rank second nationally for scoring defense.
 
Both games will be available on CUSA.tv, along with Marshall at FIU for a 1 p.m. ET tip. The Panthers are coming off a 78-54 win against in-state foe North Florida, while Marshall played tough back-to-back road games, falling 93-91 in overtime to No. 24 Cincinnati and 112-106 at Pitt on Wednesday.
 
Florida Atlantic hosts WKU for a 1 p.m. ET start on FOX College Sports. The Hilltoppers are a perfect 5-0 at home, but only has one additional win on the road this season. Last year’s match-up went to overtime, before WKU picked up an 86-82 victory on Jan. 9. Justin Johnson, a C-USA all-preseason team selection, came off the bench to lead the Hilltoppers with 18 points and eight rebounds, while FAU’s Adonis Filer tossed in 14 points in that game.
 
Three more games are slated for Sunday beginning with Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss at 2 p.m. CT and UTEP at UTSA at 3 p.m. CT. Both games will be available on CUSA.tv.
 
Preseason favorites UAB and Middle Tennessee meet Sunday at 5 p.m. CT in Murfreesboro for a game that will be streamed on Campus Insiders. The Blazers won both games in the series last season to win the C-USA regular-season title, but MT was victorious in the 2016 C-USA Championship and moved on to defeat No. 2 seed Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Blue Raiders are 10-3 following the non-conference schedule.
 
Before league play begins, UTEP will play its final non-conference game of the regular season tonight. The Miners hope to get back in the win column as they travel up I-10 to square off with New Mexico State at 7 p.m. MT. The Aggies won the first meeting this season Dec. 13 in El Paso, 79-68. Omega Harris led the Miners with 18 points, and Dominic Artis scored 15 points with nine assists.
 
 
C-USA UPCOMING SCHEDULE
(All times Central)
 
Fri., December 30
UTEP at New Mexico State (ESPN3) - 8:00p
 
Sat., December 31
North Texas at Charlotte (CUSA.tv) - 11:00a
WKU at Florida Atlantic (FCS) - 12:00p
Rice at Old Dominion (CUSA.tv) - 12:00p
Marshall at FIU (CUSA.tv) - 12:00p
 
Sun., January 1
Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss (CUSA.tv) - 2:00p
UTEP at UTSA (CUSA.tv) - 3:00p
UAB at Middle Tennessee (Campus Insiders) - 5:00p
 
Mon., January 2
North Texas at Old Dominion (CUSA.tv) - 4:00p
Rice at Charlotte (ESPN3) - 6:00p
WKU at FIU (FCS) - 6:00p
Marshall at Florida Atlantic (CUSA.tv) - 6:00p
 
Conference games in BOLD.

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2016-17 C-USA Men's Basketball Fact Book

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