Jan. 5, 2011
HOUSTON - In a seesaw game that saw the lead change 18 times, the Rice Owls men's basketball team fell to Tulane 85-81 Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse in both teams' Conference USA opener.
The loss came despite a career-high 28-point game from Rice forward Arsalan Kazemi, competing against a Tulane team that made 12-of-18 three-pointers including all seven of its attempts from behind the arc in the second half.
Kazemi also had 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the year. He set a new career high for blocks with four and had a steal, continuing the kind of performance that has led to two straight weeks as the conference's player of the week.
"We have to give (Tulane) a lot of credit," Kazemi said. "They knocked down their shots. Hopefully, no other team we play is going to knock down 12 three-pointers like that."
Both Tamir Jackson and Trey Stanton also scored in double figures for the Owls, finishing with 12 points apiece. Jackson also had six assists and a steal while Stanton, who was 4-fore-5 from the field, grabbed five rebounds to go along with an assist and a steal.
Rice coach Ben Braun said the Tulane shooting performance was "as good as I've seen a team shoot on us. We lost to a team that put up a great effort."
Braun added that he wants his team learn from the loss.
"I told our guys we have to take teams like Tulane out of their comfort zone," he said. "We're going to go back to the film and see how many shots were really contested. (But) give Tulane credit. They sure knocked down some big shots. They played with a lot of confidence. "
Tulane senior guard Kris Richard led his team with 24 points. He was 7-for-10 from the field, knocking down 6-of-8 three-pointers. Back court mate Kendall Timmons scored 19 points.
Tulane improved to 11-3 with its fifth straight win.
The Owls' loss ended a two-game winning streak that had seen the squad beat LSU and TCU to gain momentum heading into conference play.
Rice will look to rebound from the loss Saturday night when the Owls travel to Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane began C-USA play Wednesday with a 69-59 loss at UTEP. Tulsa is now 7-7 overall.
Rice is back at home next Wednesday when the Owls play host to Southern Miss.