Jan. 12, 2013
TULSA, Okla. – Rice University men’s basketball’s hot shooting went cold towards the end of the game as Tulsa came from behind to claim a 64-51 win on Saturday evening at the Reynolds Center.
Tamir Jackson led the Owls (3-12, 0-2) with 14 points, five assists and five rebounds as Rice built an early lead and held the advantage for nearly 30 minutes before the Golden Hurricane (10-7, 2-1) rallied back to claim a lead that it would not relinquish in the final stretch.
Head coach Ben Braun said after the game, “This game was a good building block for us. I thought we came out aggressive. If we could have closed the disparity at the free throw line, I think we would really have had a good chance to win.”
After falling behind 4-0, the Owls scored 14-straight points to open a 10-point cushion. Rice continued to set the pace in the first half with eight three-pointers in 13 attempts.
Led by three from Jackson, Rice dished out eight assists on 10 made baskets in the opening 20 minutes to take a 33-26 lead into the intermission. Rice finished the game with 11 assists on 16 field goals.
Tulsa then climbed back from the deficit to tie the game at 43-43 with 9:22 remaining in regulation. The teams tied three more times including a 51-51 mark before the Golden Hurricane reeled off six points in the span of 50 seconds to take the lead for good. Rice was unable to answer as Tulsa scored the game’s final 13 points in the final five minutes.
Rice shot 41.7 percent in the opening 20 minutes before cooling off to sink just 25.0 percent in the second to finish the night at 33.3 percent from the field. After sinking 8-of-13 from downtown in the opening half, the team finished with an 11-of-24 mark.
Seth Gearhart tallied 12 points with three long balls, in addition to two assists and a pair of steals while Julian DeBose and Austin Ramljak each added a pair of three-pointers in the game. Ramljak made his first career start in the game and finished with six points in 30 minutes of action. DeBose added six points and three boards.
Reigning Conference USA Freshman of the Week Max Guercy tallied eight points, four rebounds and an assist. He knocked down his only three-point attempt of the game as Rice sank eight of its first 10 shots from beyond the arc.
Tulsa shot 52.8 percent in the game and sank 24-of-35 free throws, including 20-of-23 in the second half. The Golden Hurricane also owned a 36-21 lead in rebounding after each team hauled in 14 in the opening period.
Looking ahead to next week’s home game against Memphis, Braun added, “I think we can build from today’s game. We have to multiply the things we did well tonight. We bounced back from our game against Southern Miss and we have to use that to build confidence going forward.”
Rice returns to Tudor Fieldhouse on Wednesday to host defending league champion Memphis on Wednesday in a 6 p.m. contest. The game will be televised on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
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