Jan. 19, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas – Tamir Jackson scored 24 points to lead Rice University men’s basketball to a 95-71 win against New Orleans and move into the program’s top 10 in career scoring on Saturday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Jackson shot 11-of-16 from the field with three rebounds and two of the team’s 20 assists. He entered the game 19 points away from Robert Johnson’s 1,413 career points, but blew past the mark midway through the second half.
Rice jumped out to a strong start taking a 31-16 lead behind 12 early points from Jackson. The Owls (4-13) led by as many as 17 points in the first half, ending with a 44-27 advantage at the intermission. Rice then salted the game away after the break with 7-of-13 three-point shooting in the period and 12-of-24 in the game.
Julian DeBose set a career high in scoring as the sophomore tallied 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to accompany eight rebounds and four steals. He combined with Jackson to score Rice’s first 13 points of the second half.
Freshman Max Guercy also put together a well-rounded game with 18 points and season highs of six assists and five steals. The guard sank 3-of-4 three-pointers and added three rebounds in 33 minutes. Seth Gearhart matched his career high of 15 points with a 6-of-8 shooting mark to accompany two blocks and a pair of rebounds.
Austin Ramljak rounded out the group of double-figure scorers with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting, all from beyond the arc. Making his third consecutive start, the junior added three rebounds and a pair of the team’s season-high 20 assists.
The points came early and often for Rice, as the team shot 58.1 percent in the first half before turning up the intensity even more to sink 64.5 percent of its shots in the second for a combined 61.3 percent clip. Not to be outdone, the Privateers (4-12) shot 55.6 percent after the break to finish the game at 48.1 percent from the floor.
Following the victory, head coach Ben Braun noted, “We shot well, but we also did a good job keeping our intensity from start to finish. New Orleans shot the ball well so we needed to respond. We wanted to show that we can play our style of basketball all the way through – not just for 36 minutes.”
The teams combined to sink 21-of-23 free throws in the game with just one miss per team. Rice scored 44 points in the paint, with 22 coming off of 19 UNO turnovers. The Owls collected 13 steals and owned a 6-0 advantage in fast break points. The teams were even with 27 rebounds apiece.
Rice returns to Conference USA play next week with a two-game road trip. The Owls take on UCF Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. CT before challenging Tulane on Saturday at 1 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised on CSS and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
Prior to the road trip, the Ben Braun Coaches Show continues on Monday night from Dave and Buster’s on Richmond. For this week only, the 7 p.m. show will be broadcast on ESPN 97.5. It then returns to Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 for the remainder of the season.