Feb. 9, 2013
Final Stats (.pdf)
HOUSTON, Texas – Rice University men’s basketball fell to SMU, 61-39, on Saturday night at Tudor Fieldhouse. Senior Tamir Jackson sank a second-half free throw to notch the 1,500th point of his collegiate career. He is just the ninth player in program history to reach the milestone.
Jackson finished with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists for the Owls (5-18, 1-8), who shot a season-low 19.6 percent from the field on the night. Rice sank just 6-of-25 three-point attempts but had a solid night at the foul line, sinking 13-of-16 free throws.
Head coach Ben Braun said, “It was a tough day from the perimeter, and even when we got to the rim we had a tough time getting shots to fall. We’ve been shooting free throws well lately, but we have to get to the line more often and make that a priority. We struggled some against their zone, so that’s something we will go back and work on. Julian DeBose had a good week of practice and it showed in the game tonight, but we still miss Seth Gearhart and all the things he does for us. We can’t wait to get him back.”
DeBose led the Owls’ offense with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting. He knocked down a pair of three-pointers and dished out two assists to accompany one rebound.
Austin Ramljak added six points for Rice, but sat on the bench most of the second half after picking up his fourth personal foul early in the frame. The junior sank 2-of-3 three-pointers and added a pair of rebounds.
Max Guercy added six points with four rebounds, three steals, two assists and his first career block. Bahrom Firozgary made his second-straight start and hauled in four rebounds and blocked a shot before fouling out. Ross Wilson matched the team lead with five of the Owls’ 30 rebounds. He added two steals in the game as Rice scored 14 points off of 14 SMU turnovers.
Despite sinking just 5-of-25 shots in the opening 20 minutes, the Owls forced eight turnovers to slow down the Mustangs (13-12, 3-7) and keep the score tight. SMU put together a 12-4 run in the final eight minutes to take a 26-17 advantage to the locker room.
SMU shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and pulled down rebounds on 15 of Rice’s missed shots after the intermission to build on its lead.
Ryan Manuel led three Mustangs in double-figure scoring with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Cannen Cunningham pulled down 13 of the visitors’ 40 rebounds and blocked six shots on the night.
The Owls set out on a two-game road trip beginning on Wednesday at Marshall. Following the 6 p.m. CT contest, Rice continues to Birmingham, Ala. to face UAB on Saturday.