By: Tim Andrzejewski (email@example.com)>br>HOUSTON, Texas -- Marshall used a 23-5 run over the last 8:19 to prevent a Rice comeback as the Owls fell, 93-80, Thursday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Junior Connor Cashaw led the Owls with 24 points and five rebounds. Freshman Malik Osborne recorded his second career double-double, scoring a career-high 22 points while tying a career-high with 13 rebounds. Senior Bishop Mency and sophomore Ako Adams added 11 points apiece.
Rice (5-21, 2-11 C-USA) entered the second half trailing 42-40. Mency gave Rice its first lead since 6-5 with a three. After the teams traded baskets, Rice went on an 11-4 run to take its largest lead of the game, 56-51, just five minutes into the second stanza.
The teams again traded baskets over the next 1:30, but Marshall (18-8, 9-4) scored eight of the next 10 points to regain the lead. But Rice responded with a 12-5 run to take a 75-70 lead with 8:32 remaining.
However, Rice went cold as Marshall heated up. Jon Elmore hit two free throws and after a missed Najja Hunter three, C.J. Burks hit a trey to tie the game. After Robert Martin missed a layup, Burks gave Marshall the lead for good with a layup.
An Adams turnover led to a basket by Ajdin Penava. Hunter pulled Rice within 79-77 with a jumper with 5:29 to play. However, the Thundering Herd scored 11 of the next 12 points to put the game away as Rice missed 12 of its final 14 field goals.
"In some ways, it's a microcosm of our season," said Rice head coach Scott Pera. "For 37 minutes we played pretty good basketball. The last three were obviously rough. But to (Marshall's) credit, they shot 13-of-24 from three. It's hard to beat a team in any game, at any level, if they shoot that well from three."
Rice started the game off with three-pointers by Adams, Osborne and Mency, as the game was tied at nine 4:20 into it. After a Marshall basket, Cashaw made one-of-two free throws to get Rice within one. But the Thundering Herd scored the next six points to take a 17-10 lead.
Cashaw then scored five straight points, but Marshall answered with five of its own. Osborne then hit back-to-back threes to get Rice within 22-21 midway through the first half. However, the Herd went on a 10-2 run over the next 4:40 to take its largest lead of the half, 35-23.
But the Owls didn't go away, scoring the next seven points over the following 2:05 to pull within five. Marshall made a three, but Cashaw made a jumper. After a Marshall free throw, Adams made a pair from the line.
The Herd made another from the charity stripe and after trading layups, Cashaw hit a jumper and Osborne made a pair of free throws as Rice went into the break trailing by two.
Pera added, "I'm really proud of our guys. We just ran out of gas a little bit. We missed some shots that we normally make, and they made shots. Sometimes, that's the story of the game."
Rice was held to 42.0% (29-of-69) from the field and 30.0% (9-of-30) from three. Marshall connected on 34-of-60 (56.7%) from the floor and 54.2% (13-of-24) from beyond the charity stripe. Rice outrebounded the Herd, 37-to-36.
Rice closes its homestand this Saturday, Feb. 17, when it hosts WKU. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and the game will be livestreamed by ESPN3.