March 6, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas – Seniors Bahrom Firozgary and Austin Ramljak played their final game at Tudor Fieldhouse in a 70-48 setback to Conference USA regular season champion Louisiana Tech on Thursday night. The Owls will face North Texas in Tuesday’s opening round at 4:30 p.m. CT in El Paso.
In his return to action following a hand injury last week, Ramljak sank one three-pointer on the night. The basket was his 84th trey of the season and gave him sole possession of Rice’s (7-22, 2-14 C-USA) single-season record. Robert Johnson knocked down 83 three-pointers in 1998-99.
Also coming off an injury, Firozgary scored two points with an assist and a rebound in eight minutes.
Deferring to the senior, Sean Obi came off the bench for the first time this season and led the Owls with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting to accompany five rebounds and a pair of assists in 25 minutes.
Keith Washington scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting and provided a spark for Rice early in the game. The sophomore chipped in two rebounds and an assist as well. Max Guercy added nine points with a pair of three-pointers and did not commit a turnover against the Bulldogs’ constant full-court pressure.
In fitting fashion, Firozgary scored the Owls’ first basket and Ramljak set the season three-point record during a tight first half. Washington scored nine points to pace the squad, which shot 53 percent in the period with 4-of-8 three-pointers. LA Tech scored nine points off of eight turnovers en route to a 29-22 halftime advantage.
Coming out of the break, the Bulldogs began the second half on a 20-5 run to take control. The Owls found their rhythm once again in the frame, but LT seemingly had an answer for each Owl basket and prevented a Rice comeback.
Rice’s shooting cooled off in the second half, but the Owls converted 44.2 percent of their shots on the night, including 7-of-16 three-pointers. LT shot 47.2 percent in the game and knocked down 9-of-24 threes.
The Owls scored eight points on five offensive rebounds but LA Tech converted 12 turnovers into 16 points. LT owned a 36-26 advantage on the glass.
LA Tech’s (25-6, 13-3) Chris Anderson led the visitors with 17 points while Kenneth Smith passed out nine assists.
With the conclusion of the regular season, the Owls turn their attention to next week’s Conference USA Championship in El Paso. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. CT at the Don Haskins Center.