Nov. 10, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - Despite four starters scoring in double figures, Rice University men's basketball fell to St. Thomas, 72-59, in the team's season opener on Saturday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Owls (0-1) started strong, sinking three early three-pointers, and staked an early five-point lead before the Celts (2-0) caught fire from downtown and reeled off 13-straight points to take the lead for good.
UST held a 34-21 advantage at the intermission and played even with Rice in the second half at 38-38. Rice was unable to pull closer than eight points after halftime, despite an improved shooting performance from the field.
Rice shot 36.7 percent from the floor in the game with a 6-of-28 mark from downtown. UST sank 8-of-18 treys and finished the night shooting 55.1 percent from the field.
Tamir Jackson led the Rice scoring attack with 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting with a pair of treys. The senior added five rebounds, an assist and a steal in 34 minutes of action.
Julian DeBose posted a strong start to his sophomore campaign with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. He shot 3-of-8 from the field and added a 6-of-8 mark from the free-throw line.
St. Thomas was led by Adrian Morales, who sank four three-pointers and tallied 17 points off the bench. Travis Lampley played all 40 minutes and notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 of UST's 16 assists. The Celts owned a slight edge in rebounding at 33-31, and converted 14 points off of 15 Rice turnovers on the night.
A pair of newcomers joined the Rice starting lineup in point guard Max Guercy and forward Ross Wilson. Guercy scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting with a pair of treys. He led the Owls with four of the team's 12 assists and hauled in two rebounds as well. Wilson, a native of Gosforth, England, also started in his first collegiate game and tallied three points and three boards in 17 minutes in the paint.
Sophomore Seth Gearhart notched a career-best 10 points in his first start, sinking 3-of-6 shots to accompany four rebounds.
In all, six newcomers made their Blue and Gray debuts on Saturday, including Nizar Kapic, who notched five points in 16 minutes. Keith Washington added four points, three rebounds and two assists, while Austin Ramljak grabbed two rebounds in 14 minutes and Bahrom Firozgary added three of his own in four minutes of action.
The Owls conclude a two-game homestand on Wednesday, as St. Edward's visits Tudor Fieldhouse for a 7 p.m. contest.