Nov. 15, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - In a game that saw 22 lead changes and 11 ties, a win in Friday night's contest between Rice University men's basketball and Texas A&M was destined to go to the team that scored last. Unfortunately for the Owls, it was the home team that prevailed, 68-65, at Reed Arena.
Max Guercy tied the game at 65-65 on a free throw with 26 seconds remaining, but it was the Aggies' (3-0) Jordan Green who sank the game winner, knocking down a three-pointer on the right wing with just over six seconds remaining in regulation.
The Owls (1-2) advanced the ball into the half court and called a timeout, but a last-second three-point attempt rimmed out to deal the Owls a second-straight last-minute loss.
Neither team led by more than four points in the final 37 minutes of the game as each team seemed to have a response to the other throughout the night.
Several Owls shined on the night as Guercy led four starters in double-figure scoring with 17 points. The sophomore found his shooting touch, knocking down 6-of-10 attempts, including one three-pointer. He added a career-high nine assists and swiped three steals.
Austin Ramljak sank three of Rice's nine three-pointers to finish with 11 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal. Seth Gearhart and Marcus Jackson each tallied 10 points with a pair of treys. Gearhart swatted a career-high three blocks while Jackson added a pair of rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.
Sean Obi notched a season-best nine rebounds to accompany eight points on 4-of-5 shooting to lead Rice to a 26-24 advantage on points in the paint.
When the Owls were able to get to the foul line, they made it count, sinking 8-of-10 free throws. The Aggies were 25-of-37 at the charity stripe. TAMU missed its first eight three-point attempts in the second half before coming up with huge connections on their final two attempts.
The Owls missed their first four shots of the game to fall into an 8-2 hole before responded with a 12-2 run to grab a 14-10 advantage midway through the first half. The teams traded the lead 12 times in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 34-33 Aggie lead at the intermission.
On the night, Rice shot 45.3 percent from the field and 9-of-29 from beyond the arc. The Owls grabbed 30 rebounds to Texas A&M's 38. Kourtney Roberson led the home team with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting as well as nine rebounds.
The Owls close out the two-game road trip on Wednesday at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The contest against the Islanders is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
NOTES: Jackson made his first-career start ... guard Keith Washington did not make the trip for personal reasons ... Rice held TAMU to a season-low 34 points in the first half and held the Aggies to their lowest scoring total of the season (previously 82) ... the Aggies have won 107 of the 189 meetings between the former Southwest Conference rivals ... Rice's 45.3 field goal percentage was the team's highest of the season.