Red Hot Shooting Leads Rice to 100-87 Victory at Nebraska-Omaha

Nov. 19, 2016

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Omaha, Neb. -- Rice shot 63.3% from the floor on its way to a 100-87 win at Nebraska-Omaha, Saturday afternoon.

It is the first 100-point game since defeating Louisiana College, 109-51, on Dec. 14, 2011.

Marcus Evans scored a game-high 29 points while recording five assists and three steals. It is his sixth consecutive 20-point game dating back to last season.

Marcus Jackson had 19 points, five rebounds and four assists and Egor Koulechov had 15 points, a game-high nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists. Connor Cashaw added 15 points, four boards and four assists.

"I'm really proud of the team," said Rice head coach Mike Rhoades. "It was important to come here and get off to a good start. I thought a lot of guys contributed. Late in the game, we finally showed some composure. We're growing up."

The Owls (2-1) led 43-41 at the half. Zach Jackson hit a three to put UNO (1-2) up by one. Rice regained the lead on an Evans layup and Koulechov connected on a three. Daniel Meyer hit back-to-back baskets, but Evans hit his fourth three of the game.

That's when Rice took over. Koulechov found Andrew Drone for a dunk and Jackson scored five straight to force a UNO timeout. Marquez Letcher-Ellis then went coast-to-coast for a layup and Cashaw hit a three to cap off a 12-0 Owl run and give Rice a 63-48 lead.

The teams went back-and-forth three minutes before Evans hit a pair of free throws and Letcher-Ellis found Corey Douglas down low for a layup to give the Owls their 13th straight basket and their largest lead of the game, 81-62 midway through the second half. The Mavericks would get no closer than 13 points.

Rice started the game hitting three of its first four three-pointers to take an early 9-3 lead. Back-to-back baskets by UNO cut the lead to 9-7, but layups by Evans and Marquez 10Letcher-Ellis pushed the lead back to 13-7 just five minutes into the game.

Over the next four minutes, the teams went back-and-forth before Evans hit a three-pointer to give Rice its largest lead of the half, 23-16, midway through the first half. However, the Mavericks went on a 21-6 run to take a 37-29 lead with 3:20 to play.

But, the Owls would not back down. Rice answered with an 11-2 run of its own to take a 40-39 lead with just under a minute to play in the half.

Kyler Erickson put UNO back on top with a running jumper in the lane. However, with time running down in the half, Koulechov drove the lane and kicked it out to Jackson who hit his second three of the half and give Rice a 43-41 lead at the break.

Added Rhoades, "We have good shooters. Everybody knows that. They know they have the green light so they're not looking over their shoulder. I think that always helps. But, today was different. When you make your first couple, you really gain some confidence."

Rice was 31-for-49 (63.3%) from the field and 14-for-21 (66.7%) from three. UNO shot 48.3% (29-for-60) from the field and just 36.4% (8-of-22) from three. The Owls also outrebounded UNO, 33-to-26.

Rice begins a two-game homestand next Monday, Nov. 21, when it hosts Montana State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be live-streamed at CUSA.tv.

 

 

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