Nov. 23, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas – Strong shooting, including 10 three-pointers, and costly turnovers were too much for Rice University men’s basketball to overcome in a 70-56 setback against Princeton on Saturday at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Tigers (3-1) sank six three-pointers in the first half to keep the Rice defense on its heels and finished the game with a 45.5 percent field goal mark from the field, and 10-of-31 from downtown. The Owls were limited to a 38.5 field goal percentage, but knocked down 6-of-17 shots from downtown.
The Owls’ (2-3) balanced offensive attack had a tough time getting into a rhythm as no Owls scored in double figures in the game. Max Guercy, Sean Obi and Austin Ramljak led Rice with nine points apiece.
Princeton scored 14 points off of nine first-half turnovers to take a 36-25 lead into the locker room. The Owls shot 36 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes with four three-pointers while the Tigers shot 46.4 percent with six treys.
After the break, the Tigers stayed hot from the field and increased their advantage to 25 points. From there, the Owls continued to battle and stayed aggressive on offense to pull within 14 points before the game’s end.
Obi led Rice in rebounding for the fifth-straight game as the freshman hauled in nine boards, including four on the offensive end of the floor. He connected on 3-of-7 shot attempts and swatted both of the Owls’ blocks. Rice converted 10 offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points on the afternoon.
Guercy added three rebounds, an assist and a steal and Ramljak battled foul trouble in the second half to sink 3-of-5 three-point attempts with two boards and an assist.
Freshman Marcus Jackson had trouble finding his shot for seemingly the first time this season, but found a way to score seven points (with a 4-of-4 mark at the foul line) and added a season-high seven rebounds to accompany five of the Owls’ nine assists.
Princeton claimed a narrow 35-34 edge in rebounds and turned 13 Rice miscues into 19 points while committing just nine turnovers.
Hans Brase led the Tigers with 15 points. Ben Hazel snagged seven rebounds and Jimmy Sherburne dished out five of the visitors’ 14 assists.
Rice heads west to the Cable Car Classic next week in Santa Clara, Calif. The Owls face off with Rider in the opening round on Nov. 29 and face either North Dakota State or host Santa Clara the following evening. Friday’s tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.
NOTES: Freshmen Joey Burbach and Hunter Eggers each made their collegiate debuts in the game in the final minute of regulation … Rice’s scoring marked a season low … the Owls had not trailed by more than six points in any of the first four games of the season ... Princeton has now won three of the four meetings between the teams.