Nov. 25, 2012
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Tamir Jackson recorded his second-straight 20-point game and the Owls erased a 10-point halftime deficit, but Drexel responded with a late run to defeat Rice University men's basketball, 55-47, in Sunday's final round game at the DirecTV Classic.
Jackson paced the Owls with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting and helped Rice (1-5) force 14 turnovers in the game. He was joined in double figures by Julian DeBose, who scored 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting and narrowly missed recording a double-double for the second game in a row, as he led Rice with nine rebounds.
Head coach Ben Braun noted, "Our guys battled, but didn't start off well until the second half. We did a really good job on getting out on their guys but we got hurt inside in the paint. We are getting closer and playing against good competition. We are moving the ball and sharing the ball and look to get better with that."
Rice forced seven turnovers and converted the opportunities into eight points in the opening 20 minutes, but Drexel shot an astounding 66.7 percent of its field goal attempts to stake a 30-20 lead at the intermission. For the game, Rice turned its 14 turnovers into 16 points.
The Owls then opened the second half on a 17-5 run to take their first lead of the game at 37-35 with 11:18 remaining. DeBose led the Rice charge with 10 of the Owls' points during the run.
From that point, Drexel began to adjust to Rice's suffocating defensive pressure and scored the game's next seven points. The Dragons (2-4) worked up to a six-point advantage with 5:43 remaining before both teams went scoreless for a four-minute stretch.
Drexel sank 7-of-8 foul shots in the final minute to hold off the final Owls rally. Rice held Drexel to 36.8 shooting after the break as the Dragons settled to 51.4 percent in the game, while the Owls finished the day at 36.5 percent. Drexel sank 5-of-11 three-pointers compared to 6-of-18 by Rice.
Led by seven rebounds from Daryl McCoy, the Dragons owned a 33-23 advantage on the glass, but pulled in just four offensive rebounds in 22 opportunities. Drexel's Frantz Massenat matched Jackson for the game scoring lead with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and a 3-for-3 mark from downtown.
Jackson converted a three-point play late in the first half to tie for 20th in program scoring history with 1,218 points. In the second half, the senior added 13 more points to move into 18th place in program history with 1,231.
Seth Gearhart tallied eight points, two assists and two steals for Rice, while Austin Ramljak added three points and a pair of rebounds off the bench to help the cause. The Owls converted three of a season-low six free throw attempts on the afternoon, but swiped seven steals compared to just one by Drexel.
Rice returns to Houston to open a five-game home stand. The Owls host Houston Baptist on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Tudor Fieldhouse.