Men's Basketball Knocks Off HBU, 61-53

Max Guercy tallied 11 points and five rebounds in Saturday's win.

Dec. 1, 2012

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HOUSTON, Texas - A solid team effort propelled Rice University men's basketball to a 61-53 win over visiting Houston Baptist on Saturday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.

Tamir Jackson led the charge and notched his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds to accompany a career-high six steals. The senior helped the Owls (2-5) jump out to an early lead with nine points and four steals in the opening 20 minutes.

Rice sprinted out to a 27-8 advantage before HBU's full-court press slowed the Owls down to a more modest pace. The Huskies (3-4) climbed back within 11 points before the half on an eight-point run to take a 29-18 deficit to the locker room.

The Owls finished the half shooting 37.9 percent from the field, compared to 29.6 percent for the visitors. Rice also forced 11 turnovers and converted the miscues into 15 points.

After the intermission, HBU used a 16-5 run to pull within two points with 12:22 to play. Despite battling foul trouble throughout the half, Rice responded to push its advantage back out to eight points, at 42-34, behind four points from Max Guercy and a pair from Austin Ramljak.

From that point, HBU never got any closer than four points as the Owls sank their last five field goal attempts and 6-of-9 foul shots down the stretch.

Rice shot 40.4 percent from the field and 5-of-17 from downtown on the night, compared to a 37.3 clip for the Huskies, and 4-of-11 three-pointers. HBU owned a 40-34 advantage on the glass, but Rice forced a season-high 22 turnovers for 24 points, including nine on fast breaks.

Ramljak led Rice with 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and a pair of treys. The junior also chipped in two rebounds and a block. Guercy also scored in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. The freshman guard added five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

The Huskies' Art Bernardi led the visiting team with 15 points and 14 rebounds. He converted 5-of-7 field goal attempts and swatted a pair of blocks en route to his first double-double of the season.

Freshman Keith Washington added eight points, four rebounds and a pair of assists while sophomore Julian DeBose tallied seven points, four rebounds and two of Rice's four blocks.

The Owls take a break for final exams before returning to Tudor Fieldhouse on Dec. 12 to host LIU Brooklyn. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the second game of the five-game homestand.





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