Dec. 3, 2011
HOUSTON - Arsalan Kazemi dished out a career-high eight assists to go along with 18 points and 14 rebounds as Rice defeated St. Thomas 81-67 Saturday in Tudor Fieldhouse.
With the win, the Owls improved to 6-2 heading into a break for finals at Rice University. The team will not compete again until Dec. 14th when they play host to Louisiana College to continue a four-game home stand. St. Thomas is now 4-4.
On Saturday, Rice did not put St. Thomas away until the latter stages of the second half.
After trailing 38-28 at halftime, St. Thomas closed the gap to as few as a four-point margin on Andrew Graves' layup which made the score 50-46 with 13:27 to play. A possession earlier, Adrian Morales knocked down a three-pointer before Kazemi answered with a 1-for-2 trip to the free throw line.
Following Graves' layin, Rice scored seven unanswered points. Jarelle Reischel's layup with 11:44 to play gave the Owls a 57-46 lead.
Led by Kazemi's 7-for-8 shooting performance, Rice converted on 52 percent of its field goal. The Owls however had 15 turnovers leading to 23 St. Thomas points.
Kazemi also had three steals and a block in the game. He fell two assists shy of Rice's first double-double since 2004.
St. Thomas senior forward Anthony Medina scored 21 points, converting on 6-of-11 three-point attempts while Graves scored 16 points. Adrian Morales finished with 12 points and six assists over the bench. Celts' starting guard Travis Lampley had eight assists to go along with eight points and four rebounds.
Rice had five players score in double figures.
Dylan Ennis matched a career high with 14 points in his second straight start. Ennis had three assists and two steals while not turning the ball over in 24 minutes of playing time.
Lucas Kuipers scored a season-high 13 points and Tamir Jackson also finished with 13. Ahmad Ibrahim followed up a career-high, 19-point effort earlier in the week at Houston Baptist with 10 points off the bench against St. Thomas.
The Owls' 14-point margin of victory was their biggest lead of the game.