LUBBOCK, Texas -- Anthony Livingston scored the final three of his 33 points at the foul line with 2.4 seconds left to hand Rice just its second loss, 85-84, Saturday afternoon.
Marcus Evans scored 27 points and had four rebounds and four assists to lead the Owls. It was his third straight 20-point game and the seventh in eight games this year. Egor Koulechov scored 25 points and had six rebounds. Marquez Letcher-Ellis added 11 points.
"This is a beautiful game," said head coach Mike Rhoades. "But, as much as fun as it is, it is also very cruel. We experienced that in the last few seconds of the game. It's how the game goes. I think we'll build on this. But, I'm proud of my guys. We fought and battled all game. We did a great job of hanging in there. But, we have to play more disciplined."
Rice trailed 79-76 with 2:58 to play. After Koulechov hit two free throws, Connor Cashaw forced a turnover. Evans then hit a driving layup, got fouled, and converted the three-point play to give Rice an 81-79 lead. After a stop, Evans made three of four free throws to take its largest lead of the game, 84-79 with 34 seconds to play.
Texas Tech then hit a three to pull within two and immediately fouled Cashaw with 13 seconds left. But, Cashaw missed both attempts and TTU got the rebound. With time winding down, Livingston attempted a three-pointer. But, Evans was called for a foul and Livingston made all three free throws to give the Red Raiders an 85-84.Rice had one final chance, but Evans' three-point attempt from half court was off the mark.
Jackson got things going with a three-pointer to open the game. TTU answered with six straight points but Koulechov tied the game with a three. After Anthony Livingston hit a jumper, Evans hit a three to send Rice on a 9-3 run to give Rice its largest lead of the half, 15-11, 7:03 into the game.
Shadell Millinghaus converted a three-point play before Chad Lott hit a pair of free throws. However, The Owls went cold from the floor, making just one of its next 10 baskets, as the Red Raiders went on a 15-3 run to take its largest lead of the game, 29-20, with 5:39 to play in the half.
Cashaw hit a jumper, then after a Texas Tech turnover, Evans converted a four-point play. Thomas Brandsma hit a three for TTU, but Koulechov scored five straight to get the Owls within one with just over a minute left. But, a layup by Livingston sent Rice into the break trailing 34-41.
Rice shot 46.6% (27-of-58) from the floor and 48.4% (15-of-31) from three. Texas Tech was 29-of-53 (54.7%) from the field and 7-of-16 (43.8%) from behind the arc. The Owls were 15-of-19 from the free throw line while TTU was 20-of-23.
Rice will take a week off for exams before returning to the hardwood next Saturday, Dec. 10, when it hosts Stephen F. Austin. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will be live-streamed at CUSA.tv.