Dec. 12, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - LIU Brooklyn had a night to remember, shooting an incredible 64.7 percent from the field to overcome Tamir Jackson's 26 points and claim a 97-70 win over Rice University men's basketball on Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Both teams were hot out of the gate, trading the lead four times in the opening 20 minutes. The Owls (2-6) shot a scorching 55.9 percent from the field in the first half, but LIU responded with a 63.3 percent clip to take a 51-45 advantage into the locker room.
Foul trouble plagued the Owls in the first half as Seth Gearhart and Ross Wilson picked up three each in just 14 combined minutes of action. LIU made the most of the infractions, sinking 8-of-9 free throws before the intermission. The Blackbirds (4-4) finished with a 17-of-23 mark at the foul line to go along with a 10-of-19 mark from three-point range.
The two-time defending Northeast Conference champions picked up the pace even more after the intermission to shoot 66.7 percent (16-24) in the second half to become the first Rice opponent to top 90 points in over a year. Despite having a hot shooting touch of their own, the Owls never pulled closer than six points in the game's final 18 minutes.
Jackson scored 17 of his season-high 26 points in the second half and shot 11-of-19 from the field. He added four rebounds and a pair of assists on the night.
Gearhart finished with two rebounds and two assists while Wilson scored four points on 2-of-4 shooting to accompany an assist in 14 minutes on the floor.
Julian DeBose scored 14 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 18. The sophomore hauled in seven of Rice's 20 rebounds and dished out three assists in a solid effort.
The Owls' 19 team assists (on 29 made field goals) were a season high and the team matched a season low with only seven turnovers. Rice also notched a season high with a solid 50 percent field goal percentage in the game. Rice entered the game shooting 70 percent at the stripe as a team but connected on just 6-of-15 attempts.
Austin Ramljak's six assists were the most by a Rice player this season, as the junior scored four points and blocked a shot in 26 minutes.
For the Blackbirds, Jamal Olasewere scored 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting and a 10-of-13 mark at the foul line. He added a game-high eight rebounds. Three other LIU players reached double figures in points, while Jason Brickman passed out nine of his team's 21 assists.
Dan Peera played 14 minutes and tallied career highs with five points on 2-of-3 shooting and three rebounds. Bahrom Firozgary added his first two field goals of the season en route to four points in nine minutes. The junior added a rebounds and one steal.
Rice reaches the midpoint of its five-game December home stand on Saturday as it plays host to Hartford. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.