Dec. 19, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas - In its first overtime game of the season, Rice University men's basketball sank its free throws down the stretch to defeat Chicago State, 63-60, on Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice ended the second half on a 12-4 run to erase an eight-point deficit and force the extra period. Tamir Jackson scored 12-straight points for Rice and 17 of 20 of the team's points for a long stretch in the frame.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Jackson scored 22 points after the intermission to propel the Owls (3-9) to victory. The guard finished the game with a 7-of-16 mark from the field and connected on three three-pointers. He added three rebounds and an assist.
In overtime, the Cougars struck first with a free throw before Austin Ramljak responded with two of his own. Each team then scored a basket on their next possessions to allow Rice to remain ahead by one point. The score remained within a point into the final minute, when freshmen Max Guercy and Keith Washington each added a foul shot to pad the lead at 61-58. Chicago State's Jeremy Robinson then sank a layup with 10 ticks left on the clock to pull the visitors within one, but Seth Gearhart received the ensuing inbounds pass and added two more free throws to provide the final margin.
Both teams posted streaky starts to the contest before the Owls gained control at 26-19 following a Gearhart three-point play. Rice then missed its final six shots of the half as the Cougars (3-10) climbed back within 26-25 at the intermission.
Aside from three early three-pointers in the second half, Rice remained cold from the field, connecting on just three of its first 10 field goal attempts. The stretch allowed the visitors to take a lead and extend it to eight points with less than five minutes remaining.
It was at that point that Jackson completely took over the game, converting a pair of three-point plays and bringing Rice all the way back with a 9-0 run. The teams traded the lead in the final two minutes before Rice's final shot of the half rimmed out to force the overtime period.
Ramljak scored in double figures with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting. He sank both foul shots and grabbed three rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Gearhart added nine points on 3-of-7 shooting. The sophomore blocked a pair of shots and was one of three Owls to lead the team with four rebounds on the night.
Guercy added eight points, four rebounds and three assists, while Julian DeBose dished out four of Rice's 11 assists. The sophomore added five points and a pair of steals.
Chicago State owned a massive 47-23 advantage on the glass, including 20 offensive rebounds which converted to 14 second-chance points. Robinson led the visitors in scoring with 15 points and Matt Ross hauled in 13 rebounds.
Rice shot 40 percent from the field (20-50) and knocked down 9-of-26 three-pointers. The Owls converted 77.8 percent of their free throw attempts (14-18), including 6-of-8 in overtime. The Cougars shot 41 percent from the field, but just 3-of-21 from downtown. The visitors were 7-of-10 from the charity stripe but did not record a single fast-break point.
Rice concludes its five-game home stand on Saturday as it welcomes former conference rival TCU. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
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