Rice Rally Falls Short Against Temple
Rice drops 77-70 decision in battle of Owls
Dec. 19, 2011
HOUSTON - Despite a late, first-half rally which allowed Rice to get back in the game then an early, second-half surge which gave the Blue and Gray a short-lived lead, Temple was able to regain its advantage and claim a 77-70 road win in Tudor Fieldhouse Monday.
With the win, Temple improved to 7-3 and split a Lone Star road swing which included a 77-65 loss to Texas over the weekend. Rice lost its second straight at home to fall to 7-4 and now begins a stretch in which it plays three of its next four on the road starting Thursday at Texas A&M.
Temple broke open a 10-10 game early in the first half with a 10-2 run which started with a Juan Fernandez three-pointer. The Cherry and Cream would extend its lead to as many as 13, 36-23, before Jarelle Reischel helped spark a 9-0 Rice rally to end the half. Reischel scored six points during the stretch, including a layin off an Arsalan Kazemi pass to cut Temple's lead to 36-32 at the intermission.
Rice would go on to score the first five points of the second half to take the lead. Lucas Kuipers connected from outside on a Tamir Jackson pass and after a 1-for-2 performance at the free throw line, Kazemi scored on a fastbreak layup to give the Blue and Gray a 37-36 lead with 18:45 to play.
Kuipers' three-pointer followed by a fastbreak layin by Dylan Ennis gave Rice its biggest lead, 42-39 with 16:54 remaining.
Fernandez would answer with a three-pointer to tie the game and start a 7-0 Temple run to put the team from Philly out in front 46-42 with 15:51 left.
Temple extended its second-half lead to as many as 10 points in the second half.
Rice cut the advantage down to six, 68-62, on a pair of Kuipers' free throws with 1:39 to play then looked for a defensive stop. The Blue and Gray did not give Temple a good look at the basket as TU ran time off the block before Fernandez had to settle for a 25-foot, three-point attempt which he sank extending the lead to 71-62 with 1:11 to play.
Fernandez finished with a game-high 23 points. He was 8-for-18 from the field, knocking down 5-of-7 three-pointers.
Aaron Brown added 10 points for Temple while Rahir Hollis-Jefferson finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Kuipers led Rice with a season-high 16 points while Kazemi had a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double, the 35th of his career. Kazemi entered the week averaging 12.3 rebounds to lead the nation.
Jackson scored 11 points, had seven assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes to play.
Rice was held to a season-low, 3-of-18 from beyond the three-point arc (.167) by a Temple team which entered the game ranked fourth in the statistical category.