Dec. 22, 2011
COLLEGE STATION - With a 65-58 win over Texas A&M on Thursday in Reed Arena, Rice University halted a pair of lengthy winning streaks the Aggies enjoyed.
In a total team effort in which the Owls shot 47 percent and outrebounded the Aggies 37-28, Rice ended Texas A&M's 67-game nonconference winning streak in Reed Arena which dated back to the start of the 2005-06 season. The Aggies had also won 80 consecutive regular-season, nonconference games in the building.
Rice improved to 8-4 and won its second straight road game. Texas A&M is now 8-3.
The Owls closed out the first half with a 10-0 run to grab a 33-26 at the break. The Owls held Texas A&M scoreless for the final three minutes of the period.
Texas A&M's Kris Middleton looked to ignite the Aggies and the Reed Arena crowd with an outside jumper on his squad's first possession but Rice answered with a Dylan Ennis, fast-break layup then Tamir Jackson converted a three-point play to stretch the Owls' advantage to 38-28 early in the period.
Rice also endured almost five minutes without a point before Ahmad Ibrahim's fastbreak layin off an Ennis pass put the Owls up 47-39.
After an Ennis field goal, Ibrahim scored the Owls' next seven points culminating with a three-pointer to stretch lead back to double-figures, 56-45 with 4:00 to play.
Texas A&M would pull to within six points with less than three minutes to play, 59-53, but Ennis and Lucas Kuipers each went 2-for-2 at the line and with the Aggies applying full-court pressure, the Owls broke the press with a Kuipers fastbreak layin from Jackson. Kuipers basket gave Rice a 65-57 lead.
Jackson led the Owls with 13 points while Kuipers and Ibrahim each finished with 12. Ibrahim also had two blocks and two steals in the game. Arsalan Kazemi finished with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.
David Loubeau scored 14 points off the bench to lead the Aggies while Dash Harris and Middleton each finished with 13.
Late in the first half, Harris knocked down a three-pointer with 3:18 to play in the period to spot the Aggies a 26-23 lead. Rice would begin a defining run with a layin by Kazemi then a fastbreak basket by Ibrahim following a defensive rebound by Kazemi.
Rice would close out the half with a Kuipers three followed by another trey by Connor Frizzelle who spotted up for the shot on the break.
Texas A&M had better than 25 seconds to set up for a final shot but Rice held the Aggies without a final attempt with Jackson taking the ball from Harris in the corner as the buzzer sounded at the break.
Rice returns to action next Wednesday when the Owls play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.