Aug. 1, 2013
Box Score (.html)
Live coverage of Thursday's game at Fraser Valley (7 p.m. PT)
Postgame Interview (video) | Game Highlights (via UBC)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Behind 25 points from Austin Ramljak, Rice University men's basketball topped University of British Columbia, 96-70, in the first of three exhibitions for the Owls in Canada this week. Freshman Marcus Jackson also scored in bunches, tallying 22 in his unofficial collegiate debut at War Memorial Gym on Wednesday night.
The Owls put together a solid shooting performance as a team and used solid pressure defense to gain an early lead and expand the cushion throughout the second half. Rice shot 50 percent from the field (36-72) in the game and knocked down 16-of-34 three-point attempts. The Owls forced 26 turnovers, including 11 in the decisive third quarter.
Ramljak put in seven of his 10 three-point attempts and added a pair of baskets in transition to reach his scoring total. The senior added four of Rice's 14 steals and three assists. He notched 16 of his 19 first-half points in the second quarter.
Jackson did the majority of his scoring in the second half, with 11 points in the third quarter, including Rice's first nine points of the period. The newcomer added four steals of his own and a pair of assists off the bench.
Sean Obi added eight points and six boards in his first game in the Blue and Gray, while fellow newcomer Andrew Drone chipped in seven points on and five rebounds. The rookie post players combined to shoot 7-of-11 from the field.
The Owls opened up the advantage to as many as 20 points in the third quarter, thanks in part to 10 UBC turnovers in the period. Rice held a 24-17 advantage in the period, and outscored UBC in each of the four individual frames on the night.
Isaiah Solomon led the home team in scoring with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The Thunderbirds converted 40.7 percent of their attempts from the field and 5-of-24 three-pointers. UBC owned a 40-31 edge on the glass, though Rice held a 20-17 margin in the second half.
The Owls have a quick turnaround in the exhibition schedule with a 7 p.m. PT contest on Thursday at Fraser Valley. Rice then closes out competition on Saturday at Capilano University. That game is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT.
Notes: 13 Owls saw action in the game, including six of the team's seven true freshmen ... Hunter Eggers and redshirt freshman Nizar Kapic dressed out but did not play due to injuries ... head coach Ben Braun designated assistant coach Brian Eskildsen as the Owls' head coach during the game ... Braun directed the squad through its preparations for the contest as well as during halftime ... Ramljak's high scoring output as a junior in 2012-13 was 18 points, which he surpassed in the first half on Wednesday ... earlier in the day, several of the Owls took in the local sights, visiting scenic Stanley Park and the local beaches.