Men's Basketball

Rice Knocks Off ECU, 69-58

Jan. 30, 2010

Final Stats
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Rice University staved off a second-half East Carolina rally as four Owl players scored in double figures in a 69-58 victory over the Pirates here Saturday. The win was the Owls' first Conference USA win of the season.

Tamir Jackson and Trey Stanton each scored 18 points for the Owls while Arsalan Kazemi had a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double.

Rice improved to 7-13 and 1-6. ECU is now 7-14 and 1-6.

The Owls' led by as many as 20 points late in the first half but an early 10-0 run after intermission by East Carolina got the Pirates back in the game.

ECU's Corvonn Gaines scored the first points of the second half and later had a trey during the Pirate run.

A three-point play by Darrius Morrow with 4:42 to play cut a Rice lead to 58-54. The Pirates would not score again until 1:34 left. During that stretch, Rice was also held without a field goal as the Owls' lone points during the stretch were two free throws by Kazemi to give the Owls' a 60-54 advantage.

Gaines missed a key pair of free throws following Kazemi's shots and the Pirates finally ended the drought when Erin Straughn drained a three-pointer. But Stanton answered with a three, giving Rice a 63-57 lead with just over a minute to play.

Rice sealed the win with six straight free throws in the final minutes - two each by Jackson, Connor Frizzelle and Lucas Kuipers.

Rice shot 51 percent from the field in the first half as the Owls led 41-23 at the half.

Stanton sparked a first-half rally with three straight baskets that was part of an 18-5 Owl run. Jackson kicked off the surge with a three-pointer before Stanton's field goals which included a driving layup past ECU's defense and a mid-range jumper.

The final minute of the first period included Kazemi getting around the defense for a dunk and later Nate Schwarze driving then kicking the ball back to Kuipers for an open three which put the Owls up 41-21. Morrow beat the clock at the other end with a layup to beat the buzzer to cut into the Owls' biggest lead of the half.

Kuipers added 10 points in the Rice win. Morrow led East Carolina with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Junior guard Brock Young, the league's leading playmaker scored 14 points but had just four assists.

Saturday's game was played in front of an announced crowd of 1,858 who got into the game for free as snow and sleet continued to fall in Greenville making the roads slick but still passable.

Rice begins a three-game home stand on Wednesday against Tulane. The Owls will also play host to No. 25 UAB on Saturday before taking on Texas A&M International the following Monday. East Carolina plays host to UCF on Tuesday.

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