Dec. 30, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Rice University men's basketball suffered just its second double-figure setback of the season at Texas, 66-44, at the Erwin Center on Monday afternoon.
Sean Obi notched his fourth double-double of the season as the freshman led the Owls (5-7) with 10 points and 12 rebounds. He shot 3-of-8 from the field, but made four of his five free throw attempts. He also passed out an assist and took away one steal in 23 minutes.
Rice improved its scoring prowess in the second half to shoot 29.1 percent from the field in the game, compared to Texas' 45.8 percent clip. The Owls also relatively heated up from downtown after the break to notch 6-of-29 three-pointers on the day.
The Longhorns (11-2) were strong on the glass, owning a 42-29 rebounding advantage, but converted nine offensive boards into just two points. On the other end, Rice scored eight second-chance points on six offensive rebounds.
Nizar Kapic came off the bench to notch a career-best seven points, all in the second half. The redshirt freshman missed five games following a knee injury against Rider on Nov. 29. He shot 3-of-5 from the field and added an assist and a steal.
Keith Washington added seven points of his own and dished out four of the Owls' 11 assists on the afternoon. Drew Bender added three points and three rebounds off the bench.
Despite a slow start in shooting, the teams played roughly even for the first quarter of the game. An Austin Ramljak three-pointer kept the Owls within 13-11 before a 10-point Longhorn run gave the home team a double-figure cushion. Rice shot 26.9 percent in the opening 20 minutes compared to 48.1 percent for Texas as UT led, 37-19, at the break. Ramljak sank just 1-of-9 shots on the day for just three points. The senior added five rebounds, an assist and a steal.
UT's Jonathan Holmes scored 15 points and Cameron Ridley chipped in 14 for the home team. The pair combined to shoot 11-of-14 from the foul line as Texas knocked in 19-of-27 free throws on the day. Rice sank 6-of-7 free throws as a team.
The Owls return home to host Harvard on Saturday, Jan. 4. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.