Rice basketball improved to 2-1 in conference play with their second-straight victory, earning the Owls’ first winning streak under coach Scott Pera.
For the first 38 minutes of Saturday’s matinee tilt, neither Rice nor Louisiana Tech was able to secure any kind of meaningful advantage. The Owls earned two eight-point leads but the visiting Bulldogs rallied to retake the lead on each occasion.
Jacolby Pemberton made a layup with 4:26 remaining to give Louisiana Tech a one-point edge. After that, it was all Rice. The Owls scored 17 of the final 21 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe to secure the 78-66 victory.
The win comes on the heels of a 73-65 victory on Thursday over Southern Miss. Together, the pair of victories mark the first winning streak for Scott Pera at Rice. Things are looking up for the Owls, who have the third-best record in CUSA after three games.
Player of the game – Ako Adams
A 12-point win doesn’t typically occur without multiple players having big days. Jack Williams tallied his second-straight double-double, but it was Ako Adams and his four three-pointers that played the most crucial role on Saturday. Adams was a momentum-making piece, extending Rice leads and erasing deficits with his smooth stroke. Adams leads the Owls with 38 triples on the season, converting 39.6 percent from beyond the arc on the year.
Up next – Road?
After playing four straight games in the friendly confines of Tudor Fieldhouse, the Owls will hit the road for a three-game road trip. Their first stop will be Thursday, Jan. 10 in San Antonio where they’ll take on UTSA at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.