Rice basketball saw their conference winning streak come to an end, falling on the road to UTSA by a final score of 95-79.
The assignment coming into this game for Rice was relatively straightforward. Guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace came in averaging nearly 40 points per game. They were going to score — the Owls just needed to make sure the other pieces of the Roadrunner offense were limited. Things did not go according to plan on that front.
Jackson and Wallace scored 40-flat, but Giovanni De Nicolao notched 19 points and Nick Allen put up 20 points, both season highs. Those four scored 86 of the Roadrunners 75 points, more than enough to cover a respectable shooting night from Rice,
The Owls shot 44.4 percent from the field, but only 25 percent from three. Nine different players both scored and registered at least one rebound. Outside of an off night from Jack Williams, who was coming off back-to-back double-doubles, the rest of the offense played well enough. It was defense, once again, that cost them against the Roadrunners.
UTSA topped 90 points in two other contests this season, wins over Mid-American Christian and Bethany College. Their previous scoring high in Conference USA was 75.
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Player of the game – Trey Murphy
It wasn’t a great team shooting performance for the Owls, but freshman Trey Murphy found the net several times. He tied a career-best with three three-point shots made. His development from behind the arc is important for this offense — the more nights like this he has, the better.
Up next – UTEP
One road game down, two to go. Rice will continue their longest CUSA road trip of the season on Saturday, heading west to El Paso to take on UTEP. The Miners are 0-3 in CUSA play so far and 5-9 on the season.