Rice basketball narrowly missed a homecourt victory as they watched their final shot bounce out, thwarting the Owls upset attempt at UAB.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the game Rice trailed the visiting UAB Blazers by 13 points. The Owls’ had put together a decent night from the field at that point but turnovers had cost the Owls way too many possessions. Rather than cave, they pressed in.
The resiliency of this team has been tested in recent weeks. They rallied to cut the deficit to one-point, staying within reach for the remainder of the game, right up until an Ako Adams three-point attempt fell short at the buzzer. His shot would have forced overtime, instead, Rice ended up three-points shy on the scoreboard, losing 89-86 to a surging UAB squad who has quietly won four games in a row.
Player of the game – Trey Murphy
Trey Murphy scored 18 points in each of his most recent outings, a career high at the time. On Saturday against UAB he one-upped himself, tallying 24 points with a personal best five made three-point shots. It wasn’t just the distant shooting which paved the way for another big night from Murphy, he also went a perfect 9-for-9 from the line.
Shooting 71 percent from three doesn’t happen very often, but Scott Pera himself has given Murphy free range to take as many open threes as he can. He scored 10 points in two minutes on Saturday. When he’s hot, Rice needs to get him the basketball.
A road trip to Charlotte looms next for Rice. The 49’ers are 5-15 on the season and 2-7 in conference play. They’re coming off a four-point loss to UTSA on Saturday.