Rice basketball battled first place Old Dominion to the wire but fell short of the upset, dropping the Owls to 5-6 in Conference USA play.
Rice never seemed fazed or outmatched during their road game against the top team in Conference USA. The Owls and Old Dominion traded baskets throughout the first half of their game on Saturday. The lead jumped back and forth between the two teams with neither side pulling ahead by more than four points before half time.
It was Rice who took the four-point lead into the break, setting up an intriguing finish. The back and forth continued until Old Dominion emerged on top, 80-76. The Monarchs outrebounded the Owls 40-33, but the stat sheet beyond that looked fairly similar with both teams shooting about 45 percent from the field with more than 10 made three-pointers apiece.
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Player of the game – Jack Williams
Despite the loss, this was one of the Owls’ better games as a unit this season. Five players scored double-digit points. It was Jack Williams, though, who managed his sixth double-double of the year.
This team has done a lot of growing up over the course of the season. The freshmen have taken tremendous steps in just a few months, but it’s been Williams and guard Ako Adams who have paced this team with consistent performances night by night. Williams did it again on Saturday.
After a brief two-game road trip, Rice will return home for a pair of games next week. First, they’ll welcome Western Kentucky on Thursday. The Hill Toppers have won four of their last five (prior to 2/2 UTEP game). Tip off is set for 8 p.m.