Excessive turnovers proved too much to overcome for Rice basketball as they fell on the road to FIU by a final score of 86-65.
It had been more than a month since Rice basketball had lost a game in regulation by more than four points. 3-3 over their last six, it looked like this young team was starting to iron out some of their inconsistencies. The Owls were playing their best basketball of the year as the calendar turned into the spring.
Thursday night’s dud against FIU was far from the standard this team had established for itself over the last month. Rice outrebounded FIU (42-29) and outshot FIU from the floor (44.4 percent – 44.1 percent). But all that good could erase a stunning season-high 33 turnovers, nearly doubling their previous high of 17.
Winning on the road isn’t easy, especially in conference play. But Rice did themselves no favors against a middle-of-the-road FIU squad which had lost four of it’s previous five.
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Player of the Game – Quentin Millora-Brown
Even in defeat, the Owls’ freshman forward took significant strides in his offensive game. Shooting 7-for-9 from the field on any given night is huge, but adding a game-high seven offensive rebounds to that percentage is almost absurd. For reference, FIU grabbed 10 offensive boards as a team.
Millora-Brown is gaining confidence in his shot. If he can consistently score in the paint, the Rice offense is going to become that much more lethal. His double-double against FIU is a good start.
Rice closes out their Florida road trip with a Saturday contest against FAU. The others Owls of Conference USA edged North Texas at home on Saturday 57-47 and have won four of their last six games.