The men’s Rice basketball squad opened conference play on Saturday while the women were delayed. Here’s what we learned from the men’s loss.
Rice basketball wasn’t in sync in their return from COVID-19 postponements, falling to North Texas on the road in their first conference game.
Things got off to an innocent enough start for Rice Basketball at the Super Pit on New Year’s Day. The Owls traded baskets with the North Texas Mean Green early and trailed by one-point following a layup from Carl Pierre with 10:52 to go in the first half. Rice would go almost six minutes of game time before their next field goal.
As the Rice offense wilted, North Texas caught fire. The Mean Green went on a 24-6 run from that point onward turning a close game into a blowout before Rice could get their bearings straight. Rice collectively shot a dismal 31.8 percent from the field and made just three of 14 attempts from three.
What they’re saying
“I thought our guys came out and defended well. They executed the game plan defensively. I thought our communication defensively was really good. We just couldn’t get a rebound. (North Texas) is a very good team. They are on their home court. They are tough and well-coached. They played better and deserved to win.” – Scott Pera on the team’s performance
Poor shooting nights happen and we’ve seen enough from this team to know a 21.4 percent outing from deep isn’t likely to become a frequent occurrence. But it wasn’t just bad shooting that turned a tough game into a rout. Rice was gashed on the glass from start to finish.
North Texas outrebounded Rice 56-30. They edged Rice in offensive rebounds 28 to nine. Rice had nine second-chance points. North Texas had 23. The Mean Green shot 39.2 percent from the field — a subpar shooting night — but they made it for it with their aggression on the boards. The shooting will bounce back. Rice absolutely must do something to ensure the rebounding improves with it
Up Next: vs Middle Tennessee – Thursday, Jan. 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Rice women’s basketball has yet to begin conference play. Their New Year’s Day contest against North Texas was postponed.
While the men were able to get back to the court on Saturday, the women were unable to open their conference schedule as had been previously scheduled. We detailed more of the unique challenges facing Lindsay Edmond’s club in our December Subscriber Q&A.
Up Next: at Middle Tennessee – Thursday, Jan. 6 at 6:00 p.m.
Subscribe on Patreon for exclusive Rice football recruiting updates, practice notes and more.