Rice Basketball did all the right things to engineer a comeback, but the Owls couldn’t muster enough juice to upend Louisiana Tech.
“I guess the head coach of the losing team doesn’t usually say this, but man, that was a heck of a college basketball game,” Rice basketball head coach Scott Pera said following the finale. He lamented the result, but praised the effort of both teams. “We didn’t lose that game. They won it. And there’s a difference.”
It took Rice basketball some time to get going against Louisiana Tech. Carl Pierre delivered an opening three, but over the span of the next eight minutes Rice would manage just one field goal, a layup from Travis Evee. Despite those initial struggles from the field, the Owls were able to hang tough with the Bulldogs.
Louisiana Tech would stretch their lead to seven points. Rice answered with a series of threes, one each from Evee and Pierre. Again, the visitors would surge. That seven points represented the Owls’ halftime deficit which would grow to a game-high 10 point advantage for Louisiana Tech on the opening possession. Rice was officially in catch up mode.
Last Time Out: Rice Basketball late rally falls short vs FIU
From that point on, Rice basketball seemed to find its rhythm. Rice shot 59.4 percent from the field in the second half, knocking down 13-of-18 shots from inside the arc plus six threes. Challenged to find success inside, Max Fiedler and Myljyael Poteat were critical pieces in the Rice rally.
The double-digit lead for Louisiana Tech slowly dwindled. By the time the clock reached the one-minute mark it was a seven-point game and Rice was in foul mode. The Owls hit multiple threes in that stretch and converted a traditional three-point play, but Louisiana Tech made their foul shots and was able to escape with a four-point win.
Player Spotlight | Terrance McBride
As the Rice basketball lineup has continued to churn, Terrance McBride has emerged as a viable answer in the backcourt. He finished with seven points and tied for the team lead with six assists while delivering two of the most crucial layups of the entire game in the final 20 seconds of the second half, cutting to the basket and drawing an extra free throw, which he hit, to make it a one=possession game.
Stat Corner | Six
Pera was quick to point out one stat in the postgame presser in defense of his team’s quality play: turnovers. “I bet no team that they played in 27 games turned the ball over six times,” Pera said. “I would check that one.” So we did.
The Owls’ six giveaways tied the fewest turnovers forced by Louisiana Tech this season. NC State committed just six turnovers in a Nov. 27 game. The Wolfpack won. Rice was one shot away. Interestingly enough, Louisiana Tech forced less than 10 turnovers on just one other occasion this year: Jan. 27, their game against Rice in Ruston, LA.
Final Box | LA Tech 83 – Rice 79
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) February 25, 2022
Up Next | Full Schedule
The last home game of the season for Rice basketball is slated for Saturday, Feb. 26 when they take on Southern Miss. After that, the Owls finish up with road games at UTEP on Mar. 3 and UTSA on Mar. 5. prior to the start of the conference tournament on Mar. 8.
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