Rice Basketball had their chances to come back against UTSA but the Owls weren’t able to hold onto the ball and fell on the road in their season finale.
The three point shot has been the bread and butter of Rice basketball for as long as Scott Pera has been the Owls’ head coach. It’s only fitting then that Rice wrapped up its regular season with a particularly effective outing from long range.
UTSA came out firing on cylinders, scoring 18 points in the first six minutes of play. Trailing 18-6, Rice was in dire straights early but then Riley Abercrombie and Carl Pierre drained back-to-back triples and cut the deficit in half. All of a sudden the score was 18-12 and Rice was very much back in the mix.
Last Time Out: Rice Basketball record-setting night not enough vs UTEP
That’s how much of the game would progress. UTSA would stretch out its lead to within the vicinity of double digits only for Rice to get a chunk or two back with their trademark three ball. Although the Owls trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half on multiple occasions, Rice took a six-point deficit into the break.
Things would stay close through the early portions of the second half. Rice would cut the UTSA lead down to one, but it was UTSA who would begin to heat up from distance and pull away. Rice would get within five points with just under three minutes to play before UTSA would put things out of reach with an 8-2 run to put it away.
Player Spotlight | Carl Pierre
In his final regular season game with Rice basketball, Pierre put together yet another pristine performance. He was 3-of-6 from three and scored 16 points. He also contributed three rebounds, one assist and one steal. The timing of his baskets was crucial, frequently giving the Owls hope. Rice could have used a few more down the stretch, but things wouldn’t have been nearly as close without Pierre on the court.
Stat Corner | Too many turnovers
When Rice basketball plays disciplined, they’ve proven their ability to stand toe-to-toe with even the best teams in Conference USA. That wasn’t the case on Saturday. The Owls turned the ball over 20 times, providing their opponents with an excess of opportunities. USTA made them pay.
Final Box | UTSA 82 – Rice 71
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) March 5, 2022
Up Next | Full Schedule
The regular season has come to a close for Rice basketball. Win or lose on Saturday, they had already secured a first-round bye and were locked into the fifth seed in the West. They’ll meet the fourth seed in the East. That game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9.