Rice basketball took Texas to the brink but was unable to secure the historic upset, falling to the Longhorns in overtime.
Whether it was good fortune or a willingness to take advantage of what had been a turbulent day for the Texas program, Rice basketball came out ready to play on Monday evening at the Moody Center. Max Fiedler put Rice on the board with a layup to start the scoring, which would casually ping-pong back and forth in the early goings as both teams adjusted to the pace of the game. Then the Owls took off.
Alem Huseinvoic knocked down back-to-back threes with Quincy Olivari following with another, a 9-0 Rice run. Texas would battle back but was never able to get in front. Rice went into the break with a 33-29 lead and a real shot to pull off a monumental upset.
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The Owls, who hadn’t beaten a ranked Texas squad since 1982 and had lost their last 10 meetings with the Longhorns, sensed an opportunity and never quit. Although Texas was able to take the lead in the second half, Rice always seemed to answer.
Both teams exchanged minored leads throughout the remainder of the contest. Texas would lead by as many as six points in regulation but was never able to pull away. Ultimately, Rice would have their shot, a jumper by Huseinovic in a tie game with the buzzer imminent. Instead, the ball hit iron and the Owls would go on to lose in overtime.
The loss will sting, but it’s worth noting this wasn’t just a bad night from Texas that Rice stumbled upon. No, Texas shot 50 percent from the floor and narrowly outrebounded Rice 40-39. This was a full 45-minute dogfight and the Owls acquitted themselves well before ultimately running out of game.
Player Spotlight | Quincy Olivari
Olivari had strung together some impressive games over the month of December, but his performance against Texas might have been his most inspired showing yet. Olivari tied for the lead among all scorers with 28 points, connecting on 4-of-9 from three and 6-of-7 from the free throw line, also grabbing five boards and dishing out four assists.
It felt like he was involved in most of the momentum-shifting plays on Monday night. Had it not been for his effort, the Owls wouldn’t have been in this game.
Final Box | Texas 87 – Rice 81 (OT)
FINAL | Texas 87 – Rice 81
Owls' upset bid falls short in OT pic.twitter.com/QsPF5tDeph
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) December 13, 2022
Up Next | Full Schedule
Rice basketball heads back home for a three-game homestand which gets started on Thursday night against North American. They’ll play another on Saturday against Northwestern State before taking on Jarvis Christian in their final non-conference game of the season. All three of those games are scheduled to be streamed on CUSAtv.
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