Rice basketball ended the regular season with a thud, losing a halftime lead before falling at home on Senior Day to FIU.
Fans inside the confines of Tudor Fieldhouse were treated to an entertaining back-and-forth contest as Rice basketball and FIU wrapped up their regular seasons with vigor. FIU took a seven-point lead in the first half in the back of a 10-0 run only to see Rice immediately flip the script, countering with a 10-0 run of their own capped off with back-to-back threes from Travis Evee.
That’s how the game seemed to go from start to finish. Both teams shot well (Rice 50.8 percent — FIU 49.2 percent), making it feel like the game would be decided in the final minutes. In a way, it was, but not like many would have expected. With 4:33 remaining in the second half, Evee put Rice up three with a layup. Rice would not score from the field for the remainder of the game.
Two free throws, both from Evee, would interrupt a thunderous finish from FIU, who outscored Rice 12-2 from that point onward. The Owls had their chances, but turnovers and poor rebounding killed opportunities for a late rally.
Final Box | FIU 90 – Rice 83
— The Roost (@AtTheRoost) March 4, 2023
Key takeaway | Sluggish second half
Rice basketball opened conference play 6-3. They would win just two of their remaining 11 games, falling from a potential first-round bye in the Conference USA Conference Tournament to a play-in game, stacking the deck against themselves in the process. For a team that showed so much promise early in the year, the regular season ends in a rather disappointing fashion.
As things currently stand, Rice looks likely to be the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament, pairing them with No. 11 seed UTSA in a potential first round game which would be played on Wednesday, March 8. The winner of that contest would go on to play No. 3 seed UAB.
Up Next: Conference USA Tournament, Round 1
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