Rice basketball recap: Vanderbilt 74 - Rice 69
CUSA-fans.com has a new staff of team correspondents this season to help bring you, the fan, more detailed Conference USA sports coverage. Today, our Rice Correspondent Bob Schlanger recaps the basketball game between Rice and Vanderbilt.
Memo to Rice: The basketball match-up with Vanderbilt will begin at 7:05 p.m. on January 2, 2007 at Autry Court.
Unfortunately, only the Commodores received the memo as Vanderbilt (10-4) raced to an 18-0 lead against Rice (6-6) and held on to defeat the Owls 74-69 on Tuesday night in Houston.
Led by Shan Foster, who scored 26 of his team high 29 points in the first half, the Commodores combined sizzling shooting with Rice’s poor shooting, lax defense and excessive turnovers to lead by 18. This help up until Rice’s Morris Almond sank a three point shot at the 11:42 mark of the first half.
Thereafter, it was a basically the Morris Almond show as the nation’s leading scorer led Rice with 44 points and 12 rebounds. Almond scored 27 second half points, which, when combined with the 29 he scored in the second half last Friday against Western Carolina gave him 56 points in the second half of the last two Rice games. The 44 points are a personal career high for Almond and the second highest point total ever by an Owl.
Rice played well in the second half and held the Commodores without a field goal over the last 9:18 of the game. The Owls cut the lead to three points at 72-69 with just under a minute left but couldn’t close the gap any further. Lorenzo Williams returned from a foot injury to see extended action for the Owls in the second half and contributed to the Rice comeback. Unfortunately for the Owls, the early deficit was simply too much to overcome.
NEXT UP: Rice travels to Princeton on Saturday, January 6 th for the final non-conference game of the season.
* A preview of the Owls’ trip to Princeton will be released by Thursday PM.