HOUSTON – The visiting Rice Owls raced out to a big first half lead that the HBU men’s basketball team was unable to make up in the second half as the Huskies fell 86-64 on Saturday night in Sharp Gym.
Rice (4-0) forced a pair of early turnovers and connected on two early shots for a quick 5-0 advantage but just over three minutes in it was a 5-4 ballgame after Zach Iyeyemi made a pair of free throws for the Huskies (0-4). Midway through the first period the Owls led 24-17 following a Za-Ontay Boothman three but closed the half with a 25-7 run to lead 49-24 at the intermission.
In the second half, with the score at 60-38 with 13:32 to go the Huskies went on a stretch of 5:46 of the game clock where HBU held Rice scoreless and used a 9-0 run to cut its deficit to 60-47 with 8:03 left. The Huskies run ended there, however, as Rice pushed its lead back to as high as 31 before the final of 86-64.
Boothman, a freshman, led HBU with a career-high 15 points in 24 minutes off the bench, knocking down 7-of-13 from the floor. Iyeyemi, for the second-consecutive game, set new career-bests in both scoring and rebounding with 12 and six, respectively. The sophomore was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 4-of-6 from the foul line.
Senior Philip McKenzie added 10 points, three rebounds, and a pair of blocks off the bench with freshman Brycen Long adding eight. The Huskies held a 36-30 advantage on the boards but committed 22 turnovers to the Owls’ nine. As a team, HBU finished the game shooting 50 percent (25-of-52).
Rice took advantage of the HBU turnovers, turning them into 32 points. The Owls shot 47.7 percent (31-of-65) for the game and hit 14-of-38 (36.8 percent) from deep. Quincy Olivari led Rice with 27 points and was one of five players to score in double-digits.
The Huskies will remain at home for the next contest, hosting Champion Christian on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:00 p.m