Rice posts 70-65 comeback victory over Frogs
Dec. 29, 2007
The TCU men's basketball team dropped a 15-point halftime lead as the Rice University Owls outscored the Purple and White by a 50-30 margin in the second half to come away with a 70-65 victory at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas, on Saturday (Dec. 29).
The Frogs quickly jumped out to a 13-2 lead with 15:42 remaining in the first half in large part to the outside shooting of junior Henry Salter (Gulfport, Miss./Mississippi Gulf Coast College) and newcomer Mike Scott (Philadelphia, Pa./Franklin Learning Center). The duo combined for a trio of three-pointers prior to the first media timeout with Salter connecting on a pair with Scott chipping in with one of his own.
After the Owls were able to close the scoring deficit to six points at 16-10 after a lay-in underneath the basket by Paulius Packvicius, the swarming defense of the Purple and White quickly took control of the game. The Frogs forced the Owls to commit five consecutive turnovers, which resulted in a 10-0 rally for the Purple and White and a 26-10 advantage on the scoreboard with 7:45 remaining in the first half.
Following back-to-back three-pointers by Salter and Keion Mitchem (Rochester, N.Y./Rochester East H.S.) prior to the final media timeout of the first half, the Frogs continued to hold a double-digit advantage over the Owls by a 32-18 count on the scoreboard.
In the first half of action, Salter and Mitchem combined for 16 points, including a quartet of three-pointers between the two Frog guards. Salter scored all nine of his points in the first 20 minutes of the frame by way of the long ball while Mitchem connected on a pair of fast break lay-ins mixed in with a three-pointer.
Neiman Owens (Channelview, Texas/Channelview H.S.) closed out the scoring for the Frogs in the first half as the TCU senior connected on a three-pointer with 58 seconds remaining to give the Purple and White a 35-20 advantage heading into the locker room. Owens finished the first 20 minutes of action with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers in the scoring process for the Frogs.
The Owls stormed out of the locker rooms in the second half and were able to cut the scoring deficit to six points at 37-31 following an 11-2 run over the first four minutes of the frame. Rice guard Lawrence Ghoram, who scored 11 points in the first half of action, scored seven of the team's first 11 points in the second frame.
After a rough first half where he committed nine turnovers, Rice guard Rodney Foster came on strong for the Owls as he connected on seven of the team's nine points during a two-minute to give the home team their first lead of the game at 43-42 with 11:39 remaining in the game.
During the course of the next eight minutes, the Frogs and Owls continued to trade basket-for-basket and free throw-for-free throw until Rice forward Patrick Britton got in on the scoring affair and scored eight straight points to give the home squad a 56-53 lead with 3:58 left in the second frame.
The Frogs struggled on the defensive glass as they allowed the Owls to grab key offensive rebounds and in turn control the game. Rice converted on several second-chance points and free throw conversions down the stretch en route to securing the 70-65 victory over the Frogs.
The biggest key in the victory for Rice came on the glass where the Owls recorded more offensive rebounds (23) than the Frogs had total rebounds (20) and held a 24-3 advantage in second chance points. The Owls outscored the Frogs by a 50-30 margin in the second half of action to pick up their third victory of the season.
Ghoram recorded a double-double for the Owls with a 26-point, 10-rebound performance while Packevicius colleted a team-high 14 rebounds.
Kevin Langford (Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley H.S.) led the Frog scorers with 14 points on 3-of-8 shooting while Salter added 11 points, and Hackett and Owens finished with 10 points apiece.
With the setback, the Purple and White dropped their overall record to 8-4 on the season and 0-3 on the road while Rice improved to 3-8 on the 2007-08 campaign.
The Frogs will be back in action after the start of the New Year when the Purple and White travels to Austin for a match-up against the University of Texas on Wednesday (Jan. 2). Tip-off between the Frogs and Longhorns will be at 4:00 p.m.
TCU Athletic Media Relations