Memphis Falls to Rice, 67-52
Feb. 19, 2011
By: Preston McClellan
HOUSTON - Rice opened the game on a 13-6 run, and the Owls never looked back as they defeated Memphis 67-52 Saturday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Tamir Jackson led the Owls with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 7-of-10 from the charity stripe, and big man Arsalan Kazemi added a double-double performance of 11 points and 12 rebounds as Rice defeated Memphis for the first time in program history.
Memphis struggled getting open looks through its half-court sets in the first half, and the Tigers finished the game just 17-of-48 (35.4 percent) from the floor, including 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.
After taking the lead at 13-6, Memphis responded to cut the lead to three, 18-15, after a triple from Antonio Barton. Rice countered with a 9-0 run of its own to extend the lead to double digits, 27-17, however.
The Tigers appeared poised to make a run early in the second half after a layup by Wesley Witherspoon cut the deficit to 39-32 with 14:31 to play, but again the Owls answered. Rice reeled of a 7-0 run capped by a triple from Jackson to extend the lead to 14 (46-32).
DJ Stephens provided a spark off the bench, as the Texas native finished with six points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes. Witherspoon, playing in just his second game after returning from a tear in his meniscus, finished with eight points and six rebounds.
Rice finished the game 22-of-50 (44 percent) from the floor and made 19-of-29 attempts from the free throw line. The Owls also outrebounded the Tigers 39-30 and turned 19 Tiger turnovers into 14 points in transition.
Memphis returns to the Bluff City for its next matchup when it takes on the Houston Cougars Tuesday, Feb. 22 at FedExForum at 7 p.m.