Second Half Run Dooms North Texas At Rice
Junior Forward Shane Temara Scored A Career-High 17 Points
HOUSTON – North Texas held a seven-point lead but a 23-3 run in the second half proved costly in a 101-79 loss at Rice Saturday afternoon inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Mean Green (6-11, 0-5 C-USA) gave up 64 second half points to the Owls and allowed 12 three-pointers to the home team. Rice improved to 12-6, 2-3 in the C-USA after Egor Koulechov scored 26 points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds.
Senior guard J-Mychal Reese led the team with 18 points (5-for-10), four rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Shane Temara scored a career-high 17 points (6-for-9) off the bench with six rebounds and went 3-for-3 from downtown. Freshman guard A.J. Lawson started for the eighth time and added 12 points.
The Mean Green opened the second half with back-to-back layups to move ahead 43-37 at the 18:59 mark. Rice cut the lead to two points but Lawson finished a layup plus a foul to give North Texas a 46-41 lead. Junior Jeremy Combs followed with a layup giving the Mean Green their largest lead at 48-41 with 17:08 remaining.
Rice would explode for a game-breaking 23-3 run over a five-minute span to pull ahead 64-51. The Owls turned a seven-point deficit into a 13-point lead to essentially put away the Mean Green.
North Texas got within single digits off a layup from Combs to make it 66-57 at the 10:57 mark. Rice scored six straight points to push the lead back to 15 points at 72-57.
The Owls would cruise to a 20-plus win against North Texas 101-79 and push the losing streak to six games.
North Texas rallied to take a two-point halftime lead at Rice 39-37. Reese led the way with 15 first half points (5-for-7) and Temara had 12 points (4-of-6) off the bench.
In a fast-paced first half Rice opened the game with a 5-0 lead at the 17:45 mark. The Mean Green responded with five straight points from Reese and Combs. The Owls regained the lead off a 10-2 run to lead by eight at the 13:40 mark.
With 4:34 remaining in the half, Egor Koulechov hit a transition three-pointer to give Rice its biggest lead of the game at 34-24. The Mean Green used a timeout to regroup and immediately responded with a run. Temara buried a three-pointer and Reese hit a jumper to cut the lead to five at 34-29.
North Texas took its first lead at 36-35 off two free throws from Reese with 1:06 left in the half. Temara hit another three-pointer but Koulechov finished a layup to make the score 39-37 at intermission.
North Texas travels to Hattiesburg for a road game against Southern Miss on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.
Mean Green Quick Hits
-Shane Temara set a career-high with 17 points
-Ryan Woolridge swiped a career-high five steals
- Mean Green dished out a season high 17 assists
-North Texas gave up a season high 64 to Rice in the second half
-North Texas missed 19 free throws, the most in a game this season
-J-Mychal Reese scored double figures for the ninth time this season
-A.J. Lawson scored double figures for the eighth time this season