Pirates Rally Falls Short Against The Owls
Jan. 31, 2009
HOUSTON - Aleks Perka scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Rice to a 76-70 victory over visiting East Carolina at Tudor Fieldhouse Saturday.
The Owls (7-14, 2-4 C-USA) ended a four-game losing streak, while the Pirates (10-10, 2-5) lost their second straight.
Lawrence Ghoram scored 15 points while Connor Frizzelle and Rodney Foster each scored 12 for the Owls. Trey Stanton grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with five points. Chad Wynn came off the bench and scored a career-high 21 points for the Pirates, while Sam Hinnant added 17 and Brock Young scored 11.
Rice built a 19-point first half lead behind the play of Perka, who scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes.
However, East Carolina mounted a comeback, engineering a 14-0 run following a timeout called by Coach Mack McCarthy to cut the Owls' lead to 34-29 with 3:36 to play in the half. Chad Wynn entered back into the game after Suleiman Braimoh's three-point play and made his next four shots while James Legan and Young each made a 3 during the rally.
Rice led 44-37 at intermission.
The Owls extend their lead back to 14 points early in the second half when Foster's three-pointer gave Rice a 54-40 lead with 18 minutes to play.
Wynn, who was 9-for-10 from the field, again helped the Pirates whittle the lead back to single figures with another stretch in which he converted four more shots.
The Pirates cut the Owls' lead to four points, 68-64, with 2:11 to play on a Young three-pointer.
Ghoram answered for Rice with a jumper in the paint at the other end. Following a Hinnant miss, Foster went to the line for two free throws to stretch the margin to eight. Ghoram's free throws with 34 seconds to play gave Rice a 74-64 lead.
After a three-pointer by Jamar Abrams, ECU forced a Rice turnover on the Rice inbounds and Hinnant hit another trey for the Pirates. But Frizzelle made the first of two free throw attempts with 18 seconds left. With is team leading 75-70 in the final seconds, Stanton blocked Jontae Sherrod's three-point attempt. Stanton would later make one of two free throws to account for the final score.
East Carolina outscored the Rice bench 23-11, but lost the battle for points in the paint, 28-20.
The Pirates return to action Wednesday, Feb. 4, against Southern Miss. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Cioliseum.