Men's Basketball falls at Rice

Dec. 16, 2009

Final Stats

Putting four scorers in double figures, Rice defeated Santa Clara 70-57 in Houston on Wednesday night. Santa Clara is 6-5 and Rice moves to 5-4. Santa Clara hosts Pacific on Mon., Dec. 21 when it begins an eight-game homestand at 7 pm.

Santa Clara shot 41.7 percent, including 21.7 percent from beyond the arc. Santa Clara had 35 rebounds, four steals and four blocks. The Broncos turned the ball over a season-high 23 times and the most under head coach Kerry Keating since they turned it over 25 times at Georgia on Nov. 24, 2008. Rice shot 39.3 percent, including 33.3 from beyond the arc. The Owls collected 31 rebounds, two blocks and 17 steals. The 17 steals were the most a Bronco opponent had since Minnesota had 18 steals on Dec. 22, 2007.

Santa Clara shot 12 of 13 from the free throw line (92.3%), but couldn't get there enough. Rice was 19 of 23 from the line (82.6%).

Individually, Santa Clara put three scorers in double figures. Marc Trasolini led both teams with 17 points, including hitting a career-high three three pointers. He added six rebounds and three blocks. Robert Smith and Michael Santos both scored 10 each as Santos was 4 of 5 from the line. It was Smith's seventh-straight game with double figures. Troy Payne had seven rebounds to lead the Broncos. Rice had four scorers in double figures with Connor Frizzelle scoring a team-high 16 points.

In the first half the two teams were knotted up at 9-9 when Trasolini knocked down his second three pointer of the night. SCU went up 17-10 on a jumper by Troy Alexander.

Rice went on a11-2 run as they battled back to take a 21-19 lead at 4:55. Santa Clara tied it up at 21 on two free throws by Niyi Harrison. Then Rice scored eight straight and pushed its lead out to 29-21 at 1:42 before Michael Santos hit his second three-pointer of the half at 1:19 to make it 29-24 Rice.

Trasolini hit his third three of the half and the teams went to the lockerroom with Rice up 31-27.

In the second half, Santa Clara got within two points on a basket by Niyi Harrison at 18:07. Smith hit a floater to bring the Broncos back within three at 15:40, 36-33 Rice.

Rice scored five-straight point to take a 10-point lead on four straight free throws at 14:01 and 11:15 to go up 45-35.

Santos made four straight free throws, but Santa Clara couldn't hit the irons as it was 0-7 at one point during that stretch. Rice took a 54-39 lead at 6:50 and then pushed it to 57-43 on two free throws at 6:14. Smith drove to the basket at 5:51 to score and cut the Rice lead to 57-45.

Harrison hit two free throws to cut the lead to 10 at 4:39 57-47, but Rice scored five straight to push the lead out to 63-47 at 3:25.