Rice 27 25 52
Houston 29 25 54
Date of game: 12/21/2013

Recap: Houston vs. Rice

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - TaShawn Thomas registered a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, as the Houston Cougars won a close game against the Rice Owls, 54-52, at the Toyota Center.

Brandon Morris added 10 points for the Cougars (8-5), who have won two of three.

Austin Ramljak led the Owls (5-6) with 15 points, doing so on 5-of-9 from 3- point range. Seth Gearhart tallied nine points and nine rebounds, while Max Guercy dished out five assists.

Houston made 43.5 percent of its shots from the floor in the first half and held a slight 29-27 advantage at the break. Rice made only 32.1 percent of its shots from the field but attempted five more shots. It also drained 6-of-13 from beyond the arc to keep the game close.

The Cougars maintained their solid shooting by making 45 percent of their field goal tries in the second half, while the Owls struggled, shooting 29 percent from the floor. With 2:11 left, Thomas converted a three-point play to put the Cougars up two, 48-46. From that point they never lost the lead again, although they nearly let Rice back in it by shooting just 1-of-4 from the free-throw line over the final 14 seconds.

Houston was dominant in the paint, outscoring Rice 30-14. The Cougars' bench outscored the Owls' reserves, 15-4.

Game Notes

Illinois State rallies into FCS title game

If ever there was doubt about the Missouri Valley Football Conference being the top conference in the FCS, Illinois State provided a reminder on Saturday.

Lions clinch playoff spot

Landover, MD (Sports Network) - The Detroit Lions clinched a playoff spot on Saturday due to the Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Washington Redskins.

Giants acquire McGehee from Marlins

The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.

Anthony to play in Knicks-Suns tilt

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will play in Saturday's game against the Phoenix Suns after sitting out the team's previous outing due to soreness in his left knee.

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