HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Rice Owls were the final Houston area men’s college basketball team still alive in the post-season, but on Monday saw their CBI championship hopes end on their home floor. Utah Valley University, with four double figure scorers, eliminated the Owls from the College Basketball Invitational tournament in the quarterfinal round 85-79 at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice finishes their third season under Mike Rhoades at 23-12.
The Owls trailed at the end of the first half 45-37, leading from the 12:23 mark on.
The Owls took a 72-70 lead with 5:25 remaining in the game on a Marcus Evans bucket. The Wolverines responded with a 15-5 run and took an 85-77 lead with 36 seconds remaining.
“It hurts,” Rhoades told Riceowls.com. “We needed to play better. (Utah Valley) is a good team. We didn’t get enough stops down the stretch. But, I’m really proud of the guys for the year that they had. They got better every day. I just wish we were still playing.”
Ivory Young, the cousin of Vince Young and Strake Jesuit graduate, scored 20 points to lead for the Wolverines. Egor Koulechov scored 14 with seven rebounds to lead for the Owls. Marcus Evans scored 13.