HOUSTON (KIAH) — Quincy Olivari had 27 points in Rice’s 70-62 victory against Prairie View A&M on Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
After Mekhi Mason opened the second half with a jumper, the Panthers went on an 8-1 run to take their largest lead of the game, 40-28, less than five minutes into the half. Mason answered with two of his own as the Owls made six straight free throws to take a 58-54 lead with 4:54 remaining.
The teams then traded baskets as PVAMU cut the lead to three with 1:18 to play. But Rice closed the game on an 8-3 run to win its fourth straight game.
“This is becoming a weird habit that we need to break in getting down at halftime and fighting back,” Rice head coach Scott Pera said. “But again, it says a couple of things. One, about the leadership of our team. The growth of the program to win with defense and rebounding against a very good rebounding team. That is a huge deal for us. Finally, playing at home matters. Our guys got going offensively as well. I’m very happy to win. Prairie View A&M is a very good team and I’m proud of our guys.”
Olivari added five rebounds and four steals for the Owls (5-2). Travis Evee scored 10 points, shooting 3 for 14, including 2 for 8 from beyond the arc. Cameron Sheffield was 2 of 3 shooting and 5 of 7 from the free throw line to finish with nine points and 15 rebounds. Max Fiedler had nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
The Panthers (4-4) were led by Tekorian Smith, who recorded 19 points, three steals and two blocks. Braden Bell added 13 points for Prairie View A&M. Jeremiah Gambrell also put up 10 points.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.