HOUSTON - Rice used a late 3-pointer in regulation to force overtime and then used hot shooting in the extra period to take a 79-71 win against the University of Houston men's basketball team Wednesday night inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
After a pair of Kirk Van Slyke free throws gave the Cougars a 3-point lead with 21 seconds left, Rice guard Connor Frizzelle connected on a trey at the top of the key to tie the game at 56-56 with 13 seconds remaining in regulation. Following a Cougar timeout, senior guard Zamal Nixon worked the ball around, but his shot at the buzzer was off the mark. It was the only shot the Brooklyn, N.Y., native missed, going 6-of-7 from the field with three 3-pointers.
Rice used the momentum from the late shot to score the overtime period's first four points, but the Cougars answered with buckets from sophomore forwards Kirk Van Slyke and Kendrick Washington. Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way.
Rice scored nine of the next 10 points and grabbed a 69-61 advantage when Cory Pflieger buried a 3-pointer with 1:39 left in the extra period. The Owls hit 6-of-7 shots from the field and went 10-of-15 from the free throw line in overtime.
Houston could move no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Nixon scored 15 points to lead the Cougars, who saw their eight-game winning streak against the Owls come to an end. Brown scored 14 points with a team-high eight rebounds and five assists, while junior guard Darian Thibodeaux finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers while playing all but one minute in the game.
With the loss, the Cougars dropped to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in Conference USA games. The Cougars also played in their fourth overtime game in 2010-11, the most since the 1995-96 season. Houston fell to 2-2 in those games.
Rice evened its season record at 10-10 overall and improved to 2-4 in league games.
Arsalan Kazemi posted 17 points and 13 rebounds and added four assists, four blocked shots and four steals. Frizzelle led all players with 18 points off the bench, including two 3-pointers and a 6-of-6 performance from the line. Tamir Jackson added 13 points and five assists in the win.
The Cougars hit the road again to meet East Carolina at 5 p.m. (CST), Saturday, inside Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C. That game also will be broadcast live on CSS with Patrick Kinas calling the play-by-play action and Brian Oliver serving as analyst.
Fans can hear all Cougar men's basketball games live on SportsTalk 790 AM KBME with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes serving as analyst.
Five regular-season home games remain on the schedule, and Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now. Fans can choose from a variety of different ticket packages that best suit their needs, including the Houston Hoops 4-Pack (UAB game) and the Pick 4 Pack (fans' choice of any four remaining home games).
Fans also can join the "H" Association barbecue on Feb. 12 and receive one reserved seat ticket to the Cougars' C-USA showdown against Tulane for only $20.
Fans have several options when ordering their men's basketball tickets. They can visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center by the UH Fan Shop, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fans also can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or click the Tickets tab at UHCougars.com to buy tickets today.