Moments away from registering its first winning streak of the year, Rice’s men’s basketball team saw its hopes dashed on a heart-breaking, buzzer-beating heave by Florida Atlantic University’s Justin Massey.
The 63-62 loss on Sunday snapped what had been a weekend of positive developments for the Owls. On Thursday night, they closed the game on a 24-11 run to defeat Florida International University at home by the score of 73-64, with four Owls scoring in double digits, including 16 points from freshman forward Malik Osborne. Junior guard Connor Cashaw notched his fourth double-double on the season, with 12 points and 14 rebounds to go with his career-high seven assists.
In Sunday’s game against FAU, Rice struggled out of the gates, scoring just 22 points in a first half where they shot 24 percent from the field. Trailing by eight at the break, they fought their way back into contention in the second half, culminating in a Cashaw jumper to give Rice a two-point lead with just 3.2 seconds on the clock. But Massey denied the Owls a victory with his improbable 30-foot game-winner, dropping Rice to 5-17 on the season.
Head coach Scott Pera said the FAU player deserves credit for the game winner.
“It’s a shot [Massey]’ll remember for the rest of his life,” Pera said. “[Senior forward Bishop] Mency had a hand in his face. You don’t make many of those.”