Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, June 17, 2024 — Houston, TX

MBB falls to conference-leading FAU in high scoring affair

Photo courtesy JC Ridley

By Chloe Singer     2/15/23 12:13am

The Rice men’s basketball team fell 90-81 to Florida Atlantic University on Thursday. It was a matchup of the Owls, but ultimately Sammy and Rice were no match for Owlsley and FAU, who remained undefeated at home and moved to 23-2 on the season. The loss was Rice’s fourth consecutive in conference play, dropping the Owls to 6-7 record in Conference USA and 15-9 on the season. 

Rice managed to keep the score close throughout the game but could not catch FAU after they separated themselves midway through the first half. Five Rice turnovers in a three-minute span led to nine FAU fast-break points, sparking a 15-3 run which started with 9:28 left in the first half and giving them a game-high lead of 13 points. After the game, head coach Scott Pera said their defense wasn’t able to help them close the gap. 

“We just couldn’t get it under five [points],” Pera said. “Our defense wasn’t good enough to win the game.”

Behind strong games from junior guards Quincy Olivari and Travis Evee, who scored 27 and 25 points respectively, Rice was able to cut FAU’s lead to five points on seven occasions during the game. However, each time Rice closed the gap, FAU responded. After the game, head coach Scott Pera commended his team’s effort, saying Olivari and Evee are crucial for any future success.

“We got Travis and Quincy both going, which is what we have to have every night,” Pera said. “I’m really happy to see Travis kind of get back in his groove, making shots and seeing the ball go through the net because that is critical for our success.”

FAU’s top-rated offense proved to be too much for Rice to contain. Led by 7’1” sophomore center Vladislav Goldin, who scored a career high 19 points, FAU was able to dominate the interior and get close-range baskets inside the point. In total, four FAU players managed to score in double figures. Pera said that FAU’s depth made them difficult to stop. 

“They play nine [players] and they all play a lot of minutes,” Pera said. “That’s kind of the magic potion on them. They’re deep, they’re talented and they’re connected. They deserve to win.”

Currently, FAU is projected to be a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament according to Joe Lunardi’s most recent bracket.

After a bounce back 85-78 win on the road versus Florida International University, Rice moved to 16-9 on the season and No. 5 in C-USA. Their next game is at Tudor Fieldhouse against the University of Texas at San Antonio, who are currently in last place in C-USA, on Feb. 16. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 5/4/24 2:36pm
Rice’s Luke McCaffrey selected by Commanders in NFL Draft

The Washington Commanders selected Rice wide receiver Luke McCaffrey with the 100th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.  McCaffrey was the final pick in the third round, as well as the final pick on the second day of the draft. He’ll compete for a prominent role in the wide receiver room, potentially slotting in as their starting slot receiver alongside Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

SPORTS 4/16/24 10:54pm
MMA and milk miles: Rice students engage with sports

It’s not uncommon to find yourself walking to Reckling Park to watch the baseball team or to the recreational fields to play soccer. However, Division I and intramural sports are only a sliver of what the greater Rice community takes part in. From cricket to mixed martial arts to milk miles (yes, milk miles), students engage in a variety of sports that are a testament to their past pastimes, new endeavors and the need to destress. 


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.