UH spanks Rice for biggest win in nearly 35 years


Story by Ryan Monceaux
UH dominated Rice from the opening minutes of the game and cruised to a 79-46 win Friday night. Marcus Sasser and Kyler Edwards both shot 50% in the game and scored 26 and 18, respectively.

It was the largest winning margin in the series since January 1987.

“We just executed our game plan flawlessly,” UH head coach Kelvin Sampson said.

Rice turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 34 points, and the Cougars had 13 steals. Rice finished with just 14 field goals; only one opponent in UH’s last 156 games had fewer field goals (Temple 12/22/20).

More than Rice’s 14 field goals:
UH assists (15)
UH offensive rebounds (16)
Rice turnovers (20)
Sasser & Edwards field goals (15)
UH first-half field goals (17)
UH first-half defensive rebounds (15)

“They pretty much did whatever they wanted all night. You were watching,” Rice coach Scott Pera said matter of factly.

Lagniappe: For just the third time in history, UH beat Rice by more than 30 points in both football and men’s basketball in the same academic year.

1977-78: football – 51-21; basketball – 108-67
1983-84: football – 45-14; basketball – 72-42
2021-22: football – 45-7; basketball – 79-46

The basketball teams played three times in 77-78 and twice in 83-84.
Kelvin Sampson was asked in the postgame if he was surprised at UH’s complete domination of the Owls. It seemed that the question surprised him more than his team.

“I was so locked in on our execution that my thought process never went that way,” Sampson stated. “I just focus on what we work on and playing hard. So no, I’m never surprised.”

Jamal Shead had a solid game all-around, finishing with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and three steals. J’Wan Roberts had nine rebounds and three steals while Sasserhad five assists and four rebounds to go with his 26 points.

After the game, Sampson was not had already turned his attention towards Virginia.

“We’re just going to keep working. They don’t give medals out after the second game and the selection show isn’t tomorrow,” he said. “We’ve got a game Tuesday and that’s all we’ll focus on.”

Click a photo for a high resolution version. and you can scroll through each of them in the lightbox. All images © Mario Puente 2021.


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