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Men's Basketball Falls At Rice To Start Texas Trip

Keith Lucas

HOUSTON, Texas – C.J. Keyser scored 21 points to lead four in double figures, but a late run by Rice sealed the decision as the Owls defeated Old Dominion 77-69 on Thursday night to start a two-game Texas road trip.
In a first half that saw four ties and four lead changes, Austin Trice scored 12 of the last 14 points for the Monarchs as his jumper with 49 seconds left brought ODU to 40-38 at the half.
The second half saw both teams come out blistering the nets as Keyser had the hot hand for the Monarchs to start the second scoring the first 14 points.  His 3-pointer off a Mekhi Long feed put them up 52-51 with 14:53 left.   
Carl Pierre, who was trading field goals with Keyser for the first six minutes of the half, hit his fourth 3-pointer in a row to put Rice back in front 54-52 just 19 seconds later.  The Monarchs responded with a 10-1 run as Kalu Ezikpe hit his first 3-pointer of the season at the 11:34 mark for a 62-55 lead.
Jaylin Hunter drained a 3-pointer with 6:40 left to put ODU up 69-61.  From that point, the Monarchs missed on their final 11 shots.
"For all the good things we did in the first 34 minutes, we have to be smarter and tougher down the stretch in order to win games in this league," said ODU Head Coach Jeff Jones.
Joining Keyser in double figures were Trice with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, Ezikpe with 11 points and eight rebounds and Hunter with 10 points and five assists.
The Monarchs look to rebound on Saturday in Denton, Texas facing North Texas.