Rice sophomore Arsalan Kazemi posted his 4th consecutive, and 9th total double-double of the season Wednesday night in leading the Rice Owls to a confidence boosting home-court win over the visiting LSU Tigers.
Kazemi was selected as the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday after posting double-doubles in all three of Rice's games in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic. And in leading the Owls over the Tigers Wednesday night, the sophomore from Iran extended that streak with 19 points and a career high 17 rebounds against the Owls' SEC opponent.
Though Kazemi effort was no doubt critical in the outcome of the game, Rice's win at Tudor Wednesday night took a total team effort, especially in the final minute.
With Rice clinging to a 4 point lead, Connor Frizzelle made 4 consecutive free throws in the final 30 seconds to put them up by 4, 72-68. In the closing seconds, Rice also got a big steal from Bryan Beasley, who was subsequently fouled and made both his free throws.
Rice led by as much as 15 points at one point in the game.
As usual, Tamir Jackson also put in a full night's work.
The sophomore from New Jersey played 34 minutes and was second in scoring only to Kazemi with 16 points. He led the team in assists with 4 and also had a steal. For the season, he leads the team in playing time per game, averaging 31.2 minutes per contest. He's also second in scoring behind Kazemi, dropping in 13.6 points a game.
Wednesday night's win sets up a big Sunday afternoon battle at Tudor Fieldhouse with former SWC foe TCU. The Horned Frogs are 9-4 at present, and play Tulsa Thursday night. A win over TCU can set the tone for what will be a very competitive C-USA schedule for the Owls.
The Owls moved to 7-6 for 2010 with their win over LSU. Tip-off Sunday is set for 3:00 p.m.
Owl Sports Watch