Stith Dominates in Return at Rice
Harry Howard Jr.
In Brandan Stith’s first game since Jan. 5, the Monarchs held on to defeat Rice by a score of 80-72 at Tudor Fieldhouse. Stith came off the bench and his right ankle looked fully healed. He was able to control the paint in his 27 minutes of play with a double-double that included team highs of 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds.
“I think it was pretty obvious having Brandan back was nice,” ODU head coach Jeff Jones said.
Stith was one of five Monarchs to score in double figures. Randy Haynes scored a career-high 14 points, Zoran Talley locked in 15, B.J. Stith secured 12 points, and point guard Ahmad Caver contributed 11 while also dishing out a game-high 8 assists.
“This was a very good team win tonight. A lot of guys stepped up and played well and I think ultimately that was the difference. Our defense was terrific, but I think our aggressiveness and balance offensively with five different guys in double-figures was a really good sign for us,” Jones said.
Rice (13-8, 3-5 C-USA) struggled all night to make shots shooting just 37.7 percent from the field. Owl guard Marcus Evans led all scorers with 23 points thanks to his scorching night from behind the arc where he drained 6-of-7 three-pointers.
The final score was not representative of how the Monarchs (12-8, 5-3 C-USA) controlled the game throughout. At halftime, they led 39-29 and with 10 minutes remaining in the second half, they were leading by 22 points.