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January 30, 2008

Cross on Downward Spiral in Loss to Rice

The Rice Raiders refused to fall from their number one spot as they defeated the Holy Cross Knights on Tuesday night.

Rice's overall record is now 16-2 while Holy Cross, ranked at number 8 by NYCHoops, is now on a four game losing streak.

Even with their star pupil, Sylven Landesberg, scoring 30 points it simply wasn't enough to put down Rice. Landesberg didn't start the game due to the flu and a bad ankle, which gave Rice the opportunity to jump out and take the lead, ultimately winning by the score of 80 - 68

"I knew it would be a tough game. We knew it would be that way when we came in here. It always is. We just had to stay tough," said Rice Head Coach Maurice Hicks. "I think our guys did a good job with Kemba Walker and Chris Fouch on the bench in foul trouble. They were able to come back into the game when we were up 5".

Walker had received two fouls in the middle of the second quarter and sat down with 4:46 on the clock and the score 35-25 in favor of the Raiders. That's, however, when Holy Cross attempted to move in for the kill. By the time Walker came back in with 3:25 the score the Knights had knocked the lead back down to five. Walker pushed the lead back up to 10 until Landesberg's three pointer from near half court at the buzzer made the score at half-time, 44 - 37.

In the mid-third quarter Ernest Freeman's emphatic two-handed slam, followed by an and-one got Holy Cross to tie the game at 51. Towards the end of the third quarter, Walker had accumulated four fouls and Fouch was also in foul trouble. Both players didn't return to the game until 2:26 left in the fourth.

The Knights battled valiantly the entire fourth quarter to keep the game close, but in the last two minutes, Rice hit four three pointers, two by Fouch and two more by Durand Scott. A dunk by James Stukes with under a minute sealed the deal for Rice. The Holy Cross Knights hope this is the end of a losing chapter in their season as their record now falls to 12 - 6.

The 6'7 forward, Dorvell Carter, was leading scorer for Rice with 21 points, followed up by Kemba Walker's 18 points.

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