(20) Stanford 60

(3-0, 2-0 away)

Rice 56

(3-1, 2-1 home)

4:30 PM ET, November 30, 2003

Tudor Fieldhouse, Houston, Texas

1 2 T
#20STAN 22 3860
RICE 28 2856

Cardinal overcome halftime deficit

HOUSTON (AP) -- Rob Little and Chris Hernandez stepped up for Stanford (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) in the second half against pesky Rice.

Little and Hernandez scored 17 points each in the Cardinal's 60-56 victory over Rice on Sunday.

"Somebody had to produce or else we weren't going to win or have the chance to win," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. "We had to find somebody and Rob came through."

The Cardinal rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit, outscoring Rice 38-28 in the second half for their third straight victory.

"We just came out and we got after it," Montgomery said. "The second half was more like Stanford basketball. The first half we were a little bit tentative. I think we let Rice be the aggressor."

Jason McKrieth scored 14 points for Rice (3-1). Brock Gillespie added 13 points and Michael Harris had eight points and nine rebounds.

"We let a game get away," coach Willis Wilson said. "It is plain and simple. If we have any reason to be upset or angry we should point at ourselves."

Stanford was again without preseason All-American Josh Childress, sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot.

"He's going to be out for a while," Montgomery said. "But right now, this group has shown some resiliency, some toughness. Obviously, Josh would help us a great deal because he does a lot of things for us, but we are just going to keep pushing with the guys we have."

The Cardinal rallied from a 31-22 deficit early in the second half. Hernandez made a 3-pointer and Little made three straight baskets as Stanford closed within a point, 33-32.

Robinson then converted a three-point play to give Stanford its first lead at 35-33.

Hernandez, held to two points in the first half, made two 3-pointers, seven free throws and a 2-point basket in the second half.

"Rice is a very good defensive team," Montgomery said. "They really rotate well. They are quick. They do not let you get to the basket. They contest everything."

Eventually, Montgomery said his team was able to adjust to the Owls' style.

Little shot 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line.

Rice shot just 13-for-25 from the line, while Stanford converted 14 of 19 free-throw attempts.

"There are certain things you have to do to win basketball games and that is put it in the hoop and we didn't put it in the hoop," Wilson said. "Against good teams you have got to make free throws. ... That is the thing that caught up with us today."

Stanford led 56-54 with 1:29 remaining and used four free throws by Hernandez to seal the win.

Stanford has never lost to Rice, winning eight straight in the series, including Montgomery's first win at the school in 1986.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


2003-04 Season

» Nov 30, 2003 STAN 60, @RICE 56Recap