Rice holds off St. Thomas 70-59 behind Lapray
HOUSTON (AP) A.J. Lapray scored 16 points with a career-high 10 rebounds, Miles Lester made a go-ahead free throw, and Rice closed on a 23-6 run to hold off crosstown foe NAIA St. Thomas (Texas) 70-59 on Saturday night.
The Celts rallied to a 45-42 lead on Orowo Eleyae's layup with 12:45 to play after Rice made 2 of 9 from the floor. Lapray's 3 put Rice up 47-45, but Sam Flores' 3 sparked an 8-0 run and the Celts led 53-47. Rice scored six straight to tie it at 53 before Lester's go-ahead free throw and 3-pointer put the Owls up 57-53. Rice hit six free throws in the final 1:27 to seal it.
Lapray opened with a 3 to spark a 13-5 run and Rice led 35-30 at halftime behind his three 3-pointers.
Byron Makel scored 17 for the Celts (5-2), Flores added 12 and Kennard Robinson had 10.
Updated November 25, 2017