HOUSTON - Arsalan Kazemi scored 11 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, Julian DeBose added 12 points, and Rice never trailed in an 83-49 win over New Orleans on Saturday in the Owls’ men’s college basketball season opener.
Kazemi added three blocks and two steals in limited minutes, as the Owls sat their starters for much of the second half with the game in hand.
Lucas Kuipers had six points and 10 rebounds, and Rice shot 54 percent from the field, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range.
Generra Varmall led the Privateers (0-2) with 12 points.
Lovell Cook scored 10, but the entire team struggled to make baskets, shooting just 24 percent from the field.
Rice led 36-23 at halftime.
HOUSTON 88, GRAMBLING 42: In Houston, Joseph Young scored 18 points to lead five Houston players in double figures.
The Cougars scored the first 13 points and led by double digits the rest of the way. Houston shot 50 percent, from the field while the Tigers shot just 26 percent.
Alandise Harris added 14 points, TaShawn Thomas 13, Jonathon Simmons 11 and Darian Thibodeaux 11 for the Cougars.
Raschard Boatner led the Tigers with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, while Steven Danridge scored 10.
WILLIAM CAREY 69, LSU-SHREVEPORT 65: In Jackson, Miss., the NAIA No. 6 LSU Shreveport Pilots’ rally came up short in a loss to the William Carey Crusaders at Belhaven University’s Rugg Arena.
LSUS (1-3) shot 30 percent from the floor in the first half that led to a 42-26 deficit at halftime. William Carey (1-3) shot 48 percent while making six out of 11 attempts from 3-point range.
The Crusaders had four scorers reach double figures. Brandon Givens scored 22 points, Roderick Little had 15, Donzedrick Smith added 11 points off the bench, and starter Jaron Edwards scored 10.
Greg Shyne led the Pilots with 16 points, while Derrick Parker had 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Pilots shot 56 perecent from the floor in the second half (13-of-23) to outscore the Crusaders 39-27.
XAVIER 69, ST. THOMAS 59: In New Orleans, Chris Iles scored 17 points, Anthony Simmons 16 and Wanto Joseph 10 to lead Xavier, ranked 21st in NAIA Division I, over St. Thomas (Fla.) at The Barn.
The Gold Rush (2-0) rallied from a 34-30 halftime deficit, outscored the Bobcats 33-7 in free throws - 11-0 in the second half - and won for the 22nd time in the past 23 home games.
Xavier attempted 48 free throws and improved to 31-0 since November 2009 when making more free throws than its opponent. Iles was 10-of-10 from the line, all in the first half. Joseph made eight of 12 free throws, and Kevin Miller was 4-of-4.
Simmons scored 11 second-half points, and his basket with 8:48 remaining put the Gold Rush ahead to stay at 49-47. That followed 16 ties and 12 lead changes.
Joseph’s free throws with 27 seconds remaining gave the XU men their biggest lead, 67-55, and capped a 10-0 run that covered nearly 3-1/2 minutes.
Jeffery Remmington scored 16 points and Dylan O’Sullivan 15 for the Bobcats (1-2).
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 83, NORTHERN ARIZONA 66: In San Francisco, junior-college transfer Kadeem Coleby made an instant impact in his debut for Louisiana-Lafayette, scoring 16 points and blocking eight shots in a win against Northern Arizona late Friday night at the Hilltop Challenge.
Coleby, a 6-9 center from Daytona College, took advantage of an undersized Lumberjacks (0-1) roster to score 12 points in the second half, when the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-0) led by as many as 21.
Darshawn McClellan added 13 points, and Bryant Mbamalu had 12 points with three assists.
James Douglas led Northern Arizona with 21 points. The Lumberjacks were undone by their own shooting - 35.1 percent - and an inability to stop the Ragin’ Cajuns, who hit 62.3 percent from the floor.
J.J. Thomas, a preseason first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection, had nine points, eight rebounds and six assists for ULL.
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA AT TULSA: In Tulsa, Okla., Southeastern Louisiana University opens its season when it faces the University of Tulsa at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The game can be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM, 90.9, and on the Internet at http://www.LionSports.net/.
Southeastern, which finished 15-14 last season, returns two starters and six letter-winners for coach Jim Yarbrough. Seniors Brandon Fortenberry and DeShawn Patterson return to lead the Lions, whose 140 victories since the 2003-04 season are the second-most by a Division I school in the state of Louisiana.
Expected to join Fortenberry and Patterson in the lineup are returning letter-winner Roosevelt Johnson and newcomers Jan Petrovcic and Daron Populist.
Southeastern defeated Millsaps College 74-44 in an exhibition game on Wednesday as Fortenberry scored 16 points to lead the Lions. Johnson added 10 points for SLU, while Petrovcic pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Tulsa (1-0) opened its season on Friday with a 65-49 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock as Jordan Clarkson led the Golden Hurricane with 15 points. Scottie Haralson added 12 points and Kodi Maduka 11 as the Golden Hurricane shot 38 percent from the floor and held the Trojans to 16-for-58 (28 percent).
After facing Tulsa, Southeastern will return to the University Center to host Spring Hill College at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
NORTHWESTERN STATE AT UALR: In Little Rock, Ark., on the heels of an easy season-opening win over Division III LeTourneau on Friday night, Northwestern State visits Arkansas-Little Rock at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Demons cruised by the Yellow Jackets 87-61 Friday night as William Mosley had 15 points, 14 rebounds and blocked five shots. UALR opened its schedule Friday night with a 65-49 loss at Tulsa.
Northwestern State had a sloppy second half after opening a 27-point lead in the first 20 minutes against LeTourneau.
“We’ll not be able to get away with that kind of performance at Little Rock,” Demons coach Mike McConathy said. “We have to be a smarter team Sunday afternoon than we were Friday night.”
UALR shot only 28 percent and was outrebounded 56-27 by Tulsa.
The teams will meet for the first time since 1986, and will square off again on Nov. 29 in Natchitoches. Sunday’s game is the first of seven contests for the Demons against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams.