USF basketball’s season ended by Rice in first round of CBI

University of San Francisco’s men’s basketball team lost its first game of the CBI Tournament on Wednesday.

The Dons fell to Rice, 85-76, in a high-scoring affair decided in the last two minutes.

USF took a one-point lead with 2:03 remaining when Ronnie Boyce made a pair of free throws. But, the Dons went ice cold from that point out as Rice finished the game on a 12-2 lead to close the game and advance.

Playing a road game in Houston, San Francisco — a team that relies on the long ball — shot a miserable 7-for-37 (18.9 percent) from beyond the 3-point line.

Boyce scored a team-high 18 points for the Dons. Frankie Ferrari added 15 with five assists, three rebounds and two steals.

USF struggled to slow Rice’s two main scorers, Egor Koulechov and Marcus Evans, who scored 22 and 23 points, respectively.

The loss ends San Francisco head coach Kyle Smith’s first year at the helm. The Dons went 20-13.

They graduate one senior, Boyce, who was their leading scorer.

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