Duluth It appears Glen Rice Jr. has officially declared himself ready for the 2011-2012 season. Rice, who was suspended the first three games of the season, followed two solid performances over the weekend with a 23-point night off the bench, as Georgia Tech never trailed in a 72-44 victory over Siena at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Rice was held scoreless over the first 10 minutes of the second half, but wasn’t held down for long after that. He hit three, second half field goals, finishing just five points short of tying a career high on a blistering 10-of-12 shooting, and Kammeon Holsey made 7-of-9 shots in helping Tech (4-2) live comfortably throughout.
“I made a mistake, came back, just trying to give the team an extra spark,” Rice said of his season-opening suspension for violating team rules. “It’s a role I had to adjust to, but coach feels like I’m better off the bench. It’s easy coming off the bench, seeing the flow of the game, just coming out there, high energy.”
“Obviously he’s done a good job for us in the three games, I’ve been pleased with his daily habits (they) are getting better as well,” Tech coach Brian Gregory said of Rice. “
Rice scored 30 points in a reserve role in Tech’s last two weekend contests against VCU and LSU in the Charleston Classic, and he picked up right where he left off Wednesday. The 6’5 junior scored 17 first half points on 7-of-8 shooting, including helping ignite an 11-2 run with a lay in off an alley-oop pass from Pierre Jordan that made it 16-7 with 11:22 left. Rice kept it up, draining a three-pointer with a hand in his face and adding a pair of dunks to help push the Tech lead to 28-13. Tech led by as many as 22 points in the opening half as Rice found Brandon Reed for a three-pointer to make it a 37-15 game with twenty-five seconds to play.
While the Yellow Jackets' swing man led the way offensively, the defense clamped down on a Siena team that came in averaging 66 points per game. The Saints shot just 30 percent from the field, and only 8-of-31 during the first 20 minutes. Leading scorer Evan Hymes was held to three points, 16 below his average, and only one first-half field goal, though the freshman guard did have three of his six assists, one on a pretty, behind-the-back pass to fellow freshman Davonte Beard for a lay up that cut the deficit to 23-13. The Saints went more than six minutes without a field goal after that as Tech built a 37-18 halftime lead.
“We couldn’t make a shot that was the difference in the game. Other than that our guys played hard,” said Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro. “I think Georgia Tech’s athleticism and length bothered us.”
"We took a lot of time on the scouting report, and we scouted them real well. We knew their tendencies and what they like to do," said Rice. “We’re still adjusting.”
For Siena, which dropped its second consecutive game after a 2-0 start, OD Anosike had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Kyle Downey added 11 points.