The host Owls were up 16-5 early, dominating the offensive glass, but wholesale Temple substitutions did more for Rice than Temple as the visiting Owls got back to a 23-23 tie.
"I think defensively we gave up a lot of go-bys in that stretch," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "I would like to get more guys in the game, and get them some runs. I thought our perimeter defense was not as good as it needed to be."
Dunphy didn't put too much stock in holding Rice to four offensive rebounds, pointing out that the visitors are undermanned, having lost three starters to transfer.
"I thought they did a great job of running their sets, controlling tempo a little bit," Dunphy said.
Temple's coach did find one positive line on the stat sheet, pointing to the 16-for-17 the Owls shot from the foul line, after making just 5 of 11 in the first half.
Former Frankford High guard Keith Washington, a Rice freshman, had a strong run as Rice got back in it, hitting a three and then getting to the line and then driving for a score on three straight possessions. Washington finished with 12 points. Tamir Jackson led Rice with 17 points.
By halftime, Temple was up 34-31. Owls starters had all 34. Hollis-Jefferson had the dirty-work line of the half, with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to go with his 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting.
In the second half, Temple leaned almost exclusively on Hollis-Jefferson, Randall and Wyatt for offense. At one point, the trio had taken 19 of 23 Owls shots in the half as Temple found a working cushion.
Contact Mike Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Jensenoffcampus on Twitter.