But the Warriors didn’t get the rebound. Corey Hudson (16 points) muscled in for the rebound and scored for a 50-46 lead and the game’s decisive play. Wayne’s 6-foot-7 Aamil Wagner and his wide frame that has made him an offensive line recruit to Notre Dame was waiting to check into the game.
“I take full responsibility for that,” Martindale said. “We were trying to get Aamil in the game. I couldn’t get him in fast enough, and that’s one you would love to have back as a coach.”
During the third quarter it appeared Wayne would get that elusive win over a top-tier Division I team. North led 21-20 at the half, but Rice scored eight points in a hurry to push Wayne to a 33-25 lead with 3:16 left. But North began to keep the ball away from Rice and rallied to trail 36-35 entering the fourth quarter.
“He’s going to make the right basketball play nine out of 10 times,” Martindale said of Rice. “Credit Pick North’s defense. It’s hard every single possession to go make a play. We’ve got to find more creative ways and be better at getting him off the ball some. We’re going to work on that.”
Rice had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and one turnover while playing the entire game. Wagner had 10 points and eight rebounds.
“They definitely tried to take me away more, which forces my team to put the ball in other people’s hands that aren’t comfortable in that position,” Rice said. “They did a good job with that.”