SOUTH BURLINGTON — The Rice Green Knights went on a 17-0 fourth quarter run, wiping out an 11 point deficit and topping the St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers 53-47 on Bernie Cieplicki Court.
After a close first half that saw the Green Knights go to the locker room with a one point lead, the ‘Toppers came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring the home team 20-10 and opening up an 11 point lead at 44-33. Codrin Cobzaru contributed nine points and Jacob Cady add six (on a pair of three pointers) in the run.
But Rice scored the final two points of the third quarter to cut the lead to nine at 44-35, and then held St. J scoreless until Austin Wendall swished a three pointer with 3.4 seconds left in the game. By that time Rice had run 19 straight points to open a 52-44 lead. The Green Knights surge was keyed by guards Elliott Nelson and Kam Farris who combined for 12 fourth quarter points along with numerous steals and forced turnovers as the home team took over the game.
Rice freshman guard Leo Chaikin led the Knights with 14 points. Nelson added 13 and Farris finished with 10.
Cady led the Academy with 13, with Alex Carlisle chipping in 11.
Rice improves to 1-1 on the season. St. Johnsbury is 0-2.