Add Lamar Odom's name to the list of players who made special college debuts.
The 6-foot-11 sophomore hit the game-winning shot with 5.4 seconds left and came within an assist of a triple double Monday night as No. 23 Rhode Island beat No. 25 Texas Christian 87-85 in the inaugural CoSIDA Classic at the Providence Civic Center.
Odom, who attended Rhode Island last year as a non-matriculating student, showed his versatility, becoming the team's principal ball-handler when starting point guard Preston Murphy went down with an ankle injury late in the first half.
The smooth left-hander finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists and gave Rhode Island fans a glimpse that the 2-year wait was worth it.
Lee Nailon, the nation's leading returning scorer, scored 16 points, all but two in the second half when the Horned Frogs erased a 10-point halftime deficit by hitting nine of 12 attempts from 3-point range.
Rhode Island's Luther Clay made two free throws with 1:27 to play to tie the game 85-85. The 6-9 Nailon missed a turnaround with 54 seconds left.
| Rhode Island forward Antonio Reynolds-Dean drives to the basket past TCU forward Marquise Gainous. (AP) |
Tory Jefferson of Rhode Island missed a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, but the ball went out of bounds off TCU and the Rams were able to set up for the last shot.
Odom stood unguarded near midcourt and dribbled the ball until there were 10 seconds left. He drove by Vladimir Jacksic and made the scoop shot as TCU players converged on him.
TCU's final chance was a bad miss by Jacksic at the buzzer.
Nailonwho averaged 24.9 points last season, was 6-of-13 from the field as Clay did a good defensive job against him.
Antonio Reynolds-Dean led Rhode Island with 21 points, while Clay had 16 and Jefferson 13.
Jacksic had 18 points, all on treys, for TCU, while Marquise Gainous added 14 and Prince Fowler scored 12 points and dished out eight assists.
Rhode Island lost the backcourt from last season's team that made a run to the final eight. Freshman guard Zach Marbury did not dress for the Rams as he waits for an eligibility ruling from the NCAA Clearinghouse.
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