Rice basketball earned their first conference win, taking down Southern Miss at Tudor Fieldhouse, leveling the Owls’ CUSA record at 1-1.
A little more than seven minutes into the field half Rice had turned the ball over three times and connected on two shots from the field. The Owls trailed the visiting Southern Miss Eagles 16-6 and were dangerously close from one more run from their opponents pushing the game out of reach. This team stayed cool, keeping the deficit from growing.
Rice entered the half trailing by nine, still in the game, but in need of a run of their own. The Owls had shot 37 percent from the field in the first half and turned the ball over nine times. The game was well within reach, assuming Rice could reel in their missteps and focus.
Not only did Rice settle in, they outscored Southern Miss 40-23 over the final 20 minutes, clinching their first conference victory. The Owls committed just three turnovers after the break and outrebounded Southern Miss 24-15.
Player of the game – Jack Williams
When Rice had brought the game level, tied 46-46 in the second half, Jack Williams hadn’t scored any points. His first basket of the game, a three-pointer, extended the Owls’ lead to six. As Southern Miss attempted to mount a comeback, Williams hit four consecutive shots, scoring nine straight to keep Rice out in front. He finished with 12 points (all in the second half) and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season.
Up next – Louisiana Tech
Rice will get one more game at home before going back on the road. The Owls host Louisiana Tech, 11-4 (1-1), with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. The Bulldogs are coming off a road loss to the same North Texas squad that handed Rice their only CUSA loss of the season.