HOUSTON (AP) — Marcus Evans scored 26 points, hitting 15 of 16 from the line, to lead Rice to an 88-81 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night that gave the Owls their first 20-win season since 2004.
Egor Koulechov and Marquez Letcher-Ellis added 12 points apiece for Rice (20-9, 10-6 Conference USA) and Marcus Jackson finished with 11, including a 3-pointer that pushed him past the 1,000-career point mark.
Tied at 73 late in the second half, Rice got a 3-pointer from Jackson to spark an 8-0 burst that put the Owls on top 81-73 with 2:27 to play. Connor Cashaw capped the go-ahead run with his second 3 of the game and Rice hung on down the stretch to end Louisiana Tech's seven-game winning streak.
Louisiana Tech (21-9, 13-4) shot 50 percent from the field and controlled the boards 41-28 but piled up 24 personal fouls that enabled Rice to take a 25-8 edge in free throw points.
Jacobi Boykins got 17 points to lead five Louisiana Tech players in double figures.