Egor Koulechov had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Marcus Evans hit three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points and Rice held on for a 61-58 win over Southern Miss on Saturday.
Chad Lott scored 11 for Rice (13-8, 3-4 Conference USA), which led by as many as 24 in the second half before missing 12 of its final 14 shots.
Quinton Campbell scored six during a 10-0 run that pulled Southern Miss to 47-36 with 8:41 left and his jumper capped a 15-3 spurt to get within two, 55-53, with 20 seconds to go. Koulechov answered with two free throws as Rice made 6 of 8 in the final 17 seconds.
Cortez Edwards had 14 points and Campbell scored 13 for Southern Miss (6-13, 3-4).
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After Edwards’s 3-pointer gave Southern Miss its only lead, 3-2, six Rice players scored during a 15-0 run over the next six-plus minutes.
The Owls added spurts of eight-straight and nine-straight points and led 34-16 at the break. The Golden Eagles had scoreless stretches of nearly eight minutes and more than 5 1 / 2 minutes before halftime. They hit just 5 of 23 shots in their lowest-scoring half of the season.