USM cooks Rice

Published 12:55 am Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jeremy Wise and Sai’Quon Stone scored 17 points apiece to lead Southern Mississippi to a 71-53 win over Rice on Saturday.

The win snapped a two game losing streak for the Golden Eagles (10-9, 2-3 Conference USA).

Rice (3-16, 0-6) has lost nine straight games and 11 of its last 12.

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R. L. Horton added 15 points for Southern Miss and Courtney Beasley chipped in 10.

Rice made two more field goals than Southern Miss, but the Golden Eagles outscored the Owls by 23 points from the free throw line.

Lawrence Gorham led Rice with 14 points and Rodney Foster scored 10.

The first half featured a pair of 11-0 runs, an early one by Rice and a late one by Southern Miss. Horton broke a 25-25 tie with a 3-pointer just before halftime to put the Golden Eagles up 28-25 at the break.

The Golden Eagles used a 10-1 run midway through the second half to extend the lead. Wise’s three-point play capped the run and put the Golden Eagles up 48-38 with 9:53 to play.

Rice played without leading scorer and rebounder Paulius Packevicius, who missed the game after injuring his knee in practice Friday.