HOUSTON--Rice came out shooting and never looked back, rolling in its only exhibition action, 102-78, over LeTourneau, Friday night at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Five Owls scored in double-figures, led by Marcus Evans who had 24 points, five rebounds and four assists. Egor Koulechov recorded a double-double, scoring 23 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. Connor Cashaw had 17 points and Bishop Mency and Marquez Letcher-Ellis added 11 apiece. Max Guercy added a game-high seven assists.
"It was great to get out there and play somebody else, for the coaches as well as the players," said Rice head coach Mike Rhoades. "When you go as long as we did, from the first of October, you just want to play somebody else. Of course, when the bleachers are pulled out and the stands are full, it's always fun."
Rice started out hot, scoring the first 13 points of the game. Alec Colhoff got the Yellow Jackets on the board with a three-pointer four minutes in. Guercy found Andrew Drone for a basket before Colhoff hit his second three pull LeTourneau within 15-6.
Three straight baskets pushed the lead to 21-6, but LeTourneau scored six of the next eight points to get within 23-14 with 10:12 left in the half. But, a Koulechov three-pointer sent the Owls on a 16-2 run over the next 4:22, as they took a 39-16 lead.
LeTourneau got to within 20, but consecutive three-pointers by Cashaw gave Rice its largest lead of the half, 51-25. Rice went into the break with a 53-27 lead.
The teams traded baskets for the first two and half minutes of the second half. Rice then scored seven straight points to take a 64-34 lead. The Owls led by as many as 32 in the second half
Rice shot 57.4-percent (35-of-61) for the game, including 10-of-25 from (40.0%) three. LeTourneau was 28-of-71 (39.4%) from the field, but shot 51.5% (17-of-33) from three. Rice outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 45-to-30. The Owls also recorded 19 assists, 11 steals and eight blocks.
Colhoff led the Yellow Jackets with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Rice opens the season next Friday, November 13, when it travels to Berkeley, Calif., to face 14th-ranked Cal. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.