Marcus Evans scored 22 points, set career-highs with six rebounds, six assists and two blocks and recorded four steals. Egor Koulechov recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 boards. Marquez Letcher-Ellis had 12 points and seven rebounds and Andrew Drone had 10 points and a season-high five rebounds. Max Guercy added nine points and nine assists.
"This was great for confidence" said Rice head coach Mike Rhoades. "Guys can feel good about themselves for a couple of days. We've had some really tough games and some things that didn't go our way. We have these young guys and we'll let them enjoy this."
Rice (3-6) began the game on a 17-4 run over the first 7:24. The Hilltoppers scored five straight points to get within eight points, but the Owls answered with seven of the next eight to take a 24-10 midway through the first half.
Ramir Burton made a pair of free throws, but Koulechov drilled a three to push the lead to 15 points. After the teams traded baskets, St. Edward's made two straight three's to cut the deficit to 29-20 at the under-eight timeout. Rice then scored eight of the next 10 points to take its largest lead of the half, 38-22, with four minutes to play. However, a three-pointer by John Gramlich sent St. Edward's on an 11-0 run over the next 2:15, cutting the lead to 38-33. But a layup by Evans and a jumper from Oliver Xu sent the Owls into the break with a 42-33 lead.
Rice opened the second half outscoring the Hilltoppers 18-6 through the first six minutes. St. Edward's would only get as close as 18 points as the Owls led by as many as 25.
Added Rhoades, "Today was a good game. St. Edward's is a good team and they're so well coached. We just did some things today that produced a lot of confidence (in the team). Hopefully it will carry over to practice in the next week."
Rice finished with game 30-of-47 from the field, including 9-of-17 (52.9%) from the three-point line. St. Edward's connected on 40.6% (28-of-69) from the floor and 40.9% (9-of-22) from beyond the arc. The Owls also outrebounded SEU, 43-to-23.
Rice will take a week off for exams before returning to the hardwood on Thursday, Dec. 5, when it hosts St. Thomas. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT.