Rice falls to Southern Miss in C-USA tourney

March 12, 2008 9:29:58 PM PDT
Jeremy Wise scored 23 points and Southern Mississippi held off Rice for a 59-50 victory in Wednesday's opening round of the Conference USA tournament.Southern Mississippi (18-13) built the lead by as many as 14 in the second half and held on down the stretch. They will face UCF, the tournament's fourth seed, in the second round Thursday.

Rice (3-27) never overtook the Golden Eagles after the break, but Southern Mississippi couldn't shake the Owls either. The Owls got within 48-46 on two free throws by Patrick Britton with 4:02 left, but never got any closer.

Britton led Rice with 17 points, while Bryan Beasley finished with 10 points before fouling out in the final minute.

R.L. Horton scored 11 points for Southern Mississippi, and Andre Stephens added 10 points.

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