Guercy, Jackson leads Rice past Houston 79-69

HOUSTON (AP) — Max Guercy had 21 points, Tamir Jackson added 18 and Rice earned its first Conference USA victory of the season by beating Houston 79-69 on Wednesday night.

Rice (5-15, 1-5 C-USA) overcame an eight-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Cougars 54-36 in the second half.

The turn-around came with 5:31 remaining in the first half when Rice trailed 29-14 and Guercy hit a 3-pointer to cut Houston’s lead to 12 and start an 11-4 run to end the half. The Owls continued their run in the second half and took only its second lead of the night after Jackson’s jumper made it 49-48 with 9:40 remaining. Rice used a 20-8 run to end the game.

Jackson was 9 for 10 from the free-throw line and added six rebounds to his point total.

TaShawn Thomas led Houston (13-6, 2-4) with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Joseph Young had 17 points and six rebounds.