Tamir Jackson scored 18 points – one of four Rice starters in double figures – and the Owls edged South Alabama 71-69 Saturday night in the Rice Basketball Challenge.
Connor Frizzelle had 17 points, Lawrence Ghoram finished with 14 and Lucas Kuipers added 11 for Rice (2-0).
Martino Brock led the Jaguars (1-1) with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
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The Owls led 38-27 at halftime and never trailed after that, but South Alabama tied the score twice late, the latter coming with 60 seconds remaining. A layup by Brock knotted the game at 65-65 and capped a 6-0 run by the Jaguars.
Rice answered with a 5-0 run of its own which proved to be just enough to preserve the victory.
Bryan Sherrer and Allyn Cooks each added 14 points for South Alabama.