Combs, Williams lead North Texas past Rice 66-63

HOUSTON (AP) — Jeremy Combs scored 18 points, Jordan Williams added 15 and North Texas held on to defeat Rice 66-63 on Saturday.

The Mean Green (7-8, 1-2 Conference USA) shot 60 percent in the second half to finish at 50 percent for the game but couldn’t put away the Owls (4-10, 1-2), who shot 39.6 percent and had 20 turnovers.

Williams opened the second half with a jumper and two free throws as the Mean Green scored the first eight points for a 40-29 lead. The lead was still at 10 with less than 4 minutes remaining but a Marcus Jackson 3 cut it to 65-61 and his layup with six seconds left made it 66-63. After North Texas missed two free throws with five seconds left the Owls couldn’t get up a final shot.

Jackson had 22 points and four of the 12 3-pointers Rice hit. Max Guercy added 15 points.