BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Marcus Evans made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points, Marcus Jackson added 20 points, and No. 5 seed Rice beat 12th-seeded Southern Mississippi 86-75 on Wednesday in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament.
Rice (22-10), which has won nine of 11, will face No. 4 seed UTEP on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Southern Miss jumped out to a 12-2 lead with seven points from Quinton Campbell. But Rice rallied to take a 35-33 lead on Evans' wide-open 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:10 to go in the first half. Rice shot 50 percent in the half, including 7 of 15 from distance, but was hurt by 11 turnovers.