February 07, 2015

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) Seth Gearhart scored a career-high 31 points as Rice upset Western Kentucky, 72-68, knocking the Hilltoppers out of sole possession of first place in Conference-USA Saturday night.

Gearhart's layup with 2:01 left to play gave the Owls (7-15, 4-6 C-USA) the lead, 66-65, and he pushed it to a three-point lead with a layup off a feed by Marcus Jackson with 1:22 remaining. Gearhart's two free throws with :22 left made it a five-point game and, following Trency Jackson's 3-pointer with :05 to play, Gearhart added two more free throws for the final margin.

The Owls shot 59.5 percent from the field, knocking down 25 of 42 shots, including 7 of 17 from distance.

The loss was just the third at home for Western Kentucky (16-7, 9-2), which is now tied with Louisiana Tech and Alabama-Birmingham atop the conference standings.

Jackson finished with 23 points to lead the Hilltoppers.

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