Koulechov with 18 points, Rice beats UC Riverside 87-81

HOUSTON (AP) Egor Koulechov scored 18 points and Rice beat UC Riverside 87-81 on Friday night.

Koulechov made three 3-pointers and had eight rebounds. Marquez Letcher-Ellis added 17 points for Rice (2-4). Max Guercy had 12 points and nine assists, and Andrew Drone chipped in 13 points.

Malik Thames scored 16 points to lead UC Riverside (3-2). Jaylen Bland and Secean Johnson added 15 points apiece.

Menno Dijkstra and Steven Jones made field goals to pull the Highlanders to 65-60. Letcher-Ellis scored four points to spark a 9-0 surge to stretch Rice's lead to 74-60 midway through the second half.

The Owls had a 12-point lead with three minutes left. Bland made a 3-pointer, and Thames and Johnson added field goals to pull the Highlanders to 82-77 with 1:28 left. Drone converted a 3-point play and Evans made two free throws to seal it.

It was the first meeting between the schools.

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