W. Kentucky tops Rice 79-72 behind Johnson’s 24 pts
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Justin Johnson scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Anton Waters scored 15 as Western Kentucky beat Rice 79-72 on Saturday to end the Owls’ three-game winning streak.
Johnson broke a 72-all tie with 1:17 remaining with a jumper, Que Johnson scored a layup and Tobias Howard made one of two free throws with 26 seconds left and Rice was finished as it missed its last six shots.
Western Kentucky (15-16, 9-9 Conference USA) was 29-for-56 shooting (52 percent). Rice was 24 for 55 (44) but stayed close going 11 for 23 from long range and 13 for 14 from the foul line
The Hilltoppers controlled the inside and outscored Rice 42-22 in the paint. Johnson and Pancake Thomas each scored 11 for the Hilltoppers.
Egor Koulechov led Rice with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Marcus Jackson scored 13, Ako Adams 11 and Marcus Evans 10.