By Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Giddy Potts hit six 3-pointers and finished with 27 total points and Middle Tennessee cruised to an 87-73 win over Rice on Saturday night.

Perrin Buford had 23 points and eight rebounds and Reggie Upshaw scored 18 points and eight rebounds of his own for the Blue Raiders (14-5, 6-1 Conference USA), who have never lost in their three all-time home games against Rice. Middle Tennessee has won six in a row overall.

Middle Tennessee closed the first half on a 31-11 stretch and led 45-25 at the break. Buford buried a jumper with 16:44 to go which gave the Blue Raiders a 57-32 lead, its largest of the night.

Marquez Letcher-Ellis made a layup for Rice (6-14, 1-6) which capped an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 64-54, but the Owls never managed to trim the lead under 10.

Max Guercy led Rice with 20 points.

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