By Associated Press - Friday, November 17, 2017

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) - Connor Cashaw scored a career-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Rice and its new coach, Scott Pera, to their first victory this season, 87-65 over Northwestern State on Friday night.

Cashaw, a junior, was 9-of-16 from the floor, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers, while grabbing nine rebounds. Sophomore Ako Adams added career highs of 16 points and nine assists and A.J. Lapray, a graduate transfer from Pepperdine, scored a career-high 18 points off the bench.

Rice (1-2) shot just 36 percent overall and 31 percent from the arc in its two losses, but heated up to 57 percent from the floor, including 11 of 22 from the arc, against the Demons (0-4).

Ishmael Lane led the Demons with 14 points with Devonte Hall adding 13, Iziahiah Sweeney 12 and Darian Dixon 11. Jalen West, who led the NCAA at 7.7 assists per game and averaged 20 points per game in his last full season, 2014-15, played in an official game for the first time since 2015-16 opener when he suffered the first of two knee injuries that kept him sidelined. West played 27 minutes and scored four points with four assists.

Rice closed the first half on a 14-5 run, with seven points from Adams and five from Lapray, to go up 36-24. Lapray had nine points and Cashaw eight in a 20-5 run to break the game open at 67-46 with nine minutes to go.

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