SMU drops conference game to Rice, 68-52

Robert Nyakundi scored 14 points and Jeremiah Samarrippas had 12 and three steals for the Mustangs, but it was nowhere near enough to overcome an early deficit Wednesday night.

Arsalan Kazemi had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead Rice to a 68-52 victory over SMU on Wednesday night.

Ahmad Ibrahim added 14 points and Lucas Kuipers 10 for the Owls (10-7, 1-1 Conference USA), who shot 52.1 percent (25 of 48) from the floor en route to halting a three-game losing streak.

Robert Nyakundi scored 14 points and Jeremiah Samarrippas had 12 points and three steals for the Mustangs (9-7, 1-1).

Kazemi lost the Division I rebounding lead after being held to just four against Marshall on Saturday. He was back in form against SMU after entering the game third in the nation at 11.9 rebounds a game.

A 3-pointer by Ibrahim sparked an 11-1 Rice run over a 2:56 stretch of the second half. The Owls made six free throws during the surge, which gave them a 47-31 lead with 12:16 remaining, and the Mustangs got no closer than eight points afterward.


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