HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Johnny Thomas led a balanced Marshall attack with 13 points and the Thundering Herd defeated Rice 72-61 on Wednesday night.
Damier Pitts, Dago Pena and DeAndre Kane each added 11 points for the Thundering Herd (17-9, 5-6 Conference USA). The Owls (11-14, 3-8), who lost their third straight, were led by Tamir Jackson's 21 points.
Rice had outrebounded 14 of its previous 17 opponents, but Marshall won the battle of the boards 36-24 as Nigel Spikes led the Thundering Herd with 11 rebounds.
Marshall also enjoyed an advantage at the free-throw line, making 23 of 24 (95.8 percent), while Rice settled for 12 of 15.
Arsalan Kazemi had 16 for Rice, including free throws that pulled the Owls to within two, 55-53, with 3:02 left. But the Thundering Herd scored the next 11 points, as Tirrell Baines led the run with two layups, to open a 66-53 advantage with 45 seconds left.