Houston 72, Rice 67
Danuel House had 14 points and eight rebounds, Joseph Young had 10 points and the sixth-seeded Cougars shot 51.9 percent from the field to win their fourth straight contest.
Houston (19-11) led 17-14 midway through the first half before using a 19-4 run capped off by a Thomas jumper to make it 36-18 with 2:34 remaining before halftime.
Tamir Jackson had 30 points and nine rebounds for Rice (5-26), which battled back in the second half to take a 54-51 lead off an Austin Ramljak 3-pointer with 10:30 to go.
With his team down by two and 2:33 to play, House converted a three-point play to give Houston a 68-67 lead and the Cougars never trailed again.
Houston will play third-seeded UTEP in quarterfinals of the C-USA tourney Thursday.
Tulane 66, Marshall 64
Ricky Tarrant scored 21 points but none were bigger than his 3-pointer with 7 seconds left to give Tulane a 66-64 victory over Marshall in the first round of the Conference USA tournament Wednesday night.
Josh Davis added 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Tulane (19-13), which beat Marshall 91-75 back on Feb. 6 in the two teams’ only other meeting of the season.
The Green Wave trailed 29-20 at halftime but didn’t take its first lead in the second half until Davis converted a three-point play to give Tulane a 54-53 lead with 5:10 to play.
DeAndre Kane led Marshall (13-19) with 22 points and Dennis Tinnon scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Thundering Herd scored 40 points in the paint but surrendered 22 second-chance points off 17 offensive rebounds for Tulane.
Tulane advances to the second round of the C-USA tournament and will play top seeded Memphis on Thursday.