NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - B.J. Stith hit a season-high five 3-pointers and finished with 28 points, Ahmad Caver added 17 points and 11 assists, and Old Dominion beat Rice 80-76 on Saturday night.
Justice Kithcart had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, for ODU. The Monarchs (18-6, 8-3 Conference USA), who have won seven of their last eight, lead North Texas by a half-game in the conference standings.
Stith capped a 15-6 run with a 3-pointer to give ODU a 50-45 lead with 12 Â½ minutes to play. Martin made a layup and then hit a 3 to pull the Owls within one about nine minutes later but Kithcart answered with a 3 from the left corner and, after Rice air balled a 3, Ahmad Caver made a short jumper to make it 72-66 with 2:24 to play. Rice trimmed its deficit to four on three occasions in the final 60 seconds but got no closer.
Chris Mullins had 14 points, Robert Martin scored 13 and Jack Williams had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Rice (9-14, 4-6).