UPDATE: We will not be broadcasting the game LIVE due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the production crew.

HOUSTON (KIAH) — The Rice men’s basketball team got its first Conference USA win of the season on Thursday night with a 65-61 win over Middle Tennessee at Tudor Fieldhouse.

Carl Pierre scored 10 points in a 17-2 second half run on his way to his first career double-double.

“That was a tremendous gut-check win by our kids. There’s no other way to put it,” Rice head coach Scott Pera said. “Exhausted, running on fumes, and they refused to give in. They made a comeback when (Middle Tennessee) got the lead early in the second half. They fought back. I’m just really proud. For our kids to dig down that deep, this is a really good win against a very good and well-coached team.”

The Blue Raiders went on a 10-3 run to take its largest lead of the game, 44-38, with 10:54 to play. That’s when the Owls took over. Poteat and Pierre hit back-to-back baskets to pull Rice within two.

After a Middle Tennessee layup, Quincy Olivari hit a three-pointer and Travis Evee made a pair of free throws to give the Owls the lead for good.

Pierre then scored eight straight points, including consecutive threes, as Rice took its largest lead of the game, 55-46, with 5:32 remaining.

Pierre scored a game-high 19 points while tying a career-high with 10 rebounds. Senior guard Chris Mullins and sophomores Quincy Olivari and Travis Evee each had 12 points apiece. Olivari and Evee also combined for 12 rebounds.

Josh Jefferson led the Blue Raiders with 13 points, who dropped to 9-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

The win moves the Owls to 8-5 overall and 1-1 in C-USA play. Next up for the Owls is a Saturday afternoon battle with the UAB Blazers (13-3, 3-0) at Tudor. The Blazers beat North Texas 69-63 on Thursday.

The game will be on CW39 and streamed live on CW39.com on Saturday at 3 p.m.