UCF 74, Rice 63

HOUSTON (AP) -- Josh Peppers scored 18 points to lead Central Florida to a 74-63 win over Rice on Saturday night.

Lavell Payne and Dave Noel added 16 points each for the Golden Knights (19-7, 8-4 Conference USA), who scored 17 consecutive points from the free-throw line during a 7-minute stretch of the second half. The Golden Knights missed one attempt from the line during that run, extending a six-point lead to 11.

Morris Almond was held to 13 points -- 15 below his season average -- and scored only two points in the second half for Rice (13-12, 7-5). Lorenzo Williams scored a team-high 16 points and Chris Hagan finished with 11.

Central Florida led 41-31 at halftime, thanks to 12 points apiece from Payne and Peppers. The Golden Knights led by as many as 15 points before the break.