HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Rob Little and Nick Robinson came up big during an extended second-half run and Chris Hernandez took over down the stretch as 17th-ranked Stanford rallied for a 60-56 victory over Rice.
Little scored six of his 17 points and Robinson added seven of his 11 during a 16-6 burst that gave Stanford a 38-36 lead with 12:40 remaining.
Hernandez did the rest, scoring the team's final seven points and 12 of its last 14 to help seal the victory, the Cardinal's third straight to start the season.
Little and Hernandez finished with 17 points apiece for Stanford, which had not played in the Longhorn State since the 1984-85 season, when it beat Army, 75-60, in the consolation game of the Texas Invitational.
Trying to remain unbeaten, the Owls (3-1) led by as many as eight points four times, but they faded in the second half, thanks in part to a 13-of-25 effort from the free-throw line.
Jason McKreith scored 14 points for Rice, which captured the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska last weekend.
Rice got off to a good start in this one, grabbing a 12-4 lead on Rashid Smith's jumper 4:02 into the game. They also had leads of 26-18 and 28-20 before taking a 28-22 advantage into the locker room.
The Owls' final eight-point lead came following Brock Gillespie's jumper 45 seconds into the second half. But the Cardinal embarked on a 13-3 run that gave them their first lead since the game's opening basket.
Robinson started it with a free throw before Hernandez hit a 3-pointer. Little then made a pair of layups and a hook to get Stanford within 33-32 with 13:55 to play.
Robinson added a pair of three-point plays, the first of which capped the 13-3 run and gave the Cardinal a 35-33 edge. He extended the spurt to 16-6 with a another three-point play, making it 38-36 with 12:40 to go.
Matt Haryasz gave Stanford the lead for good, 40-38, when he hit a jumper with 12:15 to play, and Hernandez made sure the Cardinal kept it.
After a dunk by Little and jumper by Haryasz, Hernandez increased the lead to 47-41 by sinking a 3-pointer with 7:15 remaining. He added a pair of free throws for a 49-43 advantage with 6:35 to play.
While both teams went cold from the field, Hernandez was able to complete a three-point play for a 56-50 lead with 3:50 left. Stanford closed within 56-54 in the final 90 seconds, but Hernandez made four straight free throws to seal it.
The Owls struggled from the free-throw line and the field, where they shot just 38 percent (19-of-50), going 5-of-18 from 3-point range.
Stanford shot 47 percent (22-of-47) and held a 33-28 advantage off the boards en route to its eighth win in as many meetings with Rice. Mike Montgomery recorded his first win as Cardinal coach against the Owls on November 29, 1986.