Connor Frizzelle matched Kazemi with 12 points for Rice (17-13, 8-7 Conference USA). After UTEP coach Tim Floyd was ejected following two technical fouls, Frizzelle made four free throws with 4:33 left to extend the Owls’ five-point lead to 54-45. Rice scored off the possession to take an 11-point lead.
UTEP got as close as 58-56 after John Bohannon’s basket with 1:05 to play, but Rice scored the next six points to stay in control.
Jarelle Reischel and Ahmad Ibrahim each scored 10 points for Rice.
Gabriel McCulley led the Miners (14-15, 7-8) with 17 points. Bohannon had 13 points and nine rebounds and Julian Washburn finished with 12 points for UTEP.