Senior Leon Gibson added 18 points and 12 rebounds in his final regular-season home game for the Cougars (17-11, 6-9), who pulled into an eighth-place tie with Tulane and Marshall in the Conference USA standings. Houston finishes its regular season at Tulane on Saturday.
The Cougars shot 50 percent from the floor, outrebounded Rice 44-20 and never trailed after the opening minutes.
Tamir Jackson had 25 points and seven rebounds for the Owls (5-24, 1-14), who lost their ninth in a row. Rice beat Houston 79-69 on Jan. 30 for its only conference win, but the Owls haven’t won since.
Houston honored former Cougars greats and NBA stars Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon during a halftime ceremony. The players recently were included in the NCAA’s Top 75 All-Time March Madness Players.