Kemp was 10 of 15 from the floor and 13 of 16 from the free-throw line. He also gave East Carolina (13-8, 4-4 Conference USA) a boost on the boards with nine.
East Carolina held a slim 29-26 lead at halftime and pulled away in the second half. The team had a 44-32 scoring advantage in the paint and an 18-11 edge in points off turnovers.
Tamir Jackson led Rice (5-16, 1-6) with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Austin Ramljak scored 12.
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