The Miners erased the halftime deficit by scoring the first nine points of the second half and knotting the score at 30-30 in the first four minutes of the period.
The Owls rallied and led by as many as nine with nine minutes left. UTEP took the lead for good on a Cooper 3-pointer with 6:03 remaining and the Miners took control with a 15-2 run capped by a Cedrick Lang dunk with 1:26 left. Cooper closed the game out for UTEP by hitting four straight free throws and a jumper.
Vince Hunter finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for UTEP (16-6, 6-1 Conference USA).
Marcus Jackson scored 14 points and Sean Obi pulled down 13 rebounds to lead Rice (6-15, 1-7).
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