UTEP earned a 70-67 victory over Rice on Thursday, getting 16 points from Keonte Kennedy at Don Haskins Center.
UTEP did not, however, defeat Rice against the spread, which closed at -6.5 at most sportsbooks.
Souley Boum had 12 points for UTEP and Jamal Bieniemy chipped in with 12 points. Jamal Bieniemy had 10 assists for them, while Jamal Bieniemy was the team’s top rebounder, grabbing 6 boards.
Rice got 30 points from Carl Pierre in a losing cause and another 13 points from Max Fiedler. Max Fiedler contributed 7 assists for them, while Carl Pierre had 11 rebounds.
UTEP was winning at the break before taking care of business in the second half.
Rice won the battle of the boards, outrebounding their counterparts 32-25.
UTEP heads into a battle against North Texas. Rice, meanwhile, will have their next action against UTSA.