POSTED: Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 10:50pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 7:48pm
Justin Hurtt’s jumper with seven seconds left lifted Tulsa to a 69-68 win over UTEP on Saturday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Hurtt’s bucket came 16 seconds after Randy Culpepper put UTEP (17-5, 5-2 C-USA) ahead 68-67 on a three-pointer. It was the Miners’ first lead since 48-47 with 13 minutes to play.
UTEP showed grit, erasing a 40-32 halftime deficit with a 16-5 run to open the second period, then regaining the lead after falling behind 58-53 with five minutes to go.
But Hurtt wouldn’t be denied, scoring 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead Tulsa (11-10, 4-3 C-USA) to the victory.
Randy Culpepper scored 28 points for the Miners, and Christian Polk added 19 to go over 1,000 for his collegiate career. UTEP shot only 38.5 percent, made 9-of-26 three pointers and was outrebounded 37-27, but hang around by turning the ball over seven times and going 19-for-23 from the line.
Jordan Clarkson scored 14 points and D.J. Magley added 10 for Tulsa, which outscored UTEP 30-14 in the paint and 29-4 in bench points.
UTEP stayed in a tie for first place in the C-USA standings with Memphis, which lost at Marshall earlier in the night, and UAB, which joined the party with a victory at UCF.
UTEP will host UCF on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.