UTEP, Floyd Get 1st Victory of Season Against Mercer


POSTED: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 6:56pm

UPDATED: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 11:48pm

Randy Culpepper scored 24 points to lead four UTEP players in double figures as the Miners topped Mercer, 87-74, in a Legends Classic Regional Round game on Sunday at the Don Haskins Center.

Christian Polk added 17 points, Julyan Stone 13 and Jeremy Williams 11 for the Miners (1-1), who scored their first win under head coach Tim Floyd.

Jeff Smith led Mercer (1-1) with 22 points, and Brandon Moore chipped in with 19.

UTEP blew the game open with a 17-2 first half run, turning a 23-20 lead into a 40-22 cushion. The Miners were ahead 45-33 at the half and took their largest lead of 25 points twice, the last at 74-49 with 10:13 to play. The closest Mercer could get the rest of the afternoon was 12 points (84-72) with 3:15 remaining.

UTEP shot 51 percent from the field -- including 54 percent in the second half -- and went to the line 44 times. The two teams combined for 57 fouls and 77 free throw attempts.

Stone had eight rebounds and five assists and Polk dished out seven assists, his high game as a Miner. UTEP also received nine points and six rebounds from freshman John Bohannon off the bench.

The Miners outrebounded the Bears 39-32 and forced 20 turnovers.

UTEP will host Western Carolina in another Legends game on Saturday (Nov. 20) at 8:30 p.m. It is the second game of a doubleheader with the UTEP women, who will face Eastern New Mexico at 6:05 p.m. Western Carolina was 22-12 last season, establishing a school record for Division I wins, and opened its season with an 87-64 loss at Clemson on Friday.

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