UTEP Pulls Out Tough 57-52 Victory at Houston


POSTED: Saturday, January 22, 2011 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 9:29pm

Jeremy Williams’ free throws with 1:54 left gave UTEP a 51-50 lead, and Julyan Stone delivered the dagger on a three pointer with 19 seconds remaining as the Miners pulled out a 57-52 win at Houston on Saturday.

The UTEP victory capped a bizarre day in Conference USA where the road team prevailed in five of six games. The Miners won for just the second time in seven trips to Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars once again gave the Miners (16-4, 4-1 C-USA) all they could handle after dealing them two losses last season. Houston (11-7, 3-2 C-USA) took its last lead of the night at 50-49 on a pair of free throws by Adam Brown with 3:04 to play. Brown scored a game-high 22 points.

Following Williams’ free throws, the Cougars’ Zamal Nixon missed a jumper and Wayne Portalatin, who had made his first appearance of the night only seconds earlier, secured the defensive rebound for the Miners. Randy Culpepper missed a jumper at the other end, but Williams grabbed the offensive rebound. On the next play, Culpepper was double teamed at the top of the key and found the open Stone for the trifecta.

Brown missed a jumper on the other end, Stone snared the defensive rebound and the Miners closed it out with free throws.

Stone’s three pointer was his only field goal of the night, but he finished with six assists and 14 rebounds as UTEP outrebounded Houston 43-31. The Miners had a 14-3 edge in offensive rebounds.

The win kept UTEP tied for first place in the C-USA standings with Memphis, which won at UAB in overtime earlier in the night.

Culpepper scored 18 points and Williams added 15 for the Miners.

The Miners took their largest lead of the night at 17-10 midway through the first half before Houston rallied to take a 29-28 edge at the break. The game featured 12 ties and eight lead changes.

UTEP will host Tulane on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.

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