UTEP Sweeps New Mexico St. in Battle of I-10


POSTED: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 10:14pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 6:51pm

Senior guard Randy Culpepper led Texas-El Paso with 32 points in a 74-72 victory over New Mexico State on Tuesday at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M.

Culpepper scored 25 of his points in the first half. He was 10-of-20 from the field and 5-of-10 from 3-point range for the Miners (5-2), who shot 50 percent from the floor for the game.

New Mexico State (2-5) trailed by 12 with 5:47 to play, but a Bandja Sy 3-pointer from the corner with 1:52 made it 69-65. Aggies guard Hernst Laroche made it 70-67 with 54.2 seconds left but he missed a drive on the next trip and UTEP’s Julyan Stone secured the rebound.

UTEP was 4-of-6 from the foul line in the final 12.1 seconds to secure the win.
Claude Britten had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Miners.

UTEP pushed a five-point halftime lead to nine with a 9-5 flurry in the first five minutes of the second half. The Aggies closed to within five on a Gordo Castillo 3-pointer with 13:27 to play but the Miners outscored NMSU 9-0 in the next three minutes to open a 58-46 lead with 10:23 left as NMSU opened the second half 3-of-14 from the field.

Troy Gillenwater led the Aggies with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Christian Kabongo added 13 points for the Aggies, who were 41 percent for the game.

Culpepper scored 14 straight and 16 of UTEP’s final 20 points of the first half for a 40-35 UTEP lead. Culepper was 8-of-12 from the floor in the first half while the rest of the team was a combined 7-of-12 in the first 20 minutes.

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