SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Christian Wilson scored a career-high 25 points, including 12 over the final 15 minutes as UTSA overcame a 15-point deficit and beat UTEP, 71-67, on Saturday at the Convocation Center.
UTEP (10-8, 2-3 C-USA) led 52-37 when Lee Moore hit a free throw with 14:48 remaining. After that, the Roadrunners (4-14, 2-3 C-USA) outscored the Miners 34-15 and limited them to four field goals.
“Obviously this is a disappointing loss,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “We had a lead and gave it back with offensive inefficiency in the second half. We scored 24 points in the second half, which isn’t enough to win on the road.”
Wilson did most of his damage at the free throw line, where he was 11-of-14. The Roadrunners finished 18-of-26 at the stripe (.692) while the Miners had their difficulties at 52.6 percent, 10-of-19.
Wilson scored eight consecutive points for UTSA after UTEP opened the big lead. He also scored the layup with 1:23 remaining that broke a 66-66 tie and put the Roadrunners ahead for good at 68-66.
Hooper Vint and Terry Winn led UTEP with 12 points each. Lee Moore and Earvin Morris both scored 11. Vint had his third double-double of the season with 10 rebounds, but the Miners were beat on the boards 43-34 including 25-15 in the second half.
UTSA scored 11 second-chance points off 12 offensive rebounds, although most of that scoring came in the first half.
The Miners ended the first half with an 11-3 run and went into the locker room up 43-33 after Trey Touchet buried back-to-back three-point shots, including one right before the buzzer.
UTEP made four of six shots to start the second half in establishing the 15-point lead but went cold thereafter, connecting on just four of its final 18 attempts (22.2 percent).
The Miners were outscored 38-24 over the final 20 minutes and just couldn’t get anything going offensively.
“A lot of different factors for that,” Floyd said. “We missed probably more layups than I’ve ever had a team miss in a game. We were very poor from the free throw line. With the game tied at 66 we missed back-to-back free throws. We missed a layup following that on the next possession.
“We also don’t offensive rebound it very well. We had two offensive boards for the game. And then we put the other team at the line too much. It’s back-to-back games where we give up too many free throws on the road. It seemed like when we didn’t stop it, they either offensive boarded or they got themselves back to the line and made free throws.”
The Miners finished at 44.6 percent from the field for the game to UTSA’s 38.1 percent. After making 7-of-12 three-pointers in the first half, the Miners were 0-for-7 from outside over the last 20 minutes.
Lucas O’Brien (12 points/eight rebounds) and J.R. Harris (10 points) also scored in double figures for UTSA. Wilson led the Roadrunners in points, rebounds (nine), assists (five) and steals (two).
“A lot of opportunities to win it,” Floyd said. “We played like a team that had not won on the road. We didn’t play with much confidence down the stretch. We got some good minutes today out of Trey Touchet. We got some good minutes out of Tevin Caldwell. We’re real banged up inside with Terry and Hooper, but I thought they both played decent. We’ve just got to get better play and we didn’t get it accomplished.”
UTEP will be home for four of its next six games starting on Thursday (Jan. 21) when it hosts Florida Atlantic at 7:05 p.m. The Miners will also host FIU next Saturday (Jan. 23) at 7:05.
Author: UTEP Atheltics