EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Vince Hunter scored a career-high 26 points to lead a hot UTEP offense in an 89-79 win over Louisiana Tech on Thursday.
UTEP (15-6, 5-1 Conference USA) shot 56 percent from the field and moved into a tie for first place in the conference with the win.
The Miners closed the first half on a 12-5 run to take a 43-36 lead to half, and never trailed in the second half.
Louisiana Tech (17-5, 5-2) closed to within 83-77 on Jaron Johnson's layup following a 3-pointer from Chris Anderson on the previous possession. But UTEP hit 4 of 6 free throws over the final 1:04 to keep the Bulldogs from a comeback.
Julian Washburn added 21 points for UTEP while C.J. Cooper had 17. John Bohannon scored 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Anderson and Alex Hamilton both scored 17 to lead the Bulldogs. Johnson added 15 points.