CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Paul Thomas took an inbounds pass in the wing and drove for the hoop, beating his defender with a spin move to hit a short jumper with two seconds left and UTEP edged Charlotte 87-86 Thursday night in a battle of two teams eager for a win.
UTEP (8-17, 3-10 Conference USA) had lost six in a row before Thursday, Charlotte (5-19, 1-12) has now lost 11 straight.
Charlotte held an 86-83 lead with just under a minute remaining in a game that saw five ties and seven lead changes. Evan Gilyard’s layup pulled the Miners to 86-85 and Charlotte’s Jon Davis missed the front end of a one-and-one with 21 seconds left. Thomas controlled the rebound and UTEP called time with six seconds to go.
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Thomas hit the winner as the Miners came out of the huddle and Isiah Osborne stole Charlotte’s final possession to end the game.
Osborne and Gilyard scored 22 each to lead UTEP, Thomas added 15 with 11 rebounds, giving him double-doubles in the last two games.
Austin Ajukwa led the 49ers with 24 points and Andrien White added 21.