UTEP 60, Memphis 58

Michael Perez scored 15 points and Jacques Streeter added 14 as

Texas-El Paso used a second-half rally to defeat Memphis 60-58 on

Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers’ Will Barton clanked a 3-pointer off the rim as time

expired, giving the Miners (13-13, 6-6 Conference USA) their third

straight win. UTEP had trailed 51-44 with 6:25 left, but used a

13-4 rally to overtake Memphis with 1:19 left.

The Miners would never relinquish the lead the rest of the way

as Streeter finished the night shooting 4 of 5 from the field,

including making both of his shots outside the arc.

Tarik Black led Memphis (19-8, 9-3) with 26 points and 10

rebounds.

UTEP was able to hold the lead down the stretch by converting 7

of 8 free throws in the final two minutes. Gabriel McCulley split a

pair of free throws with 23.6 left to give the Miners their biggest

of the game, 60-55.

Barton connected on a 3-pointer with 17.8 seconds left, and the

Tigers forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass for a chance

to win. But Barton’s last shot was off.

Memphis opened by scoring the game’s first nine points as the

Miners started 0 for 7 from the field. The Tigers’ start allowed

Memphis to hold a first-half lead of as many as 13, despite

shooting under 40 percent.

Memphis was getting the ball inside to Black who was 5 of 7 in

the half for 13 points to lead Memphis.

Both teams displayed inaccurate shooting in the first half,

Memphis hitting at a 34.8 percent from the field (8 of 23), while

the Miners hit 32 percent (8 of 25). Both teams had a handful of

turnovers.

But nothing about the half seemed fluid. Even when Memphis

jumped out to the early lead, it looked tolerable because UTEP was

misfiring on everything.

Still, Memphis led 28-19 at the break.

UTEP cut into the Tigers lead with a 9-2 run to open the second

half. Streeter’s drive with 17:20 left pulled the Miners within

30-28.

Despite UTEP staying close the rest of the half, they were

unable to overtake Memphis until a pair of free throws by Cedrick

Lang with 1:19 remaining, gave the Miners their first lead of the

game at 57-55.

UTEP would end the night shooting 44.2 percent (19 of 43), while

Memphis was 37.5 percent (18 of 48).