UTEP hangs on for 63-61 win over UAB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — C.J. Cooper pumped in 17 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer, as University of Texas-El Paso held on Saturday for a 63-61 win over University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Trailing by a point with two minutes to go, UTEP (13-6, 3-1 Conference USA) retook the lead on a John Bohannon layup that made it 60-59 with 1:31 to go, then padded it with Cooper’s trey and held on for the win.

Vince Hunter scored 18 points and had nine rebounds, while Bohannon contributed 11 points and eight rebounds for the Miners, who hit 24 of 54 from the field in a game that featured the conference’s two leading defensive teams.

UAB (12-5, 1-2) lost the lead five times but kept the score close. The largest lead of the game was eight points late in the second half.

Rod Rucker led the Blazers with 17 points and six rebounds.