UTEP hands Roadrunners third consecutive setback on Saturday
EL PASO — Julian Washburn scored a game-high 19 points to lead UTEP, as the Miners broke open a close game with a 19-8 run to end the first half and never looked back in an 81-62 win over UTSA on Saturday afternoon at the Don Haskins Center.
Keon Lewis, Edrico McGregor and Hyjii Thomas paced the Roadrunners (6-12, 2-3 C-USA), who dropped their third consecutive game, with 11 points apiece. Lewis added a season-high six assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, while Jordan Sims and James Williams each hit three 3-pointers to finish with nine points.
UTSA shot 45.7 percent on the afternoon and got 22 points from its bench.
Meanwhile, Washburn went 6-of-7 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and hit all four of his free throws to go along with three assists and two rebounds to lead the Miners (14-6, 4-1 C-USA), who gave head coach Tim Floyd his 400th career victory.
UTEP shot 55.6 percent for the game, including a 57.7 percent clip in the second half, and turned 16 UTSA turnovers into 30 points. C.J. Cooper and Vince Hunter added 15 points apiece, while Cedrick Lang contributed 12 points.
The Roadrunners started fast and took an early 6-4 lead on a pair of 3-pointers from Williams. McGregor scored two of his seven first-half points for an 8-5 advantage and UTSA had its largest lead of the stanza, 12-8, following a jumper by Thomas.
But Cooper and Washburn each connected from behind the arc to bring the crowd of 8,692 to its feet and give the Miners a 16-13 lead with 11:33 to go before halftime. Thomas quickly quieted the crowd and slowed the UTEP momentum with a 17-foot jumper. A Phillip Jones bucket reclaimed the lead for the Roadrunners, 17-16.
Minutes later, the Miners regained the advamtage on a basket and free throws from Washburn and a Thomas basket pulled UTSA within 20-19 with 8:18 on the clock.
However, UTEP outscored UTSA 19-8 the rest of the half and took a 39-27 lead to intermission.
Devon Agusi hit a pair of baskets to start the second half, but the Miners extended their lead to 61-36 by outscoring the Roadrunners 22-9 over the first 7:17 of the period.
UTEP remained in control throughout the half and cruised to the 81-62 final.
Former Texas Western star and UTSA assistant coach Nevil Shed was honored at halftime of the contest. After he helped lead the Miners to the 1966 NCAA Championship, Shed was on the Roadrunners’ bench during the program’s first five seasons (1981-86) and worked at the university until he retired in 2006.
The Roadrunners will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 30, when they host Rice (5-13, 0-5 C-USA) in an 8 p.m. tilt at the Convocation Center.