EL PASO, Texas (AP) Vince Hunter posted a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, as UTEP edged Rice 68-65 on Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Julian Washburn added 19 points and Cedrick Lang had 11 points for the Miners (21-9, 13-5 Conference USA), who play in the Conference USA tournament in Birmingham on March 12.
UTEP jumped to a 10-0 advantage early in the first half and they led 29-27 at the break. Bishop Mency sank a 3-pointer to start the second half and Rice took a 30-29 lead. Mency hit another from distance to put Rice up 55-50 before UTEP responded with a 10-3 run capped by a Hunter layup to take a 60-58 lead with 2:49 left and the Miners held on for the win despite a 3-pointer by Rice’s Marcus Jackson at the buzzer.
Jackson led the Owls (11-19, 8-10) with 19 points.