The UTEP Miners basketball team despite forcing overtime could not overcome Tulsa's excellent free throw and perimeter shooting down the stretch.
Despite having the final possession on a controversial offensive foul call, sophomore guard Stefon Jackson (18 points) of the Miners (10-7, 2-1 C-USA) could not find the bottom of the rim, and both teams were tied at 64 through the end of regulation.
In overtime Tulsa (12-3, 2-0 C-USA) regained control of the game when guards Ben Uzoh (14 points) and Roderick Earls (9 points) drained consecutive three point shots to give the Golden Hurricanes a 70-66 lead. The Miners, subsequently, could not recover and eventually dropped their seventh game of the season 86-79.
The Miner guards: Henderson (14 points), Alvin (12 points) and Kilgore (13 points) contributed nine of the team's 21 total turnovers while not distributing the ball (5 assists) to their teammates.
The win improves Tulsa to a perfect 12-0 record this year at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. Saturday's win can be credited to the Golden Hurricane stingy defense, which recorded 13 blocks and held the Miners to a 37 percent field goal percentage, their lowest in six games. More importantly, Tulsa made their free throws (40-43) in a game where both teams combined for 59 total fouls. The Miners on-the-other hand only made 23 out of 33 free-throws.
Next up for the Miners will be Southern Mississippi (11-4, 1-1 C-USA) traveling to the Haskins Center this Wednesday at 7:05. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 75-62 loss to conference leader Memphis.
Carlos Silva Jr. is a Staff Writer for MinerDigs.net. He can be reached by clicking here.