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UTEP Starts Fast, Holds Off Florida A&M 72-54

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The Miners raced out to an early lead and would eventually expand it to more than 30 before fending off the FAMU Rattlers 72-54.

Lee Moore scored 17 points, and Earvin Morris and Terry Winn each chipped in with 12 as the Miners improved to 4-0 on the young season with a 72-54 win over Florida A&M.

This one was the Lee Moore show in the early going, as the junior scored 15 points in the first 16 minutes of the ball game, leading the Miners to a 40-17 lead with about 4 minutes left in the first half.

Christian Romine and Terry Winn would handle the rest of the scoring in the first half, pushing the UTEP lead out to 24 at 48-24 as the teams headed for the locker rooms.

The Miners would continue to pour it on out of the break, eventually leading by as many as 31 on two separate occasions, but would take their foot off the gas and find themselves in a much closer game that anticipated.

Florida A&M would use a 24-7 run over the next 11 minutes of the game to cut the Miners' lead to 14 at 68-54. Fortunately enough, they would come no closer than that. The Miners would hold the Rattlers scoreless over the final 3:30, before taking the win by a 72-54 margin.

Lee Moore led all scorers with 17 points on just 6-9 shooting, while hauling in 4 rebounds. Earvin Morris finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, and Terry Winn chipped in with 12 points and 4 boards.

Justin Ravenal led Florida A&M with 16 points and 4 rebounds, and Craig Bowman finished with 12 points, 3 assists and 3 steals. No other FAMU player finished in double figures.

Despite a sloppy second half, the Miners finished the night shooting 50% from the field, including 46.7% from deep. They also knocked in 11 of their 17 free throw attempts. Florida A&M was held to just 34.5% from the field and 27.3% from behind the arc. They hit 8 of 13 free throws.

The Miners also won the rebounding battle 38-33, but turned in a sloppy performance in the turnover department with 21, compared to 20 for the Rattlers.

Coach Tim Floyd confirmed following the game that Matt Willms will undergo season ending surgery on a stress fracture in his foot. It was known that he would need it at some point, but Willms and others were holding out hope of being able to postpone it until after the season.

The win improves the Miners to 4-0 on the season, and is their final prep game for what will quickly become a fairly tough non-conference slate.

UTEP will take on Southern Illinois Friday at 1:30 p.m. MT in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic, and then will play either Colorado State or Portland on Saturday, depending on how the teams fare. All games will be televised on the American Sports Network.

Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for coverage of all things UTEP sports. Also, make sure to on Twitter and as always don't forget to like our Facebook Page. Picks Up, and Go Miners!