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Washington State Picks Apart UTEP 84-69

The Miners started off well, but Washington State's size and hot shooting were just too much.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State got to the free throw line 36 times, and shot 55 percent from the field as they dismantled UTEP in the second half for a runaway 84-69 win.

Josh Hawkinson recorded a double-double with 17 points, and 14 rebounds on 10-of-14 shooting from the field.  Conner Clifford finished with 15 points, while Que Johnson scored 11 points, and Derrien King added 10 points for the Cougars who improve to 6-2 on the season and snapped their three game losing streak against UTEP.

The Miners had four score in double figures, but shot 36.5 percent from the field, and 6-for-23 from behind the three point line as the Miners were unable to close the gap in the second half with their cold shooting, and the Cougars ability to execute their open looks.

UTEP was held to under 40 percent shooting for the first time all year after a 9-of-20 start from the field.

Both teams would play a frenetic paced first half that saw the Cougars take a 39-33 halftime lead.

Lee Moore would score seven of UTEP's first twelve points of the game as his three pointer would give UTEP an early 12-6 lead five minutes into the game.

Que Johnson would answer with a pair of three pointers to tie things up at 16-all four minutes later, but the Miners had an answer themselves.

Trey Touchet would bang home a three pointer, followed up by a layup from Hooper Vint that gave UTEP a 21-16 lead with 9:14 left until halftime.

Renard Suggs would snap the quick UTEP spurt with a three pointer which jump started an 8-0 Washington State run with five of those points coming from the free throw line giving the Cougars a 24-21 lead with 7:12 left in the half.

Hooper Vint would end the run with a two handed dunk off a nice pass from Dominic Artis, but the Cougars ended the half 5-of-7 from the field including a trio of three pointers from Derrien King off the bench to push the Wazzu lead to six at halftime.

Washington State finished the first half 6-of-8 from three point land, while UTEP shot 37.1 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes led by Hooper Vint who had 10 points in the first stanza.

The Miners forced ten first half turnovers that led to ten points off turnovers for UTEP, but the Miners just couldn't keep the Cougars out of the paint to start the second half.

10 of Washington State's first 14 second half points came from inside the paint as the Cougars jumped out to a 53-42 lead four and a half minutes into the second half.

The Miners would then try to throw the kitchen sink defensively with a whole bunch of different looks, but 18 second half points in the paint after a strong three point shooting showing in the first half put UTEP away as the Miners struggled on the defensive end throughout the contest.

UTEP would go on a 2-for-10 stretch from the field later in the second half, including a string of eight straight misses from the field while the Cougars took a 68-55 lead into the under eight media timeout.

Washington State shot 8-of-16 from three point land for the game, keeping their double digit margin for the final 18:38 of the second half aided by UTEP going 2-for-11 from the field in the final eight minutes of the game.

Lee Moore finished with 13 points despite shooting 4-for-16 from the field, Earvin Morris and Terry Winn both added 12 points, and Hooper Vint chipped in 10 points.

The Cougars out rebounded the Miners 38-36 despite 16 offensive rebounds for UTEP, but the Miners were just physically out matched and unable to get in an offensive rhythm in the second half.

UTEP (5-3) now has seven days to pick up the pieces from a third straight loss with NMSU coming into the Don Haskins Center next Saturday night to start a six game homestand.