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UTEP Basketball: Miners bounce back, roll Sam Houston State 87-68

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UTEP got back to the basics, and stopped their five game losing skid with a 87-68 rout of Sam Houston State.

There really wasn't anything special that UTEP used to snap their five game losing streak in a 87-68 blowout win against Sam Houston State.

Basic fundamentals like contesting shots, ball movement, solid rebounding, and the ever important aspect of shots falling, particularly from behind the three point line, helped the Miners early and often in the consolation game of the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

UTEP used an early 23-0 run in the first seven minutes of the game, shot an even 50 percent from the field, made 12 three pointers, and owned the glass 42-36 in the game to bounce back with a nice all around effort.

Dominic Artis was active putting up 13 points, 12 rebounds to go along with five assists. Lee Moore led all scorers with 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists.   Artis recorded his first career college double-double with his active effort.

Omega Harris and Earvin Morris also reached double figures, Harris added 16 points thanks to five made three pointers and also handing out five assists, while Morris scored 11 points pushing UTEP to 7-5 overall on the season.

Sam Houston State would go 0-for-10 from the field, in the midst of a  6:04 scoring drought during the early 23-0 run after scoring the games first two buckets, with UTEP charging out to a 23-4 lead.

The Bearkats weren't dead though, as they used an 11-1 run powered by a pair of three pointers to cut the deficit inside 10 points halfway through the first half.

Hooper Vint would then rattle home a baseline jumper, and Lee Moore converted a three pointer in transition off a feed from Omega Harris to put UTEP ahead 29-15 at the under eight minute media timeout of the first half.

Facing a steep first half hole, the Bearkats kept chipping away.

Trailing 32-17, Sam Houston State would get a pair of three pointers from Albert Almanza, then Josh Delaney dialed up one from deep for a quick 9-0 Sam Houston State run, cutting the lead to 32-26 UTEP with 5:13 left until halftime.

Omega Harris would end the run with a triple which helped UTEP out score Sam Houston State 13-4 in the final five minutes of the half to take a comfortable 45-30 into halftime.

UTEP was 8-of-13 from behind the three point line in the first half, with Earvin Morris and Omega Harris each making three a piece, and Lee Moore adding a pair of long balls.

UTEP started 6-of-10 from the field in the first 8:13 of the second half, and led 70-52 after Omega Harris knocked down his fifth three pointer of the ball game.

The Miners led by as much as 24 with 6:38 left in the second half to secure a third place trophy.

Ball movement was a theme for UTEP, assisting on 20 of their 28 field goals, and efficiently picked apart the Bearkats by scoring on 53.5 percent of their 71 possessions in the game.

On the defensive end, UTEP forced 10 turnovers, blocked four shots, three by Paul Thomas, and held SHSU to 38.7 percent shooting percentage in the second half.

UTEP will take the rest of the week off and return to practice December 26th in preparation for a December 29th matchup with UT Rio Grande at 7:00 p.m. in the Don Haskins Center.