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UTEP Squanders 24 Point Lead, Falls at Southern Mississippi

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The Miners were up 52-28 with just over 10 minutes left in the game, but in the end it wouldn't be enough as they fell to Southern Miss 63-60.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Earvin Morris had a career high 26 points, but no other Miner would score in double figures and it wouldn't be enough to overcome a furious Southern Miss rally as the Miners dropped an absolute stunner 63-60.

The Miners would strike first on an Earvin Morris three just 20 seconds in, and while the Golden Eagles would take a lead of their own just a couple minutes later, this would be a night that was largely owned by the Miners.

Down 10-9, UTEP would use an 8-0 run to jump ahead 17-10, and would eventually stretch their lead out to 15 at 35-20, the same advantage they would take into the intermission.

The Miners would open the second half on a 14-5 run to stretch their lead out to 49-26, and would lead 52-28 with just over 10 minutes to play before things drastically changed.

Southern Miss would score 10 unanswered over a four minute span, and would continue to chip away at the deficit the rest of the way. A Chip Armelin dunk with 4:45 to go would get the Eagles to within 8 at 56-48, and an Armelin three would tie the game at 58 two and a half minutes later to cap an eight minute 30-8 run.

The Golden Eagles would take the lead at 60-59 less than a minute later, and while the Miners would tie it at 60, Southern Miss would finish off the improbably comeback with the 63-60 win.

Earvin Morris led the Miners with a career high 26 points on 8-17 shooting. Cedrick Lang finished with 9 points and 7 rebounds, but played just 17 minuts, and Julian Washburn finished with 8.

Norville Carey and Shadell Millinghaus each scored 17 points for the Golden Eagles. Chip Armelin finished with 16.

The Miners shot 41.7% from the field, while Southern Miss shot 40.4%. The Miners also outrebounded Southern Miss 40-29, but committed 17 turnovers while forcing the Golden Eagles into just 5.

The loss drops the Miners to 19-9 on the season and 11-5 in C-USA play. Souther Miss improves to 9-19 and 4-13 in league action.

I'm sure most figured this road trip couldn't get any worse, but of course we were wrong. What a disappointment. No senior leadership, no coaching, no heart. Bottom line. What should have been the best season at UTEP in years, has officially turned into an extreme disappointment.

The Miners will now return home for the final week of the regular season with games against North Texas and Rice.

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!