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UTEP Basketball: UTEP's efficient offense buries LA Tech 91-80

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UTEP ripped the nets, and pounded the paint to easily dispose LA Tech.

Lee Moore was sensational once again
Lee Moore was sensational once again
Jesus Rosales

Over the past couple of seasons the LA Tech-UTEP matchup has came down to guard play.

And on Saturday afternoon, UTEP's guards efficiently stole the show.

Lee Moore poured in 26 points, and dished out nine assists with only one turnovers in 33 minutes, while Omega Harris added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting to help UTEP win their sixth straight with a triumphant 91-80 win over LA Tech.

Moore and Harris would combine for a 14-of-25 mark from the field in the ball game, as UTEP led for 37 minutes, and were 12-of-17 from the free throw line to notch a much need win.

UTEP shot a ridiculous 59.3 percent from the floor in the game, and went 9-of-20 from behind the three point line, and out rebounded the Bulldogs 36-28 to improve to 9-6 in Conference USA play.

The Miners assisted on 22 of their 35 field goals, Dominic Artis dished out six assists, and pulled in six rebounds, he also added nine points in 38 minutes despite a rough night from the floor.

With the win, UTEP moves within a half game of LA Tech for a fourth place spot, but two big road games remain on the docket for next week.

The first half was the Lee Moore show as the junior guard got the Miners going early and often.

Moore cut into an early 9-5 LA Tech lead with a triple that would start a 12-5 UTEP swing that ended with a pair of free throws from Moore to put UTEP ahead 20-14 with 12:17 left in the half.

The Bulldogs would answer with four straight to stop the run, but they wouldn't be able to come up with answers on the defensive end for the rest of the half, and for the entire second half.

Lee Moore would again start another big time run with a 3-pointer, this time a 21-10 UTEP spurt in an almost six minute span pushed UTEP out in front 41-28 after a 15-foot jumper by Tevin Caldwell with 4:29 left until halftime.

UTEP scored on 57.9 percent of their first half possessions, and shot 62.5 percent in the opening half to take a 50-36 lead into the halftime break.

Moore scored 17 points in the opening half on 6-of-8 shooing, and a 3-of-5 mark from behind the three point line, he also dished out six assists.

UTEP would start 2-of-6 in the opening stages of the second half, but Omega Harris would streak in from the left wing for an athletic up and under layup apart of a 6-0 UTEP spurt to give UTEP a 61-43 lead at the 14:36 mark of the second half.

LA Tech is just too good to get rolled, as they would answer with a 7-0 run to trim the lead to 64-53 at the under 12 minute media timeout.

Then Terry Winn had his moment in the spotlight.

Winn would score four in a row with his back to basket, as he fueled a personal 8-3 run to put UTEP ahead 76-59 after he powered his way for a layup at the 7:38 mark.

Winn would finish with a Vince Hunter like 17 points, and 10 rebounds, dominating the paint during that stretch.

UTEP led by as much as 23-points with five minutes to go, although LA Tech would actually go on an 11-0 run down the stretch and came within nine points, but Lee Moore would deliver the final dagger with a 3-pointer to put UTEP at the 90-point mark with 35 seconds left.

A key for UTEP was slowing down Alex Hamilton from the start.

The talented senior guard finished with 22 points, but scored 20 of those in the second half while LA Tech was looking to chip away at UTEP's double digit lead.

This UTEP team is certainly finding their offensive niche, but did allow 42 points in the paint, and LA Tech shot 49.2 percent from the field, but were 8-of-27 from long distance.

Six wins a row is great, but the fact remains: UTEP has two big road games next week which will tell us way more about this late season charge.

Guard play was solid this weekend, and a 7-of-7 from the field performance like this one by Terry Winn puts this team on another level.

But can it happen on the road will be the story next weekend with East Coast dates against Old Dominion and Charlotte.