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Southern Miss sinks UTEP 73-65

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NCAA Basketball: Texas-El Paso at Southern Mississippi Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

UTEP dropped their 12th game in a row, coming up short offensively once again in a 73-65 loss to Southern Miss.

Coming into the game, both UTEP and Southern Miss were at the bottom of the RPI barrel, but the Golden Eagles have now won two straight, and were led by Quinton Campbell who scored 24 points.

Omega Harris and Dominic Artis combined to score 26 of UTEP’s 31 first half points as the Miners trailed 39-31 at halftime.

Harris scored a career high 26 points on the afternoon, Artis finished with 23 points, and 13 rebounds.

Despite the nine point halftime deficit, the first half was fairly competitive with the leading changing six times. USM ended the final three minutes on a 9-2 run taking control of the lead well into the second half.

Cortez Edwards stretched the Golden Eagle lead to double digits with a layup at the 15:30 mark of the second half leading 57-47.

Harris scored eight points including a pair of 3-pointers during an 11-5 UTEP run that saw the Miners cut down the lead to 48-44 with 12:07 left in the game.

Edwards found Raheem Watts for a thundering dunk, then Edwards came up with a steal on the ensuing possession leading to an open floor slam for Edwards putting the Golden Eagles back up eight, and essentially handed UTEP their 12th straight loss at that point.

UTEP would go on a late 11-2 run cutting the deficit down to 69-63 with just under two minutes left to play, but it was too late despite the efforts down the stretch.

The Miners turned it over 16 times, and only scored on 38 percent of their 73 total possessions on the evening scoring on just 29 of their offensive trips.

Southern Miss hit seven 3-pointers, finished the game shooting 46.3 percent from the field. UTEP did win the battle of boards 36-32, but only got five points off the bench compared to 21 points of production from Doc Sadler’s bench.

UTEP starts 0-3 in conference play, losing two of their “winnable” road games, making the Conference USA Tournament look like a tall task at this point of the season.

The losing streak now marks the longest losing streak in a single season in school history since the 1934-35 season.

FIU comes into El Paso Thursday as seven of UTEP’s next games will be at home.