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McGill sneaks past UTEP 56-54 in Costa Rica exhibition

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UTEP could not overcome a slow start in first exhibition game.

NCAA Basketball: Conference USA Tournament- Middle Tennessee State vs Texas El Paso Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Omega Harris missed a long potential game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Miners struggled offensively in a close 56-54 loss to open their Costa Rica exhibition tour.

UTEP shot 38 percent from the floor, turned it over 14 times, went 3-for-13 from behind the 3-point line, and only had three score in double figures.

The Miners found themselves down 24-14 with 7:06 left until halftime, but rolled off a 12-3 run at one point, and led 32-30 at the halftime break.

Kobe Magee gave UTEP it’s largest lead with 3:41 left in the third with a 3-pointer, giving UTEP a 39-34 lead. McGill did not have a single player reach double figures, and shot 31 percent from the floor, but hit 12 total 3-pointers in the win.

The game was tied at 53 with 1:35 left in the game, but the Miners could not close things out, leaving plenty of chances on the floor in the final minute.

Isiah Osbourne led UTEP with 12 points, making 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Paul Thomas added 10 points, and Kelvin Jones chipped in 10 points, and five rebounds.

The Miners were out rebounded 41-33, and Harris had a rare off-shooting night going 2-for-7 from the field in just 26 minutes.

Wednesday’s game was played under FIBA International rules which allows more physical play, and four 10-minute quarters along with 24-second shot clock.

UTEP and McGill will meet again tomorrow.

Check out some highlights from UTEP’s official Twitter feed.