Jan. 31, 2009
EL PASO, Texas - Courtney Beasley scored a career-high 30 points, including 23 in the second half, but Southern Miss fell, 87-75, at UTEP Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center.
UTEP scored nine of the first 11 points of the game. After the teams traded baskets, Craig Craft connected on a three-pointer to pull within 11-8 at the 12:34 mark. After a back-and-forth sequence, the Miners went on a 7-0 run, taking a 22-12 advantage with 8:24 remaining in the half.
However, Southern Miss responded with a 10-2 run over the next 2:33, pulling within 24-22 with 5:51 to play. But UTEP went on a 10-2 run of its own, taking a 32-34 lead at the 3:28 mark.
The teams went back-and-forth for the remainder of the half, and an Arnett Moultrie lay-up with one second remaining gave the Miners a 41-36 lead at the break.
UTEP went up nine points early in the second half. Southern Miss repeatedly kept the deficit within seven points through the first seven minutes of the half. However, the Miners extended their lead to 64-53 with 10:41 to play. A Beasley jumper cut the deficit to nine, but Randy Culpepper connected on a three-pointer to give UTEP a 12 point lead.
Southern Miss, behind 14 straight points from Beasley, cut the lead to 70-64. But UTEP went on an 11-2 run put the game away, taking an 81-66 lead, its largest of the game, with 3:41 to play.
Both teams were 24-of-51 (47.1-percent) from the floor. However, the difference came at the free throw line where UTEP (35-of 46) shot 17 more free throws than Southern Miss (22-of-29).
Stefon Jackson led the Miners with 29 points, which made his the all-time leading scorer in Conference USA history, while grabbing nine rebounds. Culpepper added 14 points, and Claude Britten contributed 12.
The Golden Eagles close out the road trip next Wednesday, Feb. 4, when they travel to Greenville, N.C. to face East Carolina. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.
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