Texas-El Paso vs UAB

Caracter helps Miners sink No. 25 Blazers in double OT

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UTEP thought it had the game won at the end of regulation. Derrick Caracter wouldn't let the Miners quit through two physical overtimes against No. 25 UAB.

Caracter scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, and UTEP snapped the Blazers' seven-game winning streak with a 74-65 victory on Saturday night.

"We just had to stay positive and tell ourselves that this was our game," said Caracter.

With the score tied at 58 at the end of regulation, an apparent winning shot by Julyan Stone was nullified when teammate Arnett Moultrie was called for basket interference.

Each team managed only five points in the first overtime before Caracter had five points himself to help the Miners outscore the Blazers 11-2 in the second.

Jeremy Williams added 16 points for UTEP (15-5, 6-1 Conference USA), Randy Culpepper had 14 and Christian Polk 11. The win leaves the Miners tied with UAB and Tulsa atop the conference standings.

"I'm so proud of my kids, the way we toughed out a win against a team in first place, a Top 25 team. For us to come in here and hold them to 28 percent shooting on their homecourt, that's a great defensive effort," said Miners' head coach Tony Barbee.

Barbee said his players won the game because they kept their "poise, composure and confidence" but admitted he lost his when he was hit with a technical foul for arguing with the referees during a timeout late in the second half.

Kenneth Cooper had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Aaron Johnson scored 15 points and Howard Crawford added 10 for UAB (18-3, 6-1).

There was a scary moment with 2:41 left in regulation when Johnson and Culpepper collided heads and both players fell to the floor. Johnson left the court and did not return. UAB officials said he had a broken nose.

UAB Coach Mike Davis said losing the 5-foot-8 guard down the stretch hurt the Blazers.

"He's the only guy who can really run our offense. He would have had his hand on the basketball late in the game. He would have been the guy getting the ball to other people," Davis said.

Davis said he's not sure how much time Johnson will miss because of the injury.

Culpepper was able to stay in the game.

It was UTEP's first victory against a ranked opponent since 2001 and its first road win against a Top 25 team since 1993. The Miners came in having lost 13 in a row against ranked opponents.

The Blazers shot only 26 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 33-26 at the break. UTEP shot 48 percent in the first 20 minutes and led by as many as nine late in the half.

The Blazers slowly fought back in the second half, pulling within 1 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Jamarr Sanders before Cooper's dunk gave them a 48-47 lead with seven minutes to play.

Polk hit several big shots for UTEP in the second half, including a 3-pointer to tie the game at 58 with 1:35 left in regulation.

"It's the first time I can say we didn't take advantage of our opportunities. We had 22 offensive rebounds and 12 second-chance points. We just didn't take advantage of it," Davis said.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
Junior Derrick Caracter lends a hand by notching 20 points and 13 rebounds in the Miners' 2OT win. (AP)
Junior Derrick Caracter lends a hand by notching 20 points and 13 rebounds in the Miners' 2OT win. (AP)
Scoreboard
Texas-El Paso (15-5) «332551174
UAB #25 (18-3)26325265
TXEP:Derrick Caracter 20 Pts
TXEP:Derrick Caracter 13 Reb
TXEP:Julyan Stone 4 Ast
UAB:Kenneth Cooper 18 Pts
UAB:Kenneth Cooper 12 Reb
UAB:Aaron Johnson 3 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
UABTexas-El Paso
UAB
Kenneth Cooper
TXEP
Derrick Caracter
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1812020131
Texas-El Paso Miners
R. Culpepper, G475-104-523314
J. Stone, G420-13-46433
J. Williams, F365-115-790416
A. Moultrie, F323-80-17046
C. Britten, C61-22-22024
D. Caracter, F348-144-8131320
C. Polk, G273-72-220411
M. Strong, G120-10-11010
I. Gordon, G100-00-01000
W. Portalatin, C40-00-00010
G. McCulley, G-FDid Not Play
E. Munoz, FDid Not Play
M. Ruppel, G-FDid Not Play
Totals 25-5420-304382574
 46.3%66.7% 
UAB Blazers
E. Millsap, G473-153-69359
A. Johnson, G363-78-1113315
G. Drake, G350-80-04110
J. Sanders, G353-160-04239
H. Crawford, F284-82-280510
K. Cooper, C356-116-9120518
O. Soko, F181-32-24014
C. Moore, F110-20-23130
D. Fields, G50-10-00000
A. Criswell, FDid Not Play
R. Williams, GDid Not Play
K. Moton, GDid Not Play
Totals 20-7121-3245102665
 28.2%65.6% 
Western Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Cal-Baker.12-225-1075
New Mex. St.11-328-659
Grand Canyon11-322-9131
UMKC8-618-17184
Utah Valley6-817-17205
Seattle5-913-17280
UT-Rio Grande Valley2-1210-22319
Chicago St.1-136-26317

Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Middle Tenn.17-131-535
La. Tech14-423-10117
Old Dominion12-619-12136
UTEP12-615-17222
Rice11-723-12168
Marshall10-820-15112
UAB9-917-16198
Western Ky.9-915-17226
UT-San Antonio8-1014-19264
Charlotte7-1113-17243
FAU6-1210-20282
So. Miss6-129-22331
FIU3-157-24337
North Texas2-168-22339
 
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TCU 57
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