UAB vs Texas-El Paso

Caracter's dunk with one second left lifts No. 24 UTEP over UAB


EL PASO, Texas -- Derrick Caracter slammed in the winning basket, then cut down the nets with his UTEP teammates at the Don Haskins Center.

Not a bad way to cap a regular-season championship in Conference USA.

Caracter scored the final six points for UTEP, including a game-winning dunk with 1 second left that gave the 24th-ranked Miners a 52-50 victory over UAB on Saturday night.

"I'm still not where I want this team to be," Caracter said. "I could have lost the game, too."

Reserve guard Myron Strong scored 15 points and Caracter had 13 for UTEP (24-5, 15-1), which rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half.

The Miners held the Blazers (23-7, 11-5) to one field goal in a span of 10:47 while whittling away at the lead. Caracter's two free throws tied it at 48 with 2:46 remaining, and his layup put UTEP ahead 50-48 with 43 seconds to go.

After Aaron Johnson's jumper tied it with 6 seconds left, the Miners called timeout. Julyan Stone then passed to Caracter for the winning dunk.

"I just tried to go up there with as much power as possible," Caracter said.

UTEP players and coaches rushed the court with a second left, prompting UAB coach Mike Davis to argue in vain for a technical foul. Order was restored during a Blazers timeout, but UAB was unable to get off another shot.

Johnson led the Blazers with 16 points and five assists. Elijah Millsap added 12 points and 14 rebounds, but UAB managed only three field goals in the final 17 minutes.

UTEP coach Tony Barbee said his team's offense was "anemic" in the first half.

"Our defense kept it relatively close so we could be within arms' length, and a big part of that was Myron Strong," Barbee said. "Our defense I thought was spectacular in the second half."

Barbee said the winning play was one the team has consistently run in practice. He credited Caracter with keeping it going as Stone got tied up in traffic along the sideline and looked for an open man.

UTEP had already wrapped up the Conference USA regular-season championship and will be the top seed in the league tournament.

The Miners will play the winner of a first-round game between Southern Methodist and Central Florida. UAB faces either Southern Mississippi or Tulane.

Neither squad was particularly accurate from the field. UTEP shot 37.5 percent, while UAB finished at 36 percent.

UAB shut down Randy Culpepper, the Miners' leading scorer this season. Culpepper had only seven points - two in the second half after getting in early foul trouble.

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.
UAB (23-7)321850
Texas-El Paso #24 (24-5) «223052
UAB:Aaron Johnson 16 Pts
UAB:Elijah Millsap 14 Reb
UAB:Aaron Johnson 5 Ast
TXEP:Myron Strong 15 Pts
TXEP:Arnett Moultrie 8 Reb
TXEP:Julyan Stone 4 Ast

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Texas-El PasoUAB
Derrick Caracter
Elijah Millsap
UAB Blazers
J. Sanders, G371-100-08223
E. Millsap, G354-84-6141212
A. Johnson, G326-90-125416
K. Cooper, C312-74-83138
H. Crawford, F292-80-04114
D. Fields, G181-50-01023
O. Soko, F121-10-02102
C. Moore, F61-20-00012
G. Drake, G10-00-00010
A. Criswell, FDid Not Play
R. Williams, GDid Not Play
K. Moton, GDid Not Play
Totals 18-508-1534111650
Texas-El Paso Miners
A. Moultrie, F301-40-08222
J. Williams, F301-61-22113
J. Stone, G270-20-16410
R. Culpepper, G243-80-04147
D. Caracter, F225-123-560413
M. Strong, G226-81-331215
C. Polk, G213-120-03107
C. Britten, C112-40-03114
I. Gordon, G90-01-20001
W. Portalatin, C40-00-00000
G. McCulley, G-FDid Not Play
E. Munoz, FDid Not Play
M. Ruppel, G-FDid Not Play
Totals 21-566-1335111552
Conference USA
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
La. Tech0-04-0121
Middle Tenn.0-04-180
Old Dominion0-04-137
So. Miss0-02-1271
Western Ky.0-02-1330
UT-San Antonio0-03-2199
North Texas0-02-2287

Western Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Grand Canyon0-04-0155
New Mex. St.0-02-125
Utah Valley0-03-240
UT-Rio Grande Valley0-03-2257
Chicago St.0-01-4198
Other games
Cincinnati 47 Final
Tx A&M 69 Final
Oklahoma 54
W Virg 68 Final
MD 74 Final
Virginia 68
G Wash 57 Final
Temple 70
Syracuse 68 Final
Louisville 78
Kansas 77 Final
Missouri 56
SC 77 Final
Purdue 64 Final
PSU 60
STBN 72 Final
XAV 93
Texas 77 Final
Baylor 92
RUT 54 Final
Iowa St 85 Final
K-State 82
Tenn 75 Final
Miss St 59
BYU 107 Final
TCU 77
Wisc-Mil 59 Final
Butler 68
NC 50 Final