UTEP Bowls Over Tulsa to Snap Four-Game Skid
Feb. 8, 2012
John Bohannon scored 16 points in his first game off the bench since mid-January, and UTEP held Tulsa to 33.9 percent shooting in a 64-55 win over the Golden Hurricane on Wednesday at the Don Haskins Center.
The Miners (11-13, 4-6 C-USA) ended a four-game losing streak while dealing the Golden Hurricane (14-10, 7-3 C-USA) its first defeat in eight games.
UTEP was up 30-23 at the half, then took a 34-23 lead on a driving layup by Julian Washburn with 19:06 to play. The Miners maintained a double-digit lead until Tulsa's Eric McClellan buried a three pointer with five seconds left for the game's final points.
UTEP, which scored the game's first four points and never trailed, led wire-to-wire for the second time this season (McNeese State on Dec. 19).
"Nice win," UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. "We got off the proverbial schneid with four straight losses by guarding our way out of it."
Looking for more firepower from a bench that had produced two points in each of the previous two games, coach Floyd implemented his ninth different starting lineup combination of the season. Freshmen D'Von Campbell and Cedrick Lang joined incumbents Gabriel McCulley, Michael Perez and Julian Washburn on the floor at tip-off. Campbell tied his season-high with 27 minutes, and Lang contributed five points and six rebounds in 24 minutes.
"D'Von did a great job," Floyd said. "He forced a couple of turnovers early and stayed between his guy in the basket. He gave us quality minutes. I thought Cedrick was terrific guarding the post and filling on screen and rolls, not letting them drive it. We really bottled up a lot of their drives. I thought he, Gabe and Bo all did an exceptional job of that.
"Julian got us going offensively in the second half, and I like the way the baskets came by him driving the ball and getting to the rim versus just settling. As a result he shot five free throws. He shot 39 in 22 games coming in. That's not enough for a guy with his athleticism."
The UTEP reserves, led by Bohannon, outscored Tulsa's subs 23-9. It marked just the second time in 10 C-USA games that the short-handed Miners have had an edge in bench scoring (at Houston on Jan. 28).
The Miners also improved to 5-1 this season when Bohannon comes off the bench.
UTEP won for the first time this season (1-11) when shooting between 40 and 49 percent. The Miners finished at 47.8 percent from the floor.
The Miners were 0-for-4 from three-point range, ending a string of 366 consecutive games dating back to 2001 where they made at least one triple.
Perez (14 points) and Washburn (13) joined Bohannon in double figure scoring. McCulley pulled down seven rebounds as the Miners matched the Golden Hurricane on the boards, 38-38.
Jordan Clarkson led Tulsa with 16 points, and Scottie Haralson added 13, including four three pointers. But the Golden Hurricane shot just 6-for-24 from beyond the arc.
UTEP had a 36-22 edge in points in the paint, including 20-6 in the first half.
"Once again our guys played like losing bothered them, which is really encouraging," Floyd said. "We had lost four in a row, but we had fought and we had been on the road in tough places."
The Miners will wrap up their three-game homestand on Saturday against Tulane (7 p.m.). UTEP will observe the 20th anniversary of its 1992 NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16" team, with many former coaches and players expected to attend.