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February 7, 2009

Miners defeated 76-65 by Tulsa on road

TULSA, OKLA. - Jerome Jordan had a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, leading Tulsa to a 76-65 win over UTEP on Saturday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

The Golden Hurricane (17-7, 7-2 C-USA) led wire-to-wire after taking a 2-0 lead on a jumper by Ray Reese in the opening minute. It marked the first time in 22 games this season that the Miners did not have a lead at some point.

The Miners (13-9, 4-4 C-USA) tied their season low with a .302 field goal percentage, and had to hit three of their last four shots to get to that mark.

UTEP also didn't hit a three pointer until 18 seconds remaining in the game and finished 2-for-12 from beyond the arc.

Still, the Miners find themselves in good position with five of their last eight C-USA games at home. UTEP is only a game and a half behind third-place UAB (16-8, 6-3 C-USA) and one game behind fourth place Houston (14-7, 5-3). The Miners have a big week coming up with home games versus UCF on Wednesday and Marshall on Saturday.

UTEP's top two scorers, Stefon Jackson and Randy Culpepper, were a combined 5-for-22 from the field against Tulsa. Jackson was 1-for-11 and tallied a season-low 11 points.

The Miners trailed 37-29 at the half, but missed 15 of their first 17 shots to start the second period in falling behind 51-36. After Kareem Cooper converted a three point play to draw UTEP within 10 points (57-47) with 7:06 remaining, the Golden Hurricane's Justin Hurtt buried a three pointer to end the threat.

Hurtt and Ray Reese scored 11 points each and Ben Uzoh added 10 for Tulsa.

Culpepper scored 12 points, and Cooper and Arnett Moultrie contributed 10 apiece for the Miners. Moultrie had a near double-double with nine rebounds.


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