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UTEP 73, Rice 71

HOUSTON (AP) -- Omar Thomas scored 28 points as UTEP survived two
last-second shots to beat Rice 73-71 on Saturday night.

Rice almost recaptured the lead with two seconds left but Jason
McKrieth's 3-point attempt rimmed out. Teammate J.R. Harrison
grabbed the rebound but his jumper also missed.

UTEP (18-5, 8-3 Western Athletic Conference) took the lead with
2:20 left on two Thomas free throws. Thomas shot 7-of-11 from the
floor and was 14-of-14 from the foul line.

John Tofi added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Miners.

Rice (11-8, 6-5) was led by Morris Almond's 17 points. McKrieth
scored 15 points for the Owls, who were handed just their second
home loss in 12 games this season.

The win kept the Miners one game behind first-place Nevada in
the WAC standings.