MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Michael Perez scored 15 points and Jacques Streeter added 14 as Texas-El Paso used a second-half rally to defeat Memphis 60-58 on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers' Will Barton clanked a 3-pointer off the rim as time expired, giving the Miners (13-13, 6-6 Conference USA) their third straight win. UTEP had trailed 51-44 with 6:25 left, but used a 13-4 rally to overtake Memphis with 1:19 left.The Miners would never relinquish the lead the rest of the way as Streeter finished the night shooting 4 of 5 from the field, including making both of his shots outside the arc.Tarik Black led Memphis (19-8, 9-3) with 26 points and 10 rebounds.UTEP was able to hold the lead down the stretch by converting 7 of 8 free throws in the final two minutes. Gabriel McCulley split a pair of free throws with 23.6 left to give the Miners their biggest of the game, 60-55.Barton connected on a 3-pointer with 17.8 seconds left, and the Tigers forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass for a chance to win. But Barton's last shot was off.Memphis opened by scoring the game's first nine points as the Miners started 0 for 7 from the field. The Tigers' start allowed Memphis to hold a first-half lead of as many as 13, despite shooting under 40 percent.Memphis was getting the ball inside to Black who was 5 of 7 in the half for 13 points to lead Memphis.Both teams displayed inaccurate shooting in the first half, Memphis hitting at a 34.8 percent from the field (8 of 23), while the Miners hit 32 percent (8 of 25). Both teams had a handful of turnovers.But nothing about the half seemed fluid. Even when Memphis jumped out to the early lead, it looked tolerable because UTEP was misfiring on everything.Still, Memphis led 28-19 at the break.UTEP cut into the Tigers lead with a 9-2 run to open the second half. Streeter's drive with 17:20 left pulled the Miners within 30-28.Despite UTEP staying close the rest of the half, they were unable to overtake Memphis until a pair of free throws by Cedrick Lang with 1:19 remaining, gave the Miners their first lead of the game at 57-55.UTEP would end the night shooting 44.2 percent (19 of 43), while Memphis was 37.5 percent (18 of 48).