EL PASO, Texas -- Randy Culpepper scored 29 points Wednesday night to lead UTEP past Tulsa 69-59 in the Conference USA opener for both teams.
Culpepper was 12 for 12 from the free-throw line and kept the Miners (13-3) close in the first half with 15 points. Tulsa raced to an 8-0 lead and led 19-9 midway through the half before UTEP cut the deficit to 30-29 at the break.The Miners only shot 29 percent in the first half, but improved to 46 percent in the second half and finished at 38 percent. They also committed just five turnovers compared to 21 for Tulsa.Christian Polk chipped in 12 points for UTEP and John Bohannon grabbed nine rebounds.Justin Hurtt led the Golden Hurricane (7-7) with 21 points, making 4 of 10 from 3-point range. Bryson Pope scored 10 and Steven Idlet had nine rebounds for Tulsa.