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Papa Dia's double-double not enough to save SMU

EL PASO, Texas -- Christian Polk scored 18 points and Randy Culpepper added 14 as UTEP remained atop the Conference USA standings with a 67-57 victory against SMU on Saturday night.

The Miners (19-5, 7-2) are percentage points ahead of UAB, who improved to 8-3 in league play by beating Rice on Saturday.

Papa Dia had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for the Mustangs (15-9, 6-4). Collin Mangrum and Jeremiah Samarrippas scored 12 points each.

A layup by Mangrum got SMU within 61-57 with 2:53 remaining, but the Mustangs were limited to one shot on their next three possessions, and all missed. UTEP sealed the victory with four free throws in the final 23 seconds.

Julyan Stone scored 11 points and Jeremy Williams 10 for the Miners.