UH manages to prevail over UTEP

January 20, 2008 7:27:12 AM PST
Kelvin Lewis scored 17 points and Tafari Toney had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead Houston past Texas El-Paso 77-72 on Saturday. Lewis and Toney combined to make 11 of 19 field goals to offset the shooting woes of Houston's leading scorer, Robert McKiver, who was 5-of-18 and finished with 14 points. The Cougars (12-3, 2-0 Conference USA) shot 36 percent.

The Miners (11-5, 2-1) had their share of shooting problems, too. Leading scorer Stefon Jackson had a game-high 21 points but was 7-of-18 from the field. UTEP shot 34 percent in the second half and was just 3-of-20 from 3-point range.

There were nine lead changes in the first half and five more in the first five minutes of the second half before Houston went ahead for good at 42-40 on a layup by McKiver with 14:21 remaining.

The Cougars led by as many as nine over the next 10 minutes before the Miners pulled within 61-56 on a 3-pointer by Randy Culpepper with 3:50 remaining.

Houston answered with a quick 6-0 run for its biggest lead at 67-56 with 2:16 left.

Marvin Kilgore scored 17 for UTEP but was 0-for-4 from 3-point range and had a game-high six turnovers.

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