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Miners End Memphis’ Winning Streak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Jeremy Williams scored 18 points and

grabbed 12 rebounds, Randy Culpepper added 13 points, including a

key steal and layup with a minute left, and UTEP beat Memphis 72-67

on Wednesday night, preventing the Tigers from setting an NCAA

record for consecutive conference wins.

The UTEP victory ended Memphis’ 64-game winning streak in

Conference USA, including postseason tournament games. The Tigers

had not lost a conference game in the regular season or postseason

since dropping an 80-74 decision at Alabama-Birmingham on March 2,


But UTEP (12-5, 3-1) built a second-half lead that reached seven

and held on to end the overall streak and also Memphis’

regular-season C-USA winning streak at 52 games.

Kentucky also won 64 consecutive conference games from 1945-50.

Memphis had a chance on a late possession to tie the game, but

turned the ball over with 4.3 seconds left. Christian Polk, who

finished with 17 points for the Miners, hit a pair of free throws

with 3.5 seconds left. Derrick Caracter scored 14 points for the


Elliot Williams led Memphis with 23 points, while Wesley

Witherspoon added 12 for the Tigers (13-5, 3-1).

UTEP coach Tony Barbee was an assistant coach under former

Memphis coach John Calipari when the streak started.

UTEP took the lead for good with 9:40 left when Polk connected

on a 3-pointer from the top of the key. From there, Memphis got

within a point – 65-64 with 3:30 left on a pair of free throws by

Witherspoon, but couldn’t catch the Miners.

The teams exchanged leads early in the first half, neither

building an advantage of more than four points until Memphis

created a slight lead with a trio of baskets, including 3-pointers

by Doneal Mack and Willie Kemp.

That run allowed Memphis to lead 34-31 at halftime, despite a

pair of 3-pointers from Polk in the final minutes.

Williams carried the Tigers in the half with 12 points. Caracter

gave UTEP an inside presence early, and Polk provided a closing

offensive punch.

Memphis’ lead was built behind shooting 5 of 10 from outside the

arc. But UTEP countered with 10 points off Memphis turnovers and

outrebounding the Tigers 19-13.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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