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Miners drop second straight against Texas Arlington

Kevin Hervey scored 18 points and Texas Arlington staved off a second-half comeback bid by UTEP to secure its fourth road victory of the season, 76-62 on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center.

The Mavericks (7-2), who have also won at Ohio State and Memphis, went ahead for good, 26-25, on a layup by Erick Neal with 5:33 remaining in the first half after the Miners enjoyed a series of early leads.

UTA was up by five (36-31) at halftime but increased the lead to double digits (42-32) in the first three and a half minutes of the second half. Trailing by 13 with about 13 minutes to go, the Miners went on an 8-0 run and cut it to 47-42 on a layup by Lee Moore. UTEP was still down five (50-45) approaching the eight-minute mark, but the Mavericks put together an 11-2 spurt to build the lead to 14 (61-47) with 6:18 remaining. The lead stayed in double digits for the remainder of the evening.

The Miners went with a new-look starting group of Paul Thomas, Jake Flaggert, Terry Winn, Tevin Caldwell and Trey Touchet and enjoyed some success early on before the Mavericks took command.

“I thought that they just did a terrific job of ball movement and of showing great poise on the road,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “Hervey got them off to a great start. We started the other group because we felt it gave us the best opportunity to win. We had been pummeled on the glass by 50 boards combination in our last two games. It was a real problem. The other guys did a really nice job to start the game.”

UTA shot 44.8 percent from the field and made 15-of-20 free throws. The Miners shot 42.9 percent and were 9-of-17 from the charity stripe.

Neal and Jalen Jones scored 14 points each for the Mavericks, and Kaelon Wilson added 13 off the bench. Winn led the Miners with 14 points and eight rebounds, scoring in double figures for the fourth time in five games. Earvin Morris and Moore tallied 13 and 12 points respectively in reserve roles.

“They got to the line on the road. We did not,” Floyd said. “Their zone to start the second half, we didn’t attack it very well nor did we make shots out of it. We do not offensive rebound it very well. That being said, I thought Terry Winn had a fine game. He did a good job. Other than that, I think a lot of these guys would like to play a little better, at a little higher level than they did. We are a team trying to figure out how to play through adversity and try to play through our limitations right now. We have a long way to go and that’s obvious.”

The Miners will take a break for finals week and return to action on Sunday , Dec. 13 at Washington State. Tip-off is 4 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.

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