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UTEP puts up tough fight in loss to North Texas

The UTEP men’s basketball team came up a bit short against one of Conference USA’s most talented teams Thursday night at the Don Haskins Center.

The Miners jumped out to an early 12-3 lead against North Texas, but the Mean Green would rally and eventually win 58-51 to improve to 16-1 on the year. Their only loss remains a road game at Oklahoma, but for a while, it appeared UTEP might hand them loss number two.

The Miners were able to hang with North Texas through the entire first half and entered the break with the game tied at 22.

But North Texas showed why it’s among the conference favorites with a strong surge in the second half to put away the young Miners.

Freshman forward Efe Odigie recorded 13 points and eight boards in the loss for UTEP while Nigel Hawkins added 11 points of his own and was the only other UTEP player to reach double-figures in scoring.

The Miners are now 5-9 overall and 0-3 in conference play. They will next meet Rice at home at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

Charlotte and Middle Tennessee were the only other teams without a win in C-USA action as of Thursday night.

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