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UTEP beats Rice in dramatic fashion on Jordan Lathon buzzer-beater

UTEP’s Jordan Lathon hit a game-winning jumper to lift the Miners past the Rice Owls by a final of 65-64 at the Don Haskins Center Saturday night.

The Owls had just hit what they thought would be the game-winner moments before. Trey Murphy III connected from downtown to give Rice a 64-63 lead with about two seconds to play before Lathon’s heroics.

On the final play, things didn’t look great for UTEP. After a deflection on their first attempt at a full-court pass, they had 0.6 seconds to throw the ball the length of the court and get off a shot.

Ountae Campbell was tasked with throwing the ball in and threw an incredible bounce pass in the right corner that allowed Lathon to catch, turn, and fire before time expired.

The victory was UTEP’s first this year in C-USA play, and the Miners are now 1-3 in conference and 6-9 overall.

Nigel Hawkins scored 24 points for the Miners – his fifth double-digit scoring output in the past six games.

Lathon added 17 of his own while Evan Gilyard chipped in 12 points in a stellar showcase for the UTEP guards. In total, UTEP’s three starting guards scored 53 of the team’s 65 points.

The Miners trailed 25-8 in the first half but mounted a rally that saw them down by just five at the break.

UTEP will look to tally another conference win Thursday on the road at UAB. The Miners are also looking for their first road win of the year with all six victories thus far coming at home.

Meanwhile, the Rice Owls fell to 2-3 in conference play and 7-11 overall with a game coming up next Saturday at North Texas.

UTEP’s dramatic win comes on the heels of New Mexico State’s Johnny McCants hitting a game-winning shot from half court to beat Grand Canyon Thursday night.

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