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C-USA: Clock started late on UTEP buzzer-beater, but outcome won’t change

Conference USA issued a statement Tuesday afternoon regarding the final play in UTEP’s win Saturday over Rice.

UTEP’s Jordan Lathon caught a full-court pass with 0.6 seconds to go in the game, turned, and fired the game-winning shot to give UTEP a 65-64 win.

Video evidence showed he got the shot off in time. However, further review by C-USA officials determined that the clock did not start immediately when Lathon first touched the ball.

In spite of this, the outcome of the game will not change. C-USA praised both teams for a stellar contest in which Rice also hit a dramatic shot moments before UTEP won the game at the buzzer.

“Following our comprehensive review with additional video of the conclusion of the January 12th Rice at UTEP men’s basketball game, we determined the clock did not start on time,” began a statement from C-USA Commissioner July MacLeod. “It was a hard-fought game with many close plays that culminated in a great shot by each team in the final seconds. All video replay processes will be reviewed to ensure the best possible information is available to our officials on site.”

The Miners improved to 1-3 in C-USA play with the win and now have road games to prepare for Thursday and Saturday at UAB and Middle Tennessee, respectively.

Conference USA officials also said they will have no further comment on the issue of the Rice vs. UTEP ending, indicating they consider the matter closed.

Rice filed a formal inquiry with the conference on Sunday, just hours after UTEP’s win.

The Owls led the game 25-8 in the first half, but UTEP rallied to cut the deficit to just five at the break. Freshman Nigel Hawkins led the charge for the Miners with 24 points in the game en route to being named the Conference USA Freshman of the Week.

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