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Western Kentucky Improves to 6-0, Outlasts UTEP in OT

Western Kentucky came back from a ten point second half deficit against UTEP, then held on to win 71-66 in overtime. The Hilltoppers (13-5, 6-0) take over sole possession of first place in Conference USA, while UTEP falls to 12-6, 4-2.

Chris Harrison-Docks and T.J. Price helped WKU improve to 6-0 in CUSA.
Chris Harrison-Docks and T.J. Price helped WKU improve to 6-0 in CUSA.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

UTEP led WKU 35-28 at halftime. Matt Wilms and Vince Hunter each had 8 points for the Miners at the half. UTEP pushed the lead out to 40-30 after Vince Hunter completed a three point play with 16:49 to play.

Western Kentucky stormed back and tied the game at 41 on a George Fant layup with 13:48 left in the game. All that lead UTEP spent the first 24 minutes of the game building - was gone in 3 minutes.

The game was a nail biter the rest of the way. Neither team led by more than two points, and after a T.J. Price layup with 4:22 left to play tied it at 57; the two teams each scored just two points and regulation ended with the game tied 59-59.

Chris Harrison-Docks scored 6 of his 12 points in overtime and WKU held on for the win, 71-66. Five Hilltoppers scored in double figures, led by Trency Jackson with 14 and George Fant with 13. Fant led the team with 11 rebounds, T.J. Price added 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Vince Hunter had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Miners, who also had five players in double figures. Cedrick Lang had 14 points and 7 rebounds while Matt Wilms added 13 points.

UNT 73 LA Tech 66

Western Kentucky took over sole possession of first place in CUSA with the win and a loss by LA Tech. North Texas stormed out to a 49-28 lead at halftime after scorching the nets by shooting 72% from the field.

Louisiana Tech (14-5, 5-1) stormed back and pulled within one (63-62) on a Speedy Smith layup with 4:30 left in the game. The Bulldogs seemed to be out of gas after that and the Mean Green (8-10, 2-4) held on for the win.

Four players (Colin Voss, Jordan Williams, Jeremy Combs, and T.J. Taylor) scored 16 points apiece for North Texas. The same four players combined for 35 of the team's rebounds. Alex Hamilton led the Bulldogs with 27 points and Erik McCree added 17.

Middle Tennessee 68 Old Dominion 58 (OT)

Middle Tennessee led Old Dominion 33-30 at halftime and pushed the lead out to 40-30 with 17:34 left in the game. Jordan Baker hit a three pointer for ODU with 10:16 to play that tied the game 42-42.

MTSU (11-8, 4-2) pushed the lead back out to 50-44 with 4:53 to play in a three pointer by Giddy Potts. Old Dominion would not go away, however, as Trey Freeman had seven points and an assist down the stretch to force overtime.

Jaquan Raymond had six points in overtime and MTSU hit nine free throws in the period to put the game away. Potts finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds and Raymond added 10 points and 4 assists for the Blue Raiders, who had four players in double figures.

Trey Freemen led ODU (15-3, 4-2) with 18 points and Denzell Taylor came off the bench to contribute 12 points and 7 rebounds.

UAB 81 Charlotte 76 (OT)

UAB vs. Charlotte was a game of runs. The Blazers jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game and led 22-15 with 10:05 left in the first half. Charlotte went on a run of their own, outscoring UAB 12-3 over the last 5:50 of the half. Keshawn Woods hit a three pointer at the buzzer to put the 49ers up 33-29.

UAB came out on fire again, this time scoring the first 12 points of the half to go up 41-33. ODU tied at at 45 on a three point play by Terrence Williams with 10:18 left in the game. The Monarchs would push their lead out to 59-52, but Nick Norton hit five three pointers down the stretch to help UAB force overtime.

UAB (9-10, 5-1) made 12 free throws (six by Norton) in overtime to put away the Monarchs. Norton finished with 26 points and Robert Brown added 14 for the Blazers.

Woods led the 49ers (8-10, 2-4) with 19 points and Williams added 17.

In other CUSA action, Rice trailed Southern Miss 50-42 with 8:22 left in the game. The Owls outscored USM 16-6 down the stretch to win it 58-56. Seth Gearhart, who had 8 points in the final 8 minutes, finished with 16 points for the Owls. Marcus Jackson led all scorers with 19 points for Rice, who improved to 6-11, 3-3. Chip Armelin had 18 for USM (5-12, 0-6) and Norville Carey added 15.

In the only non-frantic game of the night, UTSA jumped out to a 39-23 halftime lead over Marshall and never looked back. The Roadrunners won it 82-68 to improve to 9-8, 3-3. Jeromie Hill poured in 36 points on 13-22 shooting for UTSA. Marshall (4-15, 0-6) was led by Ryan Taylor with 21.