Five players finished in double-figures for UTEP (12-11, 4-8) Thursday night at the Don Haskins Center as the Miners erased a 14-point second half deficit to defeat Marshall 112-108.
Dominic Artis led the Miners, scoring a career and game-high 33 points while grabbing nine rebounds in the win. Earvin Morris added 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. UTEP shot a blistering 61 percent (11-of-18) from deep and 56 percent (37-of-66) from the field.
The seesaw battle saw its 14th tie of the game at 108-108 with 51 seconds remaining, but the Herd missed its final four shots of the contest while sending the Miners to the free throw line seven times in the game's closing seconds. Tevin Caldwell grabbed two of his five rebounds off missed Miners' free throws in the final 25 seconds, preventing Marshall (11-12, 7-3) a chance to steal away the win.
Omega Harris opened the scoring in the contest for the Miners with an early 2-0 lead, but nine quick points by Ryan Taylor and a Jon Elmore triple gave the Herd a 15-9 edge with 15:23 left in the half. Elmore netted 21 points for Marshall. Harris had 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in the win.
Harris and Artis led the Miners on a 7-0 run for a 16-15 lead as both teams traded punches over the next five minutes. Tied 32-32 with 7:07 left in the half, UTEP took its largest lead, 36-32, on a Brodricks Jones dunk. Marshall responded with a 9-0 run capped by a James Kelly trey and jumper to snatch a 41-36 edge with 4:01 remaining before the break.
Kelly led the Herd with 26 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Elmore gave Marshall its largest lead of the first half, 55-42 with 1:26 to go, but UTEP would close the half on a 5-0 run to trim the Herd's lead to 55-47 at the break.
Marshall raced out to a 14-point edge to start the second half on three Elmore free throws, only to have back-to-back Artis triples cut the lead to 66-58 with 16:53 to go. Taylor pushed the lead back to 13, but back-to-back fouls on the junior, forced him to the bench with 14:13 remaining, allowing UTEP to make a surge trailing 74-66.
Sparked by another Artis scoring barrage, UTEP took an 81-80 led on a Lee Moore layup with 10:56 left, setting up a shootout over the games final 10 minutes. Moore finished with 17 points.
UTEP earned its largest lead of the game, 92-85, on a Harris 3-pointer, forcing Marshall head coach Dan D'Antoni to reenter Taylor into the contest with his four fouls. Taylor responded by leading the Herd on a 10-2 run and a 95-94 lead with 5:40 left.
Taylor tallied 20 points and seven points in only 20 minutes of action while being plagued with foul trouble much of the night.
Neither team led by more than two over the game's final five minutes until UTEP pulled ahead 111-108 with 19 seconds remaining. Terry Winn missed two free throws with eight seconds remaining, but an offensive rebound by Caldwell spoiled any hopes of a Herd comeback. Winn finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
C.J. Burks added 16 points off the bench for the Herd and Stevie Browning had 11.
The game's 220 total points fell just two shy of a UTEP record of most points scored in a game. The Miners' 112 points tied for third all-time.
It marked the first time Marshall eclipsed the century mark under D'Antoni and the first time the Herd scored 100+ versus a NCAA Division-I opponent since serving up a 100-49 shellacking to East Carolina Feb. 6, 2010. It was the first time since 1996 when Marshall fell 125-104 to Western Carolina that both teams scored 100+ points.
Marshall remains in the Lone Star state with a contest at UTSA Saturday afternoon.