Murfreesboro, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Vince Hunter scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Texas-El Paso Miners edged out the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 63-54, in Conference USA action at the Murphy Center.
Hunter connected on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor, adding four steals for UTEP (12-6, 2-1 C-USA). Julian Washburn contributed 12 points and five assists, while C.J. Cooper netted 11 points and pulled down five rebounds, turning the ball over six times. The Miners have won seven of their last eight games.
Neiko Hunter was the only Middle Tennessee player to record a double-digit point total, netting 13 and grabbing eight rebounds. Shawn Jones scored nine points and secured six rebounds in the loss. The Blue Raiders (11-6, 1-1) ended a three-game winning streak with the defeat.
UTEP shot just 37 percent from the field in the first half, and trailed heading into halftime, 29-27. Middle Tennessee shot 35.7 percent in the first frame, including 2-of-8 from 3-point distance.
The Miners ended their drought in the second half, connecting on 56.5 percent of their shots, hitting 4-of-7 from distance. The Blue Raiders' shooting percentage fell to 29 percent in the second half, including 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.
The Miners held the edge in points in the paint, 32-24, and grabbed five more rebounds than the Blue Raiders in a 40-35 battle of the boards.