It would have been a signature win for UTEP. Instead, it was a so-so Houston team winning a down-to-the-buzzer 81-76 overtime win over the frosh-sophs.
Had UTEP won this one, it would have been young guys maturing in a road game by first taking a 13-point lead, losing it in the second half, regaining it in overtime ... ohhhhhh. It was a loss and the Miners are now 10-11 and may not see an above-.500 record again until they're soph-juniors.
This year? The frosh/sophs had Houston blown out by halftime (38-25), held on ... on, on.
Ohhhhh. It was 66-66 at the end of regulation. Houston finally took advantage of UTEP's inside foul problems.
Then, after UTEP took a 4-point lead in overtime, well, home-team Houston did just enough plodding to not dominate, but win.
UTEP, as expected, got into inside foul trouble early. But Houston (the dummies) didn't take advantage until its second-half run. OK, UTEP was in a zone. So?
But that was the difference. Houston finally went inside.
The young Miners first got really good overtime clutch play, again from John Bohannon, and especially from Mike Perez (two last-minute-type baskets and a free throw).
Then two turnovers from C.J. Cooper.
It was enough for a so-so Houston team (11-9), that made four straight free throws in the final ticks.
UTEP won't be losing like this much more.