HOUSTON - University of Houston senior guard Adam Brown led all players with 22 points - including 15 in the second half - but it would not be quite enough as UTEP claimed a 57-52 win inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday night.
UTEP scored eight of the game's final 10 points to win for only the second time in Houston in the all-time series.
Trailing 49-46 with less than four minutes, the Cougars scored the game's next four points and grabbed a 50-49 advantage when Brown converted a pair of free throws. Unfortunately, those would be the last points Houston would put on the scoreboard until 1 second remained in the contest.
Jeremy Williams gave the Miners the lead for good after draining a pair of free throws with 1:54 left in the contest for a 51-50 lead. After a missed Cougar shot, UTEP worked the game clock down and grabbed the offensive rebound after a missed Randy Culpepper shot for a fresh shot clock.
The Miners ran the game clock down to 19 seconds in the game and only four seconds on shot clock before Julyan Stone's lone field goal of the night - a 3-pointer from the right wing - gave UTEP a 54-50 lead.
Following a timeout, Brown missed a tough fall-away jumper and the Cougars were forced to foul. Stone hit 1-of-2 free throws with six seconds left to ice the win. Brown hit a driving layup with less than a second remaining and, after a Cougar foul on the inbounds, Williams hit two more free throws for the final margin of victory.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 11-7 overall and 3-2 in Conference USA games. UTEP improved to 16-4 overall, 4-1 in league games.
Brown connected on 9-of-15 shots from the field, including two 3-pointers, while sophomore forward Kirk Van Slyke added 12 first-half points and added a team-high seven rebounds.
Culpepper led the Miners with 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting, while Williams finished with 15 points, including a 7-of-7 performance from the line. Stone scored only four points, but led all players with 14 rebounds and six assists.
In the first half, the Cougars rallied from a 17-10 deficit and took a 26-23 lead when Alandise Harris converted a layup with 2:30 remaining in the opening period. Houston limited the Miners to only 10-of-30 shooting in the first 20 minutes.
The Cougars hit the road again but only need to travel across town when they meet C-USA rival Rice at 8 p.m., Wednesday, inside Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice campus. That game will be televised live on CSS.
From there, the team travels to meet East Carolina at 5 p.m. (CST), Saturday, inside Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C. That game also will be broadcast live on CSS.
Fans can hear all Cougar men's basketball games live on SportsTalk 790 AM KBME with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Cougar legend Elvin Hayes serving as analyst.
Five regular-season home games remain on the schedule, and Cougar men's basketball tickets are available now. Fans can choose from a variety of different ticket packages that best suit their needs, including the Houston Hoops 4-Pack (UAB game) and the Pick 4 Pack (fans' choice of any four remaining home games).
Fans also can join the "H" Association barbecue on Feb. 12 and receive one reserved seat ticket to the Cougars' C-USA showdown against Tulane for only $20.
Fans have several options when ordering their men's basketball tickets. They can visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center by the UH Fan Shop, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fans also can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or click the Tickets tab at UHCougars.com to buy tickets today.
The Cougars committed only one turnover in the second half and finished with only seven giveaways in the contest... It was the second straight game that Houston recorded fewer than eight turnovers...Houston blocked a season-high eight shots against UTEP... It topped the previous season high of seven blocks against Tulsa (Jan. 19) and Nicholls State (Nov. 12)... Brown recorded his team-leading seventh 20-point game of the season and the 10th of his career... With six 3-pointers, the Cougars recorded their 292nd straight game with at least one trey.