Feb. 3, 2007
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Stefon Jackson scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high of 17 rebounds to help UTEP snap a three-game losing streak and beat the University of Houston men's basketball team, 79-71, Saturday night at the Don Haskins Center.
Houston, which was looking for its first victory on UTEP's home court, opened the game with a 12-7 lead with 14:43 left to play in the first half before the Miners went on a 21-5 lead during the next seven minutes.
Dion Dowell, who led Houston with 21 points, scored five straight points to pull Houston back to within six points, 30-24 with 6:02 left in the opening period.
Jahmar Thorpe sandwiched a pair of jump shots from the free throw line around Jackson's free throw as Houston closed to within three, 31-28 heading into the final media timeout of the first half.
But UTEP closed the half with a12-7 run as Jackson scored seven points during that stretch to give the Miners a 43-35 halftime lead.
In the second half, Marvin Kilgore made three of his four free throws and Jackson added a pair of jumpers to give UTEP its biggest lead, 50-37, with 16:14 left in the game.
That is when Houston head coach Tom Penders turned to reserve center Tafari Toney for a spark. Toney responded with four quick points on a jump shot and a slam dunk to pull the Cougars back to within nine.
Houston closed to within four, 57-54, with 11 minutes left to play after Robert
McKiver made two straight three-point field goals and Toney added four points on a lay-up and two free throws and Oliver Lafayette nailed a three-pointer of his own from the top of the key.
Darren Clarke scored seven straight points for UTEP to extend the Miners' lead to 10, 64-54, with 8:21 left to play.
Houston rallied back again when Lafayette and Marcus Malone each made two free throws and Dowell added a tip-in to make the score 65-60.
The two teams fought back and forth the rest of the way and UTEP held on for a 79-71 win.
UTEP (13-10, 5-4 Conference USA) held Houston (11-10, 5-3) to 31 percent shooting from the floor.
The Cougars saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.
Dowell scored 21 points for Houston and Lafayette had 12 points and nine rebounds. McKiver scored 10 points and Thorpe added nine points before they both fouled out of the game. Toney finished with eight points and six rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench.
Clarke hit 5-of-7 shots and scored 13 points off the bench and Marvin Kilgore had 10 points and six assists for UTEP.