- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Dominic Artis scored a driving left-handed layup with 12 seconds left on Friday night and UTEP held off Rice 61-60 in the Conference USA opener for both teams.

UTEP (9-5) led the entire game until Marcus Evans gave Rice (5-9) its first lead at 60-59 with 23 seconds left. After Artis put the Miners back on top, Evans’ jumper rimmed out and Terry Winn blocked Andrew Drone’s putback attempt as time expired.

Artis and Winn had 14 points each while Lee Moore topped UTEP with 15 and Omega Harris scored 12.

The Miners’ largest lead was 42-29 and the Owls steadily chipped away until the game’s only two lead changes in the final moments.

Evans, who entered the game as the nation’s top scoring freshman at 19.8 points per game, led the Owls’ late charge and finished with 13 points. Bishop Mency, Egor Koulechov and Max Guercy added 11 each.

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