- Associated Press - Saturday, February 18, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) - Dominic Artis had 14 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals, Paul Thomas had a double-double and UTEP beat Rice 79-71 on Saturday night for its seventh straight win in the series.

Thomas had 17 points, on 7-of-9 shooting, and 10 rebounds and Omega Harris scored 15 points for UTEP (11-15, 9-5 Conference USA), which has won three in a row, and six of its last seven, overall.

Harris hit a 3 to make it 5-0, added another that capped an 11-1 run and made it 16-6 with 12:36 left in the half and the Miners never trailed. They took a 29-24 lead into halftime, took their largest lead when Jake Flaggert’s 3 made it 46-32 with 14:23 to play and had a 12-point advantage with 3:06 remaining. Two free throws by Egor Koulechov cut Rice’s deficit to 74-67 with 1:15 left, but the Owls would get no closer.

Koulechov had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Rice (18-9, 8-6), which had won five in a row.

UTEP made 27 of 50 shots, including 9 of 14 (67 percent) from 3-point range.


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