The Texas-El Paso Miners tried to recapture the magic of their victory in Memphis on Feb. 18 in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament, but eventually succumbed to the superior talent and athleticism of the Memphis Tigers, 65-47.
The Tigers, shooting for their sixth conference title in seven years — and on their way soon to the Big East — struggled to put away the Miners until about 10 minutes remained in this one, but the top-seeded team in the conference eventually was just too much for its opponent.
Using steals to create rapid-fire fast break points, the Tigers shot 50 percent on their two-point field goal attempts (just 3-14 from deep, which has never been their strong suit) on their way to the victory. They had 15 steals in the game, causing absolute havoc for the Miners' guards. Joe Jackson had five of those steals and led his team with 17 points. His backcourt-mate, Chris Crawford, had seven assists to go along with his 11 points.
The Miners, the tournament's eighth seed, shot a pitiful 34 percent from the field with 20 turnovers, numbers that will result in a loss just about every time out on the floor. John Bohannon was the team's lone bright spot, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds.