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Butler surges past UTEP 77-59 in second half

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Shelvin Mack hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 18 of his 25 points after halftime Thursday, leading fifth-seeded Butler to a 77-59 victory over UTEP in the first round of the NCAA tournament's West Regional.

Gordon Hayward scored 13 points and Matt Howard added 11 as the Bulldogs (29-4) won their 21st straight game to extend the sport's longest active winning streak — but only after a dynamic rally from a six-point halftime deficit.

The Miners (26-7) were a popular NCAA upset pick after the Conference USA power received a surprisingly low seed in the tournament. Instead, the Bulldogs made a 22-4 run after halftime led by Mack, who hit five 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes.

Butler advanced to face 13th-seeded Murray State, which surprised Vanderbilt 66-65 on a buzzer-beater by Danero Thomas.