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Charlotte wins its Conference USA opener with a 73-68 victory over UTEP

Mike Thorne Jr. scored 16 points and added 14 rebounds as Charlotte carried a five-point halftime lead into a 73-68 victory over UTEP in the Conference USA opener for both teams on Thursday night.

Terrence Williams matched Thorne's 16 points and Pierria Henry added 13 to lead Charlotte (10-4), which held a 41-27 advantage on the glass.

The first half saw four lead changes and six ties before the 49ers moved ahead for good with 4:19 left before the break. The scoring was evenly matched at 39 in the second half.

John Bohannon scored 23 on 7-of-9 shooting and Julian Washburn added 19 for the Miners (10-6), whose five-game winning streak was snapped.

UTEP was without three players — Justin Crosgile, McKenzie Moore and Jalen Ragland — after the university announced Tuesday that they were no longer on the team because of betting on sporting events.