Vince Hunter scored 21 points and Julian Washburn added 20 points with five assists to lead UTEP to an 84-71 victory over Florida International on Saturday night.
UTEP led by double digits most of the second half before Dennis Mavin scored to pull FIU within seven points, 63-56 with 4:06 to play. The Miners answered with a 10-4 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Washburn and C.J. Cooper, to move ahead 73-60 with 1:48 left and lead by double digits for good.
Cooper scored 17 points and had six assists for UTEP (19-7, 9-2 Conference USA), which bounced back after having its eight-game winning streak snapped Thursday by Florida Atlantic. The Miners are in a three-way tie for first in the conference with Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee.
Rakeem Buckles scored 19 points to lead Florida International (13-13, 5-6). Mavin and Tymell Murphy each added 13 points.