Senior guard Luster Goodwin scored 23 points and Dave Feitl made two free throws with three seconds left in Texas-El Paso's 79-75 victory over 18th-ranked Tulsa today in the first round of the NCAA West Regional.
The Miners (22-9) will go against North Carolina State (21-9) in Sunday's second round. N.C. State advanced with a 65-56 victory over Nevada-Reno.
Rolando Lamb scored 30 points and combined with fellow seniors Calvin Duncan and Mike Schlegel to help Virginia Commonwealth cruise to an 81-65 victory over Marshall. Sunday, the Rams will play Alabama, a 50-41 winner over Arizona.
Against UTEP, senior guard Steve Harris (31 points) led a rally by Tulsa (23-7) that all but wiped out a 73-65 deficit in the final 1:17.
Feitl (17 points) was fouled while rebounding after Tulsa sophomore forward David Moss missed a 10-foot base line jumper with four seconds left. The Miners made their last 16 points on foul shots.
The teams were tied 10 times and the lead changed 10 times before an off-balance running bank shot by Goodwin gave UTEP the lead for good, 57-55, with 5:03 left.
Lorenzo Charles had 22 points and 12 rebounds in leading North Carolina State in the first game of the afternoon doubleheader.
Two years ago, a dunk by the 6-foot-7, 255-pound Charles gave the Wolfpack the NCAA title in the same University of New Mexico Arena. Today, he dominated inside and put the game away with three straight baskets, two of them stuffs, when Nevada-Reno came within six points with seven minutes left.
N.C. State (21-9) took the lead for good midway through the first half as it ran off 11 straight points and held Nevada-Reno (21-10) scoreless for four minutes.
N.C. State moved to a 49-35 lead before going almost five minutes without scoring as Nevada-Reno pulled within six points on the outside shooting of guard Rob Harden and the inside work of 6-7 Dwayne Randall.
Charles then scored on a drive, a dunk off a rebound and an alley-oop.
For VCU, Duncan, Lamb's running mate at guard, scored 19 points and excelled defensively. Schlegel, a 6-8 center, had 14 points and six rebounds as Virginia Commonwealth, the Sun Belt Conference champion, improved its record to 26-5.
Marshall (21-13) was led by freshman guard Skip Henderson (19 points), who scored his team's first nine points and 11 of its first 13.
Bobby Lee Hurt, a 6-9 senior who scored only three first-half points, led Alabama on an 8-2 run to start the second period and helped the Tide to hold on with 11 second-half points.