Forward Paul Fortier scored 19 points and center Chris Welp 18 as Washington built a big early lead and cruised to an 82-53 victory over cold-shooting, turnover-prone Texas-El Paso in an opening-round Big Apple National Invitation Tournament game last night in Denver.

Fifth-ranked Kansas won, 67-61, over Pepperdine in the night's second game and will play the Huskies in the regional final Sunday.

Danny Manning put the Jayhawks ahead to stay with two baskets in the first 30 seconds of the second half. He had 12 points; Calvin Thompson was high with 14 for Kansas.

Pepperdine led throughout the first half, but trailed the rest of the way, missing on three chances to tie in the final eight minutes.

Washington took leads of 22-8 at the 10-minute mark and 33-10 on a nine-point run led by Welp. UTEP's Miners trailed, 43-22, at the half and their comeback hopes dimmed when they missed two layups just after intermission. Cincinnati Regional:

Tracy Moore scored six points in overtime and Jeff Rahilly had five to lead Tulsa to a 63-60 victory over Dayton. Tulsa will meet Louisville, which beat Miami of Ohio, 81-65, with Billy Thompson scoring 19 points.