By JEFF DARBY/UTEP Athletics

Following a jump ball call on the other end that awarded the ball to ODU, Paul Thomas was whistled for a foul with 2.5 seconds on the clock.  Talley, a 60 percent foul shooter, swished both for what turned out to be the decisive points.

“The foul with [2.5] seconds to go, from our vantage point it looked like a kickout leg and shot.  You expect that.  But their guy makes two free throws,” Floyd said.  “I thought we had good execution there on the last inbounds play.  We got it right where we needed to get it.  We got a great look.  These guys wear these clocks on their hips. I thought they were the ones that were supposed to start the clock.”

Originally it appeared Willms’ shot was good, but the officials took time to review before waving it off.

“A guy marks it good, so it’s got to be irrefutable,” Floyd said.  “And apparently he felt like, based on looking at his little thing on his hip versus the other, that [the clock] may not have started on time from the scorer’s desk. How would I know without looking at things, but I know it’s got to be irrefutable when they mark the basket good.  It’s where it is.”

The Miners struggled mightily offensively in the second half – at one point going  eight and a half minutes without a field goal -- before coming alive behind Trey Touchet, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.

A personal 10-0 run by Touchet carved a 48-38 deficit down to 53-48.  Jake Flaggert got the Miners closer on a three-pointer with 3:45 to play, setting up the wild finish.

Harris led the Miners with 14 points.  Touchet made 3-of-5 shots, 2-of-3 three pointers and 4-of-4 free throws. Artis had 11 points and six assists, and Thomas scored 10 points.

Talley scored 17 points for Old Dominion, and B.J. Stith added 12.  The Monarchs outscored UTEP 8-0 in second chance points in the first half in building a 31-27 lead after the Miners led by seven a few times early.

“I thought Matt [Willms] was not allowed to do his thing down there,” Floyd said.  “I thought it was a very physical game in the first half.  We started playing through screen and roll in the second half.  I thought that Talley, who was a 60 percent free throw shooter, stepped up and made free throws when they needed it.  Omega stepped up with a couple of big-time shots that really helped us.  We got great play from Trey Touchet tonight.  I thought Paul played well also.”

UTEP’s five-game win streak came to an end, while Old Dominion won its fifth straight.

“The last time we lost a game here at home, 62-61, was LA Tech [Feb. 9] and we went on a five-game win streak after that,” Floyd said.  “So we’ll have to regroup and get it behind us.  I thought our guys played with their hearts and souls and I thought our fans were fabulous.  Absolutely great.  And we’ll move on to the next one.

“The three losses that we’ve had during this stretch, we had a chance to win every game.  I couldn’t be prouder of our guys, I couldn’t be prouder of how they have conducted themselves in representing this school.  We’re going to come out and we’re going to play spirited again on Saturday afternoon.”

Saturday is Senior Day and Artis’ final home appearance for the Miners.  Tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234, with all seats in the non-Gold sections $8 and $10.

For more information and the game's box score, follow this link to UTEP Athletics.